So, I move to Toronto....

In this thread: http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=157350

I asked people about Toronto. I thought I’d let all of the helpful people there know that I did in fact move here, and wanted to thank everyone again for the information. Sorry about the length of this response; there was a lot to say.

ResIspaLoquitor, presumably speaking for himself, commented on the freeways. I have to admit, whenever I feel homesick for Los Angeles, I drive on the 401 at rush hour. It isn’t quite as intense as the 10 at the same time, mainly because the drivers are Canadian and are therefore unlikely to shoot me, but also because the traffic is moving at a slower pace than I would expect. It is still tight, quick moving and congested, but not as fast as the 10 freeway through down town. The collector lanes do make things interesting, causing me every single time to have to cross four lanes of traffic in half a kilometer to get to my exit.

Weary, in case you were curious, it is a great place for kids – better, I think, than Los Angeles. I can’t get the “eh” right, although my wife is doing pretty well. Multicultural understates the degree to which TO is, well, multicultural.

Mnemosyne I was given a copy of the book when I moved here, and was pleased to get many, although not all, of the inside jokes. What I find interesting about the traffic isn’t the traffic per se, but the parking. Toronto, the city were parking is illegal. I was on Queen St. with not one but two lawyers in the car (and I’m a software developer, reasonably good at deciphering complex instructions) and each alleged parking place required a five minute discussion to determine if it was, in fact, legal to park there. Matt_mcl makes much of the fact that Canada has the least-subsidized mass-transit system in North America. This no longer impresses me; I mean, what’s plan B, to drive? Ha, you can drive (although as far as I can tell, gas costs about $2.80 a gallon), but you can’t park when you get there, now can you? Sorry, this isn’t even a pet peeve, I just find it amusing.

I still haven’t really gotten used to the LCBO, mainly because, well, I drink a lot of wine, and we have a lot of it in California. On the other hand, I’ve found I’m now addicted to Tim Horton’s. I can’t figure it out; I typically drink coffee black, but every time we’re out, I want to get a double-double and a box of timbits. I’m pretty sure one of those “doubles” includes opium.

I wound up moving to what I’m pretty well convinced at the sticks (Eglinton and Keele, in case anyone is curious). Housing costs are a fraction of what they are in LA, even for the Very Nice Areas. There are areas that are a little hard on the eyes, but none that feel anywhere near as dangerous as some of the better areas in LA. My real estate agent (born and raised in Toronto) warned us that this area was so dangerous that he wouldn’t walk around after dark, and I have absolutely no concerns about it, other than the general prudence one has in a large city of any sort. I couldn’t believe that single murders actually made the front page of the paper; they simply aren’t that big news in LA.

I can’t even begin to address RickJay’s post, other than by saying I seem to agree with him in all areas that I am familiar with. Toronto has areas that aren’t beautiful, some that are, and it is cleaner than any major city I’ve seen in the States, with the possible exception of Seattle. I would point out that the housing prices you mentioned were before the Looney decided to climb against the Greenback; I managed to buy about half way up that climb. The only bad taxes, really, is that killer double sales tax (15% vs. the 8.25 I’m used to), and the levy on gasoline (which I happen to agree with).

The weather, while a definite switch from LA, hasn’t been that bad, since I discovered military surplus trench coats, and thermal underwear. And not going outside, of course. I rode a motorcycle for a very long time, and driving in snow is not unlike riding a bike in the rain; the same type a degree of caution make survival a lot more likely. I have been here a short enough time that I still find the snow pretty and pleasant, but I recognize that they didn’t have to call in the army to move it this year, either.

In case anyone is curious, I am currently a seasonal resident (I still spend time in the States and have a house in LA), but am planning on actually immigrating, thanks to the lowering of required points. Oddly, there is more work here in my field than there was in LA, and they give a break to high-tech workers when it comes to getting a work permit, making my life even easier when I do go job searching.

