urban fix

Lately, almost any reason is reason enough for me to flee the monotony (and not so quiet desperation) of this town and head back to Toronto. But the best reason of all, is to connect with family. Yesterday, I grabbed the chance to spend the day with my Number One and her partner. We checked out the incredible venue where they’ll be tying the knot next summer (there’s even a tree house on site!), chatted over lunch on a patio and kicked back for a while at their house. Much more about wedding-related plans in the months to come!

I love my hometown. It excites me to know there are lush, tranquil hideaways in the middle of the city. Sprawling, gorgeous green space that has remained unchanged since I was a kid. I love that the city is defined by so much more than its downtown. And while that core is what most visitors experience when they’re looking for an urban fix, I think the best parts of the city have little to do with it. There are times when the mere thought of shopping gives me a buzz: vintage finds, clothing, decent bookstores, outdoor markets, food (!) and I’ll lap it all up. And still others when I’d have to be dragged kicking and screaming towards a crowd. But what I want and need, is the choice: I can play in traffic, or I can retreat. I can sit amidst a sea of people perfectly content to let my eyes feast, or I can wander away to a tree-line neighbourhood with an independent café, a store teeming with handcrafted goods, and a park. A book in one hand and a great cup of coffee in the other.

For every person who flocks to Toronto to have a mall-experience, I think so many more would rather tap into some insider knowledge that spills the secrets of where to find hidden gems and serene space. The sort of experience that introverts (like me) need to thrive on. I enjoy sharing that with friends, and as always, discovering places that are new to me.

Next summer, I’ll be pulling up stakes and moving back to Toronto; it’s time to go home. Until then, I’ll be shaping plans and dreaming big! Here’s a little of my yesterday …

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