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15 things you have to explain to visitors about Toronto

Posted by Chris Bateman / August 1, 2014

things about torontoToronto can be a confusing place for the newcomer: strict liquor laws, a sometimes bewildering set of transit rules, and, among its denizens, a puzzling and intense affection for weekend brunch.

According to Statistics Canada, 2.5 million people living in the Greater Toronto Area were born overseas. At the same time, many Canadian-born Toronto residents are from somewhere else: a small town, another province. Just about every Torontonian knows what it's like to field the questions from visiting friends and family.

With that thought in mind, welcome to Toronto, dear guests. Here are a few things you should know.

We love craft beer and local wine, but the LCBO thinks it's 1927
Want to grab a beer to take home after work on a Sunday? Forget about it. LCBO opening hours are designed to catch you out, or so it seems. Supermarkets and corner stores are, for reasons too complex and infuriating to list, dry. The Beer Store has a definite article for a reason.

Toronto exported so much peameal bacon it earned a nickname
Hogtown used to be a pejorative term other cities levied at Toronto, mainly because of the excess amount of resources and attention the city commanded in the late 1800s. The name became a term of endearment when the William Davies Company, a large waterfront stockyard, made peameal bacon an international delicacy.

things about torontoEverything is under construction
Sometimes moving around than city feels something like taking a tour of a live-in construction site. No-one remembers the last time the streetcar and bus lines were last free of diversions.

The CN Tower is the best compass
Travel writer Bill Bryson was talking about the Sydney Harbour Bridge when he wrote: "you can see it from every corner of the city, creeping into frame from the oddest angles, like an uncle who wants to get into every snapshot," but the observation is also be true of Toronto's most famous landmark, which has marked downtown since 1976.

It's pronounced "Young"
But everyone has their own way of pronouncing Roncesvalles. Stick with Roncey and you will sound like a local.

We stole poutine from Quebec and we're not sorry
Fries, gravy and melty cheese curds are ours now, too. We do it quite well.

Cars won't stop at pedestrian crossings unless you hit the button
Some signs tell you to point, but it's really not necessary if everyone has already stopped.

No-one is safe from the dreaded short turn
The TTC says short turns--the practice of kicking everyone off the bus, streetcar, or subway train so the driver can turn around--are a necessary evil, a way of benefiting many by inconveniencing a few, but that's scant consolation.

Main Street station isn't downtown and Royal York isn't near the hotel
Painful and sometimes costly mistakes to make.

things about torontoThere's really only one practical way to get to the island
The bucolic idyll of the Toronto Island might be just a few metres from the mainland in places, but for complex historical reasons the city still operates a number of ferry services instead of just building a bridge. In Summer, the ride is in equal measures spectacular, claustrophobic, and time consuming.

Nudity is strictly limited to the Hanlan's Point Beach
Those clothes had better be back on by the time you step off the sand. City council spent several months in the early 2000s wringing its collective hands over the consequences of allowing too much skin at Hanlan's Point. Officially the bathing area "clothing optional," so there's no pressure to bare all.

But the city has other, excellent places to catch a tan
The Beach neighbourhood has spectacular sand that would be worthy of a city with a more fortunate oceanside position. And let's not forget Bluffer's Park.

Raccoons rule the city after dark
This city is home to anywhere between 100,000 and 200,000 raccoons, depending on the source. After dark, Toronto becomes Raccoon City, a giant playground for dextrous critters to forage, fight, and err... procreate.

things about torontoNo, you can't afford to see the Toronto Maple Leafs
Things have been disappointing around Maple Leaf Gardens and the Air Canada Centre the last 47 years or so anyway. Blue Jays tickets, however, start at $11.65 and they've won a championship in the last 30 years.

We're sensitive--tell us we're world class
No world class city spends more time worrying about what other people think as much as Toronto. Please, be nice to us.

What would you add to this list? Add your suggestions to the comments.

Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman. Photos by bigdaddyhame, syncros, JPanda and chewie2008 in the blogTO Flickr pool.