Toronto is a nice city, very cosmopolitan, much better organized than LA (which is not much of a compliment, I’m afraid), although not entirely unlike the City of the Angels. The one thing I will say may or may not make sense. While it is perhaps true that the Canadian friendliness and niceness are a myth, the country and Toronto seem to be in a collectively better mood than the States and Los Angeles. In a way that’s difficult to describe, the people take themselves less seriously, they seem to be less worried and less snappy than those in LA and the States. Obviously, this isn’t universally true; there are still high-strung jerks here, but collectively, the place just seems happier.

I’ve seen and learned to be afraid of the black squirrels, but have yet to discover snow snakes.

cowgirl gave a lot of useful information for which I am terribly grateful. As it happens, I live in the neighborhood described as “a pleasant change from the generally flat Toronto”, a phrase written by someone who hasn’t tried climbing those hills after the snow has turned to ice. The only thing I don’t like is that I’m about two miles from the subway station, but it’s an easy walk or quick bus ride, and the subways are nice here; convenient, quick, and they go more or less to the places I’d like to go. I’m actually more of a bookstore person than a music/films person, but seem to have found the areas that are lousy with bookstores, so life is looking up.

I would comment on politics, but I’m afraid I still don’t get it. There seem to be five or six parties, all of them fairly liberal from my point of view, with the Liberals predominating. I still find the East/West conflict and the Quebec/everyone else conflict confusing, even after the Conan thread in the Pit.
Thanks again everyone.

Hey, we’re glad you’re here and that you like it !

Don’t fret about the politics: my husband has lived here almost two years and he’s nearly got it figured out (the four - no, three - no, how many? federal parties, the provincial parties that sometimes have the same name but are not necessarily associated … the election for mayor - where they’re not affiliated with parties, but one candidate shared the name of a party (like running in America as John Republican, but not ‘officially’ affiliated with the Repubs … Quebec, the West, etc …)

From what I know about American politics, it seems like our far-right would be considered pretty ‘left’ across the border. Example: even they are not strongly against same-sex marriage. (A friend of mine went to college in Illinois, he always gets a kick out of being the right-wing arsehole in Canada and the pinko leftie in America, while not changing his opinions at all !)

Keele and Eglinton is pretty far out, is that Etobicoke? I sometimes pass through it on my way up to York.

Don’t worry, everyone knows Tim Hortons puts crack in their coffee. There’s no other explanation. (Have you tried the danishes? mmm … )

And yes, the mood here is running pretty high … what with the gay marriage thing, and everyone now talking about pot smoking, and the days finally getting longer …

Welcome to the city! Good to see that our special “Opium Blend” at Timmy’s has caught your attention. Give some to the kids! Puts hair on their chest.

Don’t worry about the political situation here. It probably won’t affect you except in the most peripheral ways, unless a Liberlal MP comes to your house to hide out from the fallout of the Sponsorship scandal.

And congratulations on spelling Eglinton right. You know that you pronounce it EglinGton, though, right? Ask any 10 Torontonians to spell Eglinton, and 8 of them will spell it with a G, because that’s how we all say it.

And cowgirl is right. Now that the gay pot smokers are getting married, everyone is just generally more jovial!

SPLIFFS & DILDOES FOR EVERYONE!

Hi!

Welcome and I’m glad you like it here. Another victim, er, I mean, ‘guest’, for the TorDopes!

The really ironic thing about Eglinton is that a hundred years ago, it was spelled “Eglington”, but pronunciation changed, dropping the ‘ing’ to ‘in’, and the spelling followed. And now it’s changed back.

Ans for the mood running high, it’s the lengthening days that are doing it. Definitely. :slight_smile:

Interesting discussion of ‘Eglinton’. (Also glad to see it hasn’t yet been mixed up with Islington.)

Speaking of prononciation, any explanations for ‘Etobicoke’?

It comes from the question asked by the first settlers to arrive there : " Eh ! Toby ! Coke ?" :smiley:

But, see, it’s pronounced “Etobicoe,” with a silent K unlike any I have ever seen !

Welcome to the T-dot!

