Thursday, May 1, 2014

My Toronto is not the mayor - part one

It’s May 1 - May Day - and I’m depressed. Spring is late. There’s been too much rain. I fret about my kitchen renovations. Moreover, as above, Toronto’s battered newspaper boxes - pay and free - today offer the latest headlines on our mayor.

A city yearning for international respect and approval features, on checking a few minutes ago, in nine hundred and eighty-eight English-language news stories. From the New York Times to the BBC, Deutsche Welle to West Hawaii Today, to Vanity Fair, it’s all about the mayor. 

As a retired journalist, I understand. Great story. As a Torontonian, I cringe. The story has followed me for months in the United States, East Asia and South America. When asked my home, I used to reply ‘Toronto’ rather than ‘Canada’. Certainly not because I’m embarrassed about being Canadian, but Toronto is surely large enough to be recognized by anyone with a modicum of awareness. However, I now simply mutter ‘Canada’ and hope the questioner doesn’t seek more specificity. 

Toronto is not the greatest city on the planet. It is not a ‘world class’ city, a description that makes me want to gag. But, it is a major (by some measurements, third-largest city in the United States and Canada), highly livable place.

Today, in my gloom, I’m reminded that many kind readers have encouraged me to do more writing, more than just a blog. That’s unlikely to happen. However, some of you have shown an interest in where I live and, presumably, not just because of the mayor. So, I will somewhat depart from the blog’s original intention and, burrowing in my dusty digital albums, travel at home.

This is not meant to be a comprehensive look at Toronto, more a cursory overview, one man's passing thoughts. Pictures in the posts to come were taken over the years and not with this blog in mind. There are many fine blogs entirely devoted to the city. 

Just remember, my city is not the mayor.