I like it when drawers close, when everything I own is neatly organized, when files belong to appropriate folders, when dishes are put away, when socks match, when previously unintelligible languages suddenly make sense, when solved mysteries bring new perspectives, and when I suddenly know what I’m doing.

I don’t mind messes, unexpected issues, challenges and novelty—as long as I get to put them straight, understand it and learn something new.

When I write stories or take pictures, I usually pick a theme and work around the idea, exploring angles and perspectives. I feel like I’m putting order into chaos. I’m not exactly qualified to fix everything wrong in this world so this is my tiny contribution.

Basically, this is my version of unfucking my life—putting words on what I experience, capturing what I see.

The pictures I took in Toronto have been sitting in my Pictures folder—told you, I like folders—for a week.

Something about them was bothering me.

I finally got it—there’s no theme.

And it’s not my fault. I came to the conclusion that there’s no theme because these days, Toronto is nonthematic.

The Neil Young concert? Easy to write about.

The rest?

Not so much.

It’s foggy. Like that. Much harder to find a theme.

Driving into Toronto, fog from the lake
Driving into Toronto, fog from the lake
Driving into Toronto, fog from the lake
Driving into Toronto, fog from the lake

Forget about typical ethnic neighbourhoods—Jamaicans eat Chinese food, Indians work in Little Italy, Chinese families explore Greek cuisine, and Koreatown is full of white people buying K-pop collectibles.

Trust me, Toronto took multiculturalism to a whole new level. However, it’s definitely more of a mosaic or a “salad bowl” than a Chinese hot pot because all the different ethnicities seem to hang out with their own group. Case in point, it’s shockingly rare to see mixed couples.

Now, there’s one thing everybody agrees on in Toronto—it’s always time to eat. This could have been a good theme, I guess. Downtown Toronto seems to be 70% restaurants or eateries, 15% cannabis shops and 25% whatever. Even Paris, where both locals and tourists are obsessed with food, doesn’t have entire streets of just restaurants. This is crazy.

And what do people do when they are done eating? They go grocery shopping! We stayed in a college residence in North York, close to a newish Chinatown. There was a 24/7 supermarket and we explored it at midnight on Sunday—it was packed! And not packed with twentysomething with a serious case of the munchies, but packed with old, respectable Asian couples stocking up on bok choy and sesame oil as if another pandemic was starting overnight.

If you’re in Toronto and into Chinese food, I highly recommended Goubuli (an institution in Beijing), HK Island Bakery and Magic Noodles.

On a side note, I found take-out surprisingly cheap in Toronto, especially Chinese food. It’s delicious and authentic as well!

St. Lawrence Market, Toronto, ON M5E 1C3
St. Lawrence Market, Toronto, ON M5E 1C3
St. Lawrence Market, Toronto, ON M5E 1C3
St. Lawrence Market, Toronto, ON M5E 1C3
St. Lawrence Market, Toronto, ON M5E 1C3
St. Lawrence Market, Toronto, ON M5E 1C3
St. Lawrence Market, Toronto, ON M5E 1C3
St. Lawrence Market, Toronto, ON M5E 1C3
St. Lawrence Market, Toronto, ON M5E 1C3
St. Lawrence Market, Toronto, ON M5E 1C3
St. Lawrence Market, Toronto, ON M