In ‘Saga City, too…and ‘saga City is the short form for Mississauga…a city that borders on toronto’s west side…almost a million people there. Best known for Mayor ‘Hurricane’ Hazel McCallium who, and could be wrong, will be 92 when her next term runs out.
Up until Nov 1, 2009 I had spent better part of the last 25 years living in that area.
Though I have generally gone back to using my own name, I’m still using “Stranded in Toronto” as a bit of a hook line for this blog and on Twitter. For the record, there was a slight bit of excitement in my 15 year old body when we first moved here (I turned 16 the weekend after we arrived)…but I have never wanted to live here.
The city is too big for me, first off. I know my American friends are always surprised to realize Toronto compares to the likes of Chicago in size. I’m not sure about Europe, but I remember how shocked I was to visit the world’s “banking capital” or Zurich only to find out that city is roughly one tenth the size.
Part of the Canadian problem…we’re about 35 million strong(ish)…and 5 million are right here. About 15% of our population are in the General Toronto Area.
I’ve recently heard commercials about how people, and I want to say it is Hong Kong or something…have 15000 people per sq km and in Canada we have, like three (don’t quote me, numbers aren’t right, but you get the gist). If you take Toronto out of the picture, we’re probably down to one.
No wonder Canadians are so lonely. Not only does it get damned cold, but we’re fucking spread out.
Again, not exactly true when you figure we have four other cities now more than a million (Montreal, Vancouver, Edmonton and my hometown of Calgary).
In Calgary, however, there are a million spread over 500 sq kms…while Toronto proper (not including amalgamation nor suburbs) is 2.5 mill over about 90 sq km.
Long story short (too late), Toronto is too fucking big.
That plus I always have that longing for my mountains.
Funny thing…I now live in a town of 800…maybe slightly smaller than I’d like, but a drastic improvement over the urban cement…but I want my mountains.
Probably part of the reason I was quite upset by not getting this most recent employment possibility is that I would have had significant travel west. It might have helped me to quench that thirst for the white caps.
I’ve even spoken to my current boss about a transfer if our company has any openings in Calgary or Edmonton…though, given the choice, I’d rather live in a smaller town like Nelson, BC (they filmed the Steve Martin-Darryl Hannah film, Roxanne, there).
Most people want to retire to the south…I want to have my cake in the northwest…does this make me crazy?
Probably not, but the fact I’m typing this and tapping my toe to the Star Wars Cantina band currently just might…ooooohhhh…and followed by Darth Vader’s march!