When I first moved to the Big Smoke, I was going to school and living in Etobicoke, so I didn't get a chance to explore downtown Toronto a whole lot. But when I moved downtown after finishing school and lived in an apartment with some friends, that was like a different life altogether.
Being away from Toronto has shown me how much I really do miss things like:
I miss living with my roommates in our brick townhouse in the heart of downtown Toronto. My friend Heather and I had gone through our public relations program together and our friend Brittany and later, new roommate Kristel, both strangers in the beginning, became fast friends, and are still friends of mine today. It was really nice, being able to come home at the end of our days, make dinner and talk about what had happened at work, and then watch some tv together, play video games, or just chat. I miss those days, girls. :)
I miss walking to the St. Lawrence Market on Saturday mornings with my buddy Paul and having pasta, buying fresh produce and stocking up on perogies. Being able to buy your produce from somewhere other than the grocery store is something that's rare in St. John's. I know we have a couple of little farmer's markets in the city and surrounding areas, but they're nothing like the St. Lawrence Market.
You must know by now that I love cupcakes. I mean, seriously love. So when in a big city like Toronto, there were bakeries and sweet shops that sure, sold cupcakes. But then there were cupcake shops, dedicated to just cupcakes.
Those were the places I used to visit fairly often...so much so, that the staff at one of them began to remember me. I knew then I had a problem. A cupcake-addiction problem...but it's fine, all things in moderation, right? I miss the cupcake shops I'd visit the most, like Prairie Girl Bakery, or Dlish Cupcakes. Both their cupcakes were so delicious.
TTC, but I do miss riding the train sometimes.) I miss getting on the train and letting it take me to wherever I was going, listening to the stops being announced, seeing the people on the train with me, wondering where they were headed. Every once in a while, I'd run into someone I knew on the train (which was rare, since I didn't know very many people in Toronto) and that would always delight me; that in a city of millions, it's still a small world after all.
I miss the atmosphere of the city; so busy and noisy and full of lights and massive buildings and strings of traffic. Those are things that, no matter how much I love St. John's, it just doesn't have, like Toronto does.
My time in Toronto had a big impact on my life and the person I am today. I was out on my own in a city that, while I had visited numerous times on family vacations, was still strange to me. It was a big change. But it was one I had craved and one that I had needed for a while. And because it had such a positive impact on me, there's not a day that goes by that I don't miss that city and all it offered me.
While I do miss Toronto, and still wish I could be back there sometimes, when your home looks like this, it's hard not to feel happy that you're from such a beautiful place like Newfoundland.