Discussion

99 Comments

Bustah / August 1, 2014 at 01:36 pm
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I'd explain to tourists that they must be very careful of complimenting the city within earshot of a local, or they will be challenged. Torontonians take a fierce pride in maintaining their pecking order below that of other Canadian cities.
the lemur / August 1, 2014 at 01:41 pm
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#16: (the) 'Toronto Island' is actually several islands, none of them called Toronto. There are three ferries, each with a different destination, but you can walk from one to the other once you get there and take a different ferry back.
Roncies / August 1, 2014 at 01:44 pm
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Locals call Roncesvalles, "Roncies" not "Roncey" (unless these 'locals' moved in the last 5 years, in which case they might be a bit confused...).
Nick / August 1, 2014 at 01:52 pm
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The LCBO is something you'd have to explain to Ontario visitors, I wouldn't call that specific to Toronto since it's the same from Windsor to Ottawa to Thunder Bay. Shouldn't something Toronto specific be at the first one listed?
tnt replying to a comment from Roncies / August 1, 2014 at 01:58 pm
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I've lived in that area off and on for the last 50 yrs and have never heard "Roncies"....either it's called Roncesvalles in it's entirety, or the popular name it's adapted over the last 20 yrs "Roncey"
Brent / August 1, 2014 at 01:58 pm
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Don't pronounce the last "T".

Don't pass a streetcar with its doors open.
Doug / August 1, 2014 at 02:03 pm
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Yes, Toronto actually did elect Rob Ford as mayor 4 years ago. Who knew he had a questionable reputation?
Roncies replying to a comment from tnt / August 1, 2014 at 02:07 pm
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I've lived in the neighbourhood since 1993 and everyone I grew up with calls it Roncies or Roncesvalles. Roncey is only used by the newer arrivals.
Downtown Toronto Personal Trainer / August 1, 2014 at 02:07 pm
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Funny and true post! Moved into liberty/parkdale in February and the raccoons are running the show.
Todd Toronto replying to a comment from the lemur / August 1, 2014 at 02:25 pm
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Well, since we're being nitpicky, it'll always be "The BeachES" to me.
linden / August 1, 2014 at 02:31 pm
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I am just curious what is so special about Roncesvalles that the tourists would interested to visit or learn about it. It looks like many other Toronto streets - Bloor west, Qeen West....
Laura420 / August 1, 2014 at 02:42 pm
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We have 7 openly operating cannabis lounges, which are totally illegal, and nobody gives a fuck. But screw you if you want to buy liquor at a store after 10.
Anastasia / August 1, 2014 at 02:43 pm
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No matter what you are doing on the TTC, take a transfer!
junk shin replying to a comment from Roncies / August 1, 2014 at 02:46 pm
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there are two establishments on roncy with "roncy" in the name (sushi on roncy, roncy public) -- like it or not (i don't, particularly), that's the name.
Carol / August 1, 2014 at 03:10 pm
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The "underground city" is not *literally* an underground city! I'm impressed at how many tourist are here for a couple of days and "visiting the underground city" is one of their top items, alongside Casa Loma and the CN Tower. They are inevitably disappointed.
hop / August 1, 2014 at 03:18 pm
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The "Collectors" isn't a toll highway. My uncle from Montreal has been driving to he city since the 70s and only discovered this (after I told him) in the early 2000s.
Timmy / August 1, 2014 at 03:19 pm
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Let's not forget in the future we'll need to explain to tourists why the Sam the Record man sign is in Dundas square for a store that doesn't exist and went bankrupt.
the lemur / August 1, 2014 at 03:39 pm
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The city is full of exiles from other cities in Canada (Montreal, Vancouver, etc.) who go on and on about all the things that are better back home - bagels, poutine, weather, outdoor things to do - and who are really fucking boring.

