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Toronto: where to shop, what to see

As a Brit, I feel quite at home in Canada. The spellings are the same, and British-isms abound. Recently, I decided to explore my Canadian roots more by going to Toronto.

Toronto is a strange mix between London and New York. When it was settled by Europeans, it was actually named “York” for a while.

Toronto is an easy city to get around. It has a very simple layout plan and a great subway system. The city has many green spaces, and it’s beautiful to walk around there, as it feels so wide-open. Canadian flags fly everywhere and maples trees line the streets. Young Street used to be in the Guinness Book of Records as the longest street. You do feel rather young walking down it (especially when you’re walking past some porn stores). It’s also a traditional spot for gatherings.

I went for a walk around the harbour to check out Lake Ontario. This is the smallest of the Great Lakes, but it makes up for it by being quite deep. Although it has suffered from pollution in the past, efforts have been made to clean it up and the results are noticeable.

After the lake, I saw my first hockey game, and thought it was quite violent! Hockey is so popular in Canada that Tim Horton, a famous player, has an entire fastfood chain named after him (try the coffee). But I was surprised to learn that when it comes to the lower league, hockey players get bussed around by night so they don’t have to pay for their hotel rooms. No wonder some have trouble moving ranks, how can they play well if they have to sleep on a bus?

Besides sporting attractions, you have to check out Toronto’s churches, such as St. Michael’s Cathedral. For sinners, I recommend shopping and eating on Bloor Street.

Sadly, I didn’t get a chance to check out Queen’s Park, named after my namesake, Queen Victoria. Before the park opened, the location was dominated by an insane asylym. Today, the park houses the Ontario Legislative Building, prompting the joke that “nothing’s changed.”

Other sites I recomment in Toronto is Chinatown (amazing food), the University of Toronto (great campus), and, if you’d like to do more walking and shopping, go to Yorkville.

Victoria Aitken’s latest single is “I’ll Be Your Bitch.”