15 things you have to explain to visitors about Toronto
Toronto can be a confusing place for visitors, thanks to our strict liquor laws, a sometimes bewildering set of transit rules, and, among its denizens, a puzzling and intense affection for weekend brunch.
With that in mind, welcome to Toronto, dear guests. Here are a few things you should know.
The LCBO's opening hours are designed to catch you out, or so it seems. Only a limited number of grocery stores carry booze and The Beer Store has a definite article for a reason. Although most independent bottle shops - and even the Wine Rack - stay open until 11 p.m.
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 made peameal bacon an international delicacy.
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 completely free of diversions.
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.
But everyone has their own way of pronouncing Roncesvalles. Stick with Roncey to sound like a local.
Fries, gravy and melty cheese curds are ours now, too. We do it quite well.
Some signs tell you to point, but it's really not necessary if everyone has already stopped.
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.
Painful and sometimes costly mistakes to make.
You can board TTC streetcars from any door, but if you don't have a metropass - or tap your Presto card - make sure you pay and take a transfer to avoid a hefty fine.
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.
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 dexterous critters to forage, fight, and err... procreate.
Things have been disappointing around Maple Leaf Gardens and the Air Canada Centre the last 50 years or so anyway. Blue Jays tickets, however, are much cheaper and they've won a championship in the last 30 years.
No world class city spends more time worrying about what other people think as much as Toronto. Even though we seem to have made it, we're self-conscious about our status. Please, be nice to us.
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