Also, you should know that Torontonians will try to tell you all kinds of inaccurate stuff about their own city, like how the Christie water tower is full of Oreo icing, how the second T in Toronto is supposedly silent (both pronunciations are valid), how 'Avenue Road' came from some lame joke, etc. Ignore them.
Skye / August 1, 2014 at 03:49 pm
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The Rogers Centre is still called "The Dome" by almost everyone.

And raccoons truly *do* rule the city, to the point where they'll stalk you like the world's cutest bunch of gangsters if you're carrying takeout after dark.
Jack replying to a comment from Timmy / August 1, 2014 at 03:58 pm
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Now that the Sam the Record Man sign sits way atop a building, it looks like a pair of giant boobs. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
http://www.blogto.com/city/2014/07/sam_the_record_man_sign_officially_gets_new_home/
The Clever Pup replying to a comment from Roncies / August 1, 2014 at 04:08 pm
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Been here in the thick of it for 17 years. No one I know calls it Roncies, unless in the possessive form. Then you'd need an apostrophe.
Chris replying to a comment from the lemur / August 1, 2014 at 04:09 pm
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"The city is full of exiles from other cities in Canada (Montreal, Vancouver, etc.) who go on and on about all the things that are better back home - bagels, poutine, weather, outdoor things to do - and who are really fucking boring."

And yet whenever you ask one of them when they plan on moving back, you're usually met with silence.
The Clever Pup replying to a comment from junk shin / August 1, 2014 at 04:11 pm
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and Roncey's Bean, and they are using an apostrophe.
Dan / August 1, 2014 at 04:11 pm
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I've lived here 10 months now and I've only seen one raccoon. Disappointed!
W. K. Lis / August 1, 2014 at 04:12 pm
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To become mayor or councillor in the City of Toronto, the candidate does not need to get a majority of 50% + 1. They can still win with even a third of the votes cast, just by having the highest number of votes than the others.
The Clever Pup replying to a comment from junk shin / August 1, 2014 at 04:12 pm
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Not a biggie but Etobicoke rhymes with Mimico.
christopher / August 1, 2014 at 05:19 pm
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Cardinal Rule at Queen West and Roncesvalles has a special every so often. Butter Chicken Poutine. Absolutely amazing. And yes Cardinal Rule has great fries to begin with. You can't have great poutine without great fries!
Cass / August 1, 2014 at 05:21 pm
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I have yet to find good poutine in Toronto. Simple dishes are often the most difficult to achieve perfection - no hiding behind fancy ingredients like pulled pork or curry spice. Good fries, good gravy, good curds. That's it. I have to save up my poutine craving for when I go to Quebec.

Local tip: sometimes people line up at a bus stop, sometimes they don't. Don't fret if you're waiting for the bus in a disorganized crowd - everyone politely files on, letting people who have been waiting longer than themselves get on first.
Bettie / August 1, 2014 at 05:38 pm
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If they know NYC, warn them that if they're in Toronto and see a sign underground saying 'PATH', it is not the way to the Port Authority train. Some ignorant nitwit in Toronto must have seen the sign in NYC and, not knowing what it really meant, decided to use it for the name of Toronto's underground walkway. (Such an embarrassingly small town error.)
Bizoune replying to a comment from Steve / August 1, 2014 at 05:50 pm
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you won't have a clue what poutine really is until you have one in Montreal. Squeaky cheese just doesn't exist in TO. It's very different than what you think it is!!
Noddy / August 1, 2014 at 06:17 pm
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Milk sold in bags is another weird thing about this place!
Francesco / August 1, 2014 at 06:33 pm
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Rule #1: there is absolutely nothing to do except going into the vast forest parks outside of the downtown core and beach areas. No decent bars, traditional local restaurants, nothing!!!
David / August 1, 2014 at 06:54 pm
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It's not just the last t that is silent. The first o is silent and the second and last o's are pronounced aw. The full name is Trawnaw. Also, everybody in the rest of Canada hates Toronto, and nobody in Toronto acknowledges that the rest of Canada exists.
bzine / August 1, 2014 at 07:01 pm
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About 90 percent of the time, if you're walking on a downwards slope that means your heading south.
Cabbagetowner / August 1, 2014 at 08:39 pm
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Add: nobody calls it Yonge-Dundas Square. It's just Dundas Square.
rob replying to a comment from Roncies / August 1, 2014 at 09:04 pm
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true locals call roncesvalles roncesvalles. not roncey, not roncies.

