toronto etiquette

10 easy ways to be a good Toronto resident

Living in Toronto can pose some challenges when it comes to etiquette. With so many people crammed into relatively limited space, it's important that everyone tacitly agree to certain common sense rules about how to behave for the greater good. Alas, too often these rules are ignored and city life is dragged down by a few rotten apples.

For a primer on how to avoid this fate, here are a handful of easy ways to be a good Toronto resident.

1. Walk left, stand right. You may no longer find the signs on the TTC, but this is basic escalator etiquette that respects the fact some people are in a rush while others happy to cruise to their destinations.

2. While we're on the subject of the TTC, please make sure to take off your backpack, give up your seat to someone who needs it (especially if it's blue), and never rush the doors to enter a train before everyone has gotten off.

3. Support your local business. With property taxes skyrocketing, buying goods from independent business helps them stay afloat. It might be a few bucks cheaper on Amazon, but what kind of city do you want?

4. The good Toronto resident will also support the city's music and arts scenes by going to concerts, comedy shows, and buying the work of local artists if it's feasible. You'd be amazed how inexpensive it can be to do so

5. Be nice, clear your ice. One of Toronto's best-ever ad campaigns is as true today as it has ever been.

6. On the subject of sidewalks, let's remember never to ride our bikes on these. This is only acceptable behaviour if you're under 10 years old.

7. Don't be a stranger to city hall. Over and above voting, there are many other ways you can weigh in on an array of municipal issues that shape our city. There's even a handy guide to civic engagement that'll walk you through the process. 

8. Get to know more than just your neighbourhood. Toronto's diversity is often touted as its greatest strength, but the only way to experience this is by exploring areas of the city that might be unfamiliar. How else is it possible to truly know the city?

9. Join your local neighbourhood group. There's no better way to know what's going on in your community and to help make it a quality place to live. You'd be amazed at how many there are in Toronto.

10. Separate your waste! This is really the easiest thing in the world to do for those provided with city recycling, garbage, and green bins. What's more, the city is now dispatching inspectors to ensure that you're recycling properly.

Lead photo by

@redandyellowmnms


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