39 Things You’ll Only Understand if You’ve Lived in Toronto




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mso-ansi-language:EN-US;}Ah Toronto, the city we love to love. And we’re sure to make everyone know.

Whether you lived here briefly for school and miss it greatly, or live here now and never want to leave, there’s just some things that Torontonians get and will always get. They bond us together, for better or for worse, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

You have a love/hate relationship with the TTC

The TTC is incredibly helpful when all lines are running and the buses are on time but that’s basically never.

You’re over the Eaton Centre

Sure when you first moved here you wanted to do all your shopping at this massive mall, but it has lost its charm (except when new stores open). And you know to avoid it at all costs around Christmas.

Front Street at rush hour is the stampede scene from Lion King

Not as traumatizing, but just as deadly. You know not get in the way of people running to their GO trains, they stop for no one.

Fall weather is parka weather

Sweater weather? Nope. As soon as the temperature hits anything below 15 you can guarantee you’ll see at least one parka on your way to work, even if the person wearing it looks a little too warm and full of regret.

You have trained your brain to hear your station name

You’re on the subway home after a long day of meetings and stress, shut your eyes for a few moments and yet still, even though you’re much more relaxed, Old Mill rings through you like the best alarm.

Pedestrians don’t always have the right away

You know you should, but you also know that a black all matte Maserati speeding down Bloor has places to be and will cut you off to get there.

Craft beer has a special place in your heart

And glass. You know what local breweries you love and would miss if you ever moved away from the city.

Toronto can feel real small

Somehow, even with a population well past two million, you will run into people you know.  Even if it’s that guy from Tinder you should have swiped left on, you’ll run into him when you least expect it but hopefully outside your neighbourhood.

You can and will walk faster than a Line 2 Shuttle Bus

Line down from Pape to St. George? What else is new! Good thing you can walk faster than the bus drives, especially between Sherbourne and Yonge.

White squirrels aren’t mythical and they are glorious

Toronto gets attached to critters (remember the raccoon memorial?) and the white squirrels are no different. The rare and cute little fellas are usually spotted around Trinity Bellwoods and there’s even a coffee shop.

Nuit Blanche is what you make it

The weather can be iffy but the art will be impressive, but not if you go with a gang of people who have had too much to drink.

The PATH always wins

Has anyone ever successfully figured out how to handle the PATH or does it always just end in giving up and heading above ground?

You’ve accepted you can’t afford the Pinterest apartment of your dreams

Some may call it settling, others call it a small (well not really) price to pay for being able to call Toronto home.

The Island is a day trip always worth taking

Bring a cooler and sunscreen and you’re set for the day. Sure, the shuttle boats will be packed both ways and you’ll get too day drunk but it’s the best summer quick getaway. Bikes (and even bathing suits at Hanlan’s) optional.

Going to see the Jays isn’t just about the game

Yes you’ll be wearing all the Jays gear you have to #ComeTogether, but it’s also about the food and (expensive) beer and suddenly becoming best friends with the people in front of you when Pillar dives and makes an insane catch.

Forgetting headphones can make or break the commute

The TTC can be a dangerous place if you can’t skillfully ignore someone yelling about witchcraft on the subway or a baby that isn’t too happy on a crowded streetcar.

Toronto pigeons are tougher than you’ll ever be

You’ve walked towards a pigeon thinking it’ll move for you many times, only to have it fly up at you and cause you to panic in the middle of a crowded sidewalk.

You can never be overdressed on King St W

This goes for most nights, but especially on Saturday. Second guessing your dress choice? There’s a high chance you’ll see at least one girl who looks like she’s stepped off a runway. And yes boys, never go with the shorts.

Blackout curtains are your best friend

Living downtown Toronto has its pros and cons and one of the cons is that your bedroom is always well lit from the surrounding condos and construction spotlights that never, ever stop shining into your window.

It’s all about the neighbourhoods

Yes you live in Toronto but where do you live, really? The Annex? Cabbagetown? Liberty Village? You know what neighbourhoods you’ve lived in, what ones you’d want to live in and what ones to avoid.

Tims? Starbucks? Who needs them!

Unless it’s Roll Up The Rim season or you happen upon a rare Starbucks without a line for PSLs, you know to head for one of the many indie coffee shops that are just as plentiful in Toronto, and maybe even better.

You can only love the Leafs from afar

Why? Because the tickets are almost as expensive as the rent we pay to live here.

Raccoons run the city at night

You might think you run the world once you step out for a night on the town but you are mistaken. Toronto raccoons are feisty, and they’ll be certain to make sure you stay on your side.

Biking is the best yet most risky way around the city

We have the bike paths all around Toronto but that hasn’t stopped cyclists from getting hurt.

Toronto will never be complete

It’s always under construction. Always.

You’ll always end your summer at The Ex

Do the rides look like they’re about to fall apart? Yeah. Does a food station usually get shut down due to health reasons? Yep. Will you still go and have a really sweet Insta on the ski lift ride to prove it? For sure!

Brunch is love, brunch is life

If Toronto had one definitive religion it would be brunch.

Weather can shut down the city

Ice storms and flash floods make sense, but even the smallest amount of rain and snow can cause the TTC to run extra late and somehow all the drivers forget what they’re doing on the roads.

This city made you a basketball fan

There are a lot of sports teams to support in Toronto, but the whole country is behind the Raptors and you are too.

The King streetcar must be avoided at all costs

You’ve seen the crowds on it, decided how important it is to be on time or to be comfortable and not overheat and squish in the with the rest of them, and walked instead. It’s fine because your friends get it, they did the same thing.  

The beaches are a hot summer tease

Sure Toronto has tons of waterfronts and great beaches but can you swim in them without getting a disease or terrified looks from other beach goers? Not likely.

LCBO doesn’t want you to make (bad) late night choices

And this is why they manage to be closed unreasonably early. Well, 11 pm isn’t that unreasonable, but they could do better.

The CN Tower is more useful than the Northern Star

Lost? Look up! That giant, colourfully lit tower is what got you home after too many drinks or maybe just too many wrong turns.

Just because your friends live in Toronto doesn’t mean you’ll see them all the time

Awesome news: your buddy just moved to Toronto! Not so awesome news: he lives a bus, subway and streetcar journey away. Uber, anyone?

Yes, Torono is how you truly say it

During her first of four shows here, even Adele knew that you leave you out the second ‘t’ when showing the love for the best city in Canada.




  1. December 5, 2016 / 9:36 pm

    Ha! I found this post hilarious and caught myself nodding quite a few times while reading this. You know you’re a Torontonian when…

  2. Chelle
    December 7, 2016 / 1:52 am

    This post was incredible! I found myself smiling, nodding and occasionally chuckling to myself. You nailed everything right on the head about Toronto!

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