milk comes in bags in many places not just toronto...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milk_bag

while peameal may be very toronto, the sandwich version seems very much based on the english bacon barm.


pearlD. / August 1, 2014 at 09:06 pm
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We have the most amazing variety of places to eat from corner 'mom & pops' to very, very high end trendy and also costly places and cuisine that geographically covers every part of the world, some better than others but the options are staggering....
Anonymous / August 1, 2014 at 09:59 pm
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Having grown up in Toronto and having lived in many parts of the "GTA" and now live in the countryside because of what Toronto has become (hey, it's not for me, maybe it is for you), this is a poorly written article. Most of the things stated, no one would ever explain to a tourist and barely make the highlight of the city. Who cares what Roncesvalles or however you spell it is...who cares about poutine, seriously? Sounds like a 1987 baby wrote this article, or even worse, 1990s baby.
CaligulaJones / August 1, 2014 at 10:00 pm
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No, you can't drive to Vancouver in a day...
Ummm I forgot my point -420? / August 1, 2014 at 11:34 pm
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Laura420 but we have thousands of bars open and selling alcohol until 2am which are completly legal. How many cannibas lounges are you comparing that to? Seven? And yes you can buy alcohol 24 hrs a day with the right connections just like pot. Whats you point?
Duckers replying to a comment from christopher / August 2, 2014 at 01:34 am
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Yes, and the Butter Chicken Roti at Gandhi's!

There are some decent places to get poutine.. ok Poutini's is def hipster but I've rarely been disappointed.

One of the best highlights of 'Torana' is obv the food. You cant get authentic food from all over the globe here.
Nisha replying to a comment from David / August 2, 2014 at 06:07 am
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I've lived in Toronto all my life and I have never heard it pronounced "Trawnaw". Maybe if someone was imitating a Toronto accent really poorly. The only way I've ever heard it pronounced by people who live in Toronto is "Turonno".
BIG MIKE replying to a comment from Todd Toronto / August 2, 2014 at 08:04 am
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THE BEACH VILLAGE is the name of the area. Not The Beach, not The Beaches.
@sensrock_leafswalk / August 2, 2014 at 09:57 am
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I don't expect much from anyone who is actually a fan of the Ottawa Senior Citizens and actually brags about living in the City that Fun Forgot, but let me clear things up for you. If you think you can buy 'booze' all night long in dépanneurs, you've obviously not crossed that bridge over to Hell very often. They sell beer and undrinkable cheap plonk until 11pm at night. I suppose that is "all night" for a city where they roll up the sidewalks at 6pm. Those of us who think of "booze" as Scotch or Vodka can't buy hard liquor in Quebec anywhere other than the SAQ, which is practically identical to Ontario's LCBO, and various other Government liquor monopolies across the country.
Anyhow, enjoy your Crybaby Sens this winter; no one else gives a crap about them or even really considers them to be a real hockey team. They are the perfect artificial team for a beige government town.
Jeff B. / August 2, 2014 at 11:53 am
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One missing from the list is 'walk left, stand right', when using escalators. The TTC used to have signs indicating this, but removed them. Even since then, this is a known unstated rule to Torontonians, but would escape tourists.
banjo / August 2, 2014 at 12:27 pm
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you have to explain that Toronto is the only city in the world where you step off public transport in the middle of the road into oncoming traffic.
strum your banjo / August 2, 2014 at 12:50 pm
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Yup. The only city in the world, banjo. Except all the other cities in the world that have streetcars/trams. Toronto just happens to be the only city in North America that kept a substantial part of its old streetcar routes. San Francisco kept one or two lines with toy antique streetcars for the tourists to ride.
Malcolm / August 2, 2014 at 01:50 pm
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I've lived in Montreal and Ottawa and while I would've agreed with the poutine naysayers 5 years ago, Toronto has seriously upped it's game over the last 2-3 years. The variety and quality of restaurants/eateries is currently amazing and many have unique takes on the dish.
Yolo / August 2, 2014 at 02:30 pm
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Its an age thing. Montreal is in my parent's generation, not mine. They remember something that is not there now. When I went with friends my age we were so bored. It was like wtf? Kinda sketchy and ghetto too. The scene there is stuck in the past sort of old school and Jersey Shore mixed together. Who would go there when NYC is so easy to get to by Porter?
Martyn replying to a comment from BIG MIKE / August 2, 2014 at 03:21 pm
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Never called 'Beach Village'. Don't even think realtors would dare try that. Mainly "Beaches ". "The Beach" has become accepted with time...
FrancesMC replying to a comment from BIG MIKE / August 2, 2014 at 04:39 pm
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It's the BEACHES. Witness the name of the local public library which has been there since the 30s, at least. And it's what I knew when I was growing up and I'm no spring chicken. It makes sense when you realize that there are several named beaches in the area, not just one, as The BEACH implies.
cat / August 2, 2014 at 07:41 pm
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I remember going to the Islands and all you needed was a TTC ticket to board! Many, many years ago.
KJ replying to a comment from David / August 2, 2014 at 08:07 pm
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"It's not just the last t that is silent. The first o is silent and the second and last o's are pronounced aw. The full name is Trawnaw. Also, everybody in the rest of Canada hates Toronto, and nobody in Toronto acknowledges that the rest of Canada exists."

