toronto rats

Toronto's unofficial mascot is the raccoon, but it really should be the rat

It is well known that Toronto is unofficially represented by the raccoon (or if you’re a millennial, the trash panda) but as times change and the city becomes more of a struggling mess, another city-dwelling critter seems to speak to our bigger struggles.

Introducing the all mighty rat.

Now please, before you send me any hate mail, I understand the raccoon is a very popular and loved animal here in Toronto. And I understand that New York City is already known for its rattiness.

But, please, hear me out.

There is no doubt rat sightings in the city are happening on a day-to-day, minute-to-minute and second-to-second basis. 

Whether it's swarming outside Yonge and Eglinton or scaring commuters at Victoria Station, you cannot deny Toronto is full of rodents. Who hasn't seen a rat duck behind a dumpster at their favourite bar or restaurant?

As it appears the city is crumbling before our very own eyes (tons of overflowing garbage bins, dilapidated infrastructure, I could go on…) it's no wonder rats are on the rise.

During the last two years with waves of lockdowns, the rats' population quickly increased as they made use of the empty streets and restaurants. 

But let's take a closer look at what the rat represents and how that can be applied to our city.

According to the Chinese zodiac, the rat is suspicious and alert, all virtues needed to survive in this everyday hellsscape that's called Toronto.

But more importantly, rats are outcasts. Scrappy little underdogs that are always looked down upon and cast away.

Doesn't that sound like what Toronto goes through every sports season on the international stage? Or when discussed in every other part of the country?

Rats are resilient and can represent strength, seeing as they often outwit any attempt to get rid of them.

Who doesn't think a person into Toronto isn't either of those two things, constantly putting up with shitty transit, skyrocketing rents and the everyday struggle of affording to live in the city we love.

It takes strength to live here, no doubt.

While the raccoon is cute and appears to be cuddly (do not attempt to cuddle a raccoon) I say it is time the city embraces its rodent roots and let the rat take over.

And while we're on the topic, rats are also very cute.

It's rat attack time, folks! 

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