toronto thankful

10 reasons to be thankful in Toronto right now

Toronto has a not unfair reputation as a city that likes to complain, but the driving force behind such a habit is, no doubt, the high standards we've collectively set for the livability of this place. Yet, there are times when one is compelled to pause and take stock of all the good things out there that are often overlooked or taken for granted.

In honour of Thanksgiving, this is a meandering list of things to give thanks for in Toronto right now.

The Blue Jays
Regardless of what happens in the ALDS, the Blue Jays late season run and post-season berth reinvigorated the pride this town has in its home teams. We've been so starved for meaningful post-season play over the last decade that this year's team really rallied the city together, and that excitement will continue into next season no matter what happens in these playoffs.

We rule the music world
Toronto has been a one horse town when it comes to Billboard superstars for the last few years, but now Drake has some company. The Weeknd currently tops the charts while Drizzy's infectious Hotline Bling has risen to third. Sitting in the middle is some dude named Justin Bieber.

We didn't bid for the Olympics
Not to be a curmudgeon, because an Olympic bid really would have been very exciting, but cooler heads prevailed. Just because the Pan Am Games went well doesn't mean we were ready to bid or that we would have won. There will be a right time to make another Olympic run, but this wasn't the year.

Beer sales at grocery stores is right around the corner
It won't be long now. Beer will hit grocery store shelves sometime in December, thereby modernizing an liquor/beer retail system that was hopelessly behind the times. The little guys will have difficulty competing, and we're still waiting on wine, but this is progress.

Toronto is no longer an international laughing stock
John Tory has been the mayor for about a year. Have you noticed that Toronto is no longer a fixture on late night talk shows and in the international press for shenanigans around city hall? It's a little early to evaluate Tory's work, but he's definitely helped to bring order and respectability back to the mayor's office.

We're top of the class
Toronto has always fared well on international livability rankings, but when the Economist pulled all of its data together from the various indexes that are used to rank cities, we came out at the very top. Why, thank you.

Andy Byford has made the TTC a better ride
It's far from perfect, but the TTC is actually getting better under the stewardship of Andy Byford. Station staff are friendlier, delays are communicated better, all-door boarding has been embraced on busy streetcars, and those new streetcars keep arriving. The Spadina Extension lurks in the dreams of York faculty and new students.

Mike Babcock
The Leafs will not be a good hockey team this year, but they just might have the best coach in the game right now, and that's a reason to be thankful if you're a local hockey fan. It finally seems as though management in Toronto is committed to a slow build, and once Babcock has some pieces to work with, you can expect the Leafs to return to respectability rapidly.

Our gallery scene is alive and well
Toronto's art gallery scene is in the midst of a massive migration north to the Junction Triangle and Dupont St., and there's never been a time to be more excited about its future prospects. The industrial spaces that house some of our most important art spaces aren't just bigger than the old storefronts, but they're breathing new life into long neglected neighbourhoods.

Slowly but surely, we're reclaiming the waterfront
So long a source of civic disappointment, the Toronto waterfront is actually coming along quite nicely, with a major component unveiled this summer in the form of the revamped Queens Quay. Up next is Ontario Place, and continued development on the eastern waterfront. Captain John's has finally sailed into the sunset, and the future looks bright (and clean).

What did I miss? Add your reasons to give thanks for Toronto right now.

Photo by Marcus Mitanis

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