No. Just... No. The first o gets dropped sometimes and the second T is dropped by anyone who grew up there. But the "aw" sound is SUPER annoying. No one says that unless they're making fun of how Torontonians pronounce "Trrono" (when said quickly) or "Toronno" (pronounced for people from elsewhere). Or, you know, are my dad making a terrible dad joke.

And we remember the rest of Canada exists. We just eye roll when they think that having a significant portion of the COUNTRY'S population (not just of Ontarios, but of the entire country. it's like 1/6 of Canada) is meaningless. My numbers alone our votes have a bigger impact. Get over it.
gina / August 3, 2014 at 02:37 am
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How to properly pronounce Spadina.
To look right when exiting the streetcar.
Last call is at 2am, and you can't drink in public.
Guest-In-Your-Country / August 3, 2014 at 03:21 am
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It takes a bit of time to wrap your head around Avenue Road. And if you don't like that name, don't worry, it has several others.
S.R / August 3, 2014 at 06:41 am
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We like to think were a world class city but with very poor infrastructure, extremely high taxes due to a crumbling municipal economy, short sightedness of local politicians to just a allow for nothing but condo development, were nowhere close in my opinion. We just have a population of a world class city. And don't get me wrong, I love this city! That's why it frustrates me so much. Where are the subways, where's the waterfront project that has so much potential and what are we doing to preserve the little history this city has? Every old building we have has either been turned into a loblaws or a bank. Scared to find out what happens to the Honest Ed building
terry / August 3, 2014 at 10:22 am
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The worst transportation. It never comes the right time and street cars are so slow
stopitman replying to a comment from Roncies / August 3, 2014 at 01:18 pm
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Roncesvalles is called Roncey, not Roncies. Just like the Beaches will always be the Beaches and not "the Beach", like the pricks that live there think it should be. While I'm on my rant - Spadina Road is "Spa-deen-ah Rd" unlike it's southern section "Spa-dine-ah Ave".