As a fellow yank who’s lived here for 4 years now (I married a canuck guy), I have to say I love, love, love it here and don’t ever plan on going back. I feel like I “belong” here, and I never felt that way in any of the 10+ towns I lived in in the states.

Greetings bashere! I actually work just down the street from you (Eglinton and Dixie in Mississauga).

Keele isn’t all that bad. You’ll hear of more trouble from Jane and Finch (although I’ve been there and didn’t feel threatened).

About parking. I believe confused aliens on crack were involved in the writing of our parking laws so don’t worry about trying to decipher them. After 6:30 parking is free (at least at most places). Anytime before that prepare to pay $5-20 in parking.

Welcome to Toronto!

Another Torontonian checking in.

Please, do write more impressions of the city - the good, the bad and the ugly.

I attribute the good mood to the awful year past - what with SARS and a variety of other downers.

And today it was even warm! Well, above freezing, anyway.

They now sell Krispy Kreme at my Loblaws, so I kind of feel like I’m in middle America right now.

By the way: Have you been to Allan Gardens yet? The ROM? The AGO?

A-HA! GOT YOU ALL!

Thanks, bashere for getting all of these Toronto Dopers to pop their heads up. I’ll expect to see everyone of you at the next gathering!! (With apologies to Lissla Lissar and Sunspace, who actually have made the trek, and detop who’s a Montreal interloper. :D)

Oh, and welcome to the Big Smoke, bashere!

Okay, so when is the next TorDope? :slight_smile: I tried to get up some interest in January, but the thread never went anywhere. Musta been the minus-20 temperatures.

Oh, and if you go to the AGO, don’t miss the Tabletop next door!

Hmmm… must have missed that thread. I’ll be back in Toronto between the beginning of March and the end of April, so I’d be happy with dates in that range. :slight_smile:

The next part of your invitation will be Montreal Sugardope 2004, March 12 to 14.

Well, if we’ve got Sugardope in March, it seems sometime in April for a TorDope would work out well. That’d be good for my schedule as well, since much of my March will be consumed with helping my dad move.

Well, my big problems are the result of moving from the States to a parlimentary government. For instance, I have yet to figure out what a “riding” is, or what it means to dissolve the government (although I have a vauge idea on both). Additionally, it really seems that we have the “Liberals”, and “Everyone else”. My absolute biggest problem, though, is that I’m getting all of my poltical education from Rick Mercer and Snakes And Ladders…

(actually, I get most of my views on Canadian politics here. There are a lot of Canadian Dopers on the SDMB, I’ve noticed)

I am in fact still in the city of Toronto, closer to York than to Etobicoke. It’s only bad because the cool pedestrian areas aren’t in easy walking distance.

I never thought I’d think of 27F as “warm”, but I caught myself saying that a couple of days ago. I can’t believe we are getting two days above freezing. I may go sunbathe. BTW, the sun does melt eventually, right? I was here in July, and I distinctly remember the lack of snow.

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Originally posted by Dante
And congratulations on spelling Eglinton right.

[QUOTE]

You know, I never noticed it wasn’t spelled the way it was pronouced. I only know how to spell it because I have to MapQuest things so often. Now if I can only get the pronunciation of the ctiy down. Tarwrano?

I’m glad I’m not the only one! It might be because I moved from a warm climate, but I had a lot of people questioning my sanity.

I certainly will, although I should warn you that my first post in that regard is likely to be a rant about things that people believe about LA that aren’t true. It really is a great city (and a beautiful country, to the extent that I’ve visited it) so I’m likely to write more good things than bad.

Gadfly I haven’t been much of anywhere. I’ve been to the ROM, but that was a long time ago, when I visited here in 1989. It is on the list. We’ve been walking, mostly, and walked on the Beltline Trail last week. Strangely, we are waiting for the weather to warm up before going indoors….

Cerowyn, I’m looking forward to the gathering, and didn’t want to be left out. I’m trying to get over to Montreal, matt_mcl, I promise.