There are too many noobs in this city screwing up pronunciations and names.
Rocies Roncy controversy replying to a comment from Roncies / August 3, 2014 at 01:46 pm
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I used to have a practice space in Rocesvalles. You'd hear either "RonceSvalles" or "ReceZvalles", and Roncies as a nickname. Roncy came later, but it's more common by far now.
Beaches - beach replying to a comment from stopitman / August 3, 2014 at 01:47 pm
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Whatever we'd like to believe, many locals call it "the Beach" now. Nomatter how aggravated that makes me.
Bloor replying to a comment from stopitman / August 3, 2014 at 01:48 pm
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Bloor rhymes with Door.
Bloor replying to a comment from strum your banjo / August 3, 2014 at 01:49 pm
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Even that's not true. Loads of cities kept their old/original tram/streetcar routes.
Toronto Native replying to a comment from Francesco / August 3, 2014 at 01:51 pm
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Agreed. It's hard to explain to other Toronto Natives who haven't traveled to literally any other "world class" city, but Toronto is really dull, and the food here is terrible. Our best restaurants aren't as good as street vendors in some other cities. Toronto is a big mediocre dump.
LOL @ "Toronto Native" / August 3, 2014 at 02:16 pm
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Toronto Native, who the fuck do think you are? This isn't 1901; people travel frequently and far nowadays. Half the population of Toronto was born outside of Canada. Thinking you are the only one simply makes you look ridiculous. Just because others have a life and moved on after their vacations and therefore couldn't be bothered to brag about it doesn't mean no one has ever travelled. "Toronto Native" is the same troll who routinely drops in to poetically call Toronto a "dump" every week. He clearly doesn't even live here but seems to hold a grudge against the city. My best advice is GFY.
Steve replying to a comment from Carol / August 3, 2014 at 11:57 pm
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The underground city might be The Path which is the largest underground shopping centre in the world and is also attached to several residences and office buildings.
Carol replying to a comment from Steve / August 4, 2014 at 08:36 am
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Steve, yes, I mean the Path. I know what it is. :)
What I mean is that many tourists come with these Canada or Toronto Guides that list the Path as one of the world's wonders, for reasons I can't understand. The Path is very useful, of course. But when visitors end up there and ask "So, where is the underground city thing?", I say "This is it" and they get that disappointed look. I don't know what they expect, but it has happened quite a few times.
The Path / August 4, 2014 at 12:43 pm
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Believe it or not, The Path is a major tourist draw and for some unfathomable reason the British are especially intrigued. They are under the impression that it turns into the Arctic here in winter and that foot travel above ground is impossible. I've never met one of them disappointed with it. To me it is just a big underground mall.
Brits replying to a comment from The Path / August 4, 2014 at 01:23 pm
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Your comment about Brits and The PATH is spot on.

Also, when I lived in the UK, I once told a few English people at a pub in Leeds that I was from Toronto, and they said, "That's in Mexico, mate?" I thought they were pulling my leg and that they were better educated than that. But I couldn't be sure, so I just went with it. I talked about how I miss the great Mexican dishes from back home, and they said they knew "a decent taco place" on the High Street. They asked if I went to an English school because I did't seem to have a Mexican accent. At that point, I educated them that Toronto is in Canada. They were very apologetic. Then one of them asked why I don't have a French accent.

:-)
Go PATH replying to a comment from The Path / August 4, 2014 at 04:58 pm
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In Britain, most houses don't even have basements / cellars.

While they are accustomed to underground transportation (at least in London and Liverpool), they tend to find the idea of people walking around and shopping underneath the ground to be fascinating.

In the UK, there are plenty of museums, art galleries, funky cafes, and history. It is things like the CN Tower and PATH --- things that we don't really care about as Torontonians --- that actually sparks their interest when visiting.
brooke / August 4, 2014 at 09:45 pm
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I say to tourists, forget Casa Loma. Check out Queen St. Take the Queen Streetcar and take in the incredible diversity of people ( on and off the streetcar) and the diversity of restaurants, shops, cafes, galleries you-name-it. Make sure you include Queen west of Bathurst and Parkdale. Also check out Spadina Chinatown, The Distillery District and Harbourfront. And Wards Island, unless you have kids, then Central Island. And the Science Centre is worth checking out.
Jean Poutine / August 6, 2014 at 09:43 am
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Toronto: boring; braggers; far from world-class; everyone now owns a restaurant, coffee shop or some other joint on the bandwagon; far from an NYC or Chicago; nice small town folks come here and turn into snobs thinking they've made it to 'big city;' wannabes; rude; arrogant; dull nightlife; ...the list goes on!
One more thing / August 6, 2014 at 01:24 pm
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I'd explain to visitors that we have a lot of impotently jealous neighbours who make a point of dumping on Toronto whenever they get a chance. Like Mr Poutine above, for example.
the lemur replying to a comment from stopitman / August 8, 2014 at 01:21 pm
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No, it's just Spadina House that is pronounced that way, not the road.
the lemur replying to a comment from poutinistes / August 8, 2014 at 01:23 pm
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This is exactly what I was talking about. Shut up about the poutine and the bagels and whatever else it is that Montreal does so much better. No one cares.

That goes for you Vancouverites bitching about sushi as well.
Adrian replying to a comment from Roncies / November 9, 2014 at 07:47 am
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I was born just off RONCESSVALLES AND it is prounounced RONCY ..not RONCIES. You are a very uninformed local if you believe that lame prononunciation you have spewed out in the interest of seeming like a 'local' NOT
Adrian / November 9, 2014 at 07:55 am
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Been living here all my life..and you are saying The Beaches are not referred to as "The Beaches"? WRONG ..you are obviously an out-of-towner for such a lame comment. It has ALWAYS been referred to as "The Beaches" You're welcome.
trixie / December 7, 2014 at 10:01 pm
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all visitors should know: as u can see the people of toronto are very self absorbed lol
Judy / April 5, 2015 at 04:51 pm
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Don't bother looking for a post office (we call them postal stations, but you'll be lucky to find one as they're a dying breed). Look for a Shopper Drug Mart if you want to buy stamps for your postcards.
Jwick5 replying to a comment from Brent / April 5, 2015 at 05:11 pm
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Everyone wears black and will shoulder check you out of their way on the sidewalk...you should say,"sorry"
MigFees / April 5, 2015 at 05:37 pm
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I second or third whoever mentioned the PATH being much lamer than people are led to believe. I've had guests ask about the largest underground pathway, and it's always one of those situations where I'm just like "No, don't even waste your time." Can we just have the PATH stricken from guidebooks?

Also, Toronto loves to name its small, blink-and-you'll-miss-it neighbourhoods that don't really deserve to be named. It stems from our desire to be considered among other cosmopolitan cities.
Dean / April 5, 2015 at 06:19 pm
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Wow, reading all these people complain in comments, about the various things in Toronto made me realize one thing. The number one complaint about Toronto and that it is always trying to be like New York is not as true as people think, at least if you base it on the people who hang out in BlogTO comments. From what I have observed people from the various areas of New York love the neighborhood they are from and brag about how great this and that is in their particular neighborhood or in general how great New York is and how great the people are. They have pride in their city. Based on BlogTO comments, Toronto sucks and everything everywhere else is so much better. We are just a bunch of wannabes who try to copy other cities and can't get it right. Maybe Toronto could do a bit better if all the people who hate it so much just left or don't bother visiting. Toronto is not perfect, but there are far worse places.
nakgreen / April 5, 2015 at 06:26 pm
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Pouting is gross no matter who makes it.
Love my city
Toronto is amazing
best people
Julian replying to a comment from Nick / April 5, 2015 at 07:14 pm
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they're referring to the LCBOs in Toronto closing earlier than most others, not the LCBO itself.
leonardo / April 5, 2015 at 07:23 pm
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you must go to tim hortons!!! and not to the expensive starbucks
Chris / April 5, 2015 at 09:15 pm
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If renting a car you'll be told to look for "Green P" parking. The sign is the colour green. The P is in fact white (and the area is generally a lot of concrete and not in any way to be thought of as Eco friendly).
Glad to be alive / April 5, 2015 at 09:53 pm
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If renting a car be warned they don't come with winter snow tires on them here. It's not the law. I rented a car and drove to Montreal and ended up in a snow storm . I told them where I was going. I was sliding all over the place.
another Chris / April 5, 2015 at 09:55 pm
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You're kidding about poutine, right? Some places in Toronto do it decently, maybe almost "quite well," but it won't be "ours" at least until we learn to pronounce the word.
The Chekan replying to a comment from S.R / April 5, 2015 at 11:10 pm
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We DON'T need the large amount of subway lines like you think we do.

And Dean is right-people like you should stop complaining and get lost.
anatolia / April 5, 2015 at 11:23 pm
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I'd explain that the entire city thinks it's still 1927: everything in the downtown seems to close earlier than things in Ontario small towns and that things are hardly open on Sundays. Oh and the TTC is shit and you can't really rely on it to be open and running when you need it.
E.O. Siebring replying to a comment from linden / April 6, 2015 at 03:30 am
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Bloor Subway, Dundas, College, King & Queen streetcars all run/intersect on Roncesvalles; all within walking distance.
Park dale / April 6, 2015 at 08:50 am
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never heard of Roncesvalles called "Roncies" ... we refer to it as Roncey.....
fkqldls / April 6, 2015 at 10:44 am
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I would probably explain that by living in Scarborough you're leaving yourself open to a lot of disparaging comments and inviting comments dripping with "sympathy" that you live anywhere east of victoria park. I'd then explain that this is a decent way, very thorough actually, to tell who you should and shouldn't talk to.
Stop / April 6, 2015 at 10:59 am
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Please do not waste your time in or near any Tim Hortons, because 1 why would you be a tourist so that you can go to all the national chains? & 2 their coffee is absolute piss and brown water. I would argue that if someone ACTUALLY wants a coffee and doesnt want poo water then yes they would be better off going to Starbucks. But again, referring to my 1st point, fuck starbucks. Go to any local establishment and see for yourself. I can't think of any right now save for Jimmy's Coffee in Kensington Market, but thats a great place to sit with a nice cup or to get one to go and peruse the shops in the market.
Who Gives A Shit About America Though? / April 6, 2015 at 11:10 am
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Granted, the cities themselves can be pretty cool but its pretty embarrassing to just see people talking about whether or not Toronto is like NYC or Chicago. Why not try to be a Tokyo or something? IMO its Torontos own half-assed quest to "keep up" with the Big Bad Big Cities that has kept it from doing anything real or unique, or even anything remotely specific to Toronto. Instead everyone just goes crazy about how we FINALLY HAVE FOOD TRUCKS (which ill admit is a bit win) and fucking talking about artisanal or craft anything. Like, no one fucking cares about how much you like a particular kind of beer, or coffee, or poutine, or which Poodle Tanning Salon is the best in good ol' Roncesvalles/Roncey/Roncies. NO ONE GIVES A SHIT IF UR FROM HERE. No one gives a shit that youve been saying spadina THIS way for this thing and this other way for the other thing, and that youve been doing it since birth to boot. Nobody cares. stop
dave / April 6, 2015 at 09:26 pm
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I went to toronto recently for a month and hated it. The streets/traffic is horrible, people ride literally inches from your back bumper even when you are going well over the speed limit. I also found people to be very pompous and full of themselves and their community.
Dana / April 7, 2015 at 11:11 am
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As a child growing up on Fern Avenue more than 50 years ago, we called Roncesvalles, Roncies. It seems it took that long for the newbies to finally get the hang of personalizing their neighbourhood. :-)
CaligulaJones replying to a comment from anatolia / April 7, 2015 at 11:42 am
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"everything in the downtown seems to close earlier than things in Ontario"

No different than London, England. The City, as it is called, works 8 to 5pm. A few places open for a pint or two after work, then everyone goes home.
PC / April 9, 2015 at 03:04 pm
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All this debate about what to call Roncies/Roncy/Roncesvalles when it's just a little piece of Parkdale ... jeez man!

Entertaining though ...
Berto / April 16, 2015 at 07:17 am
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Dave: I am curious to know where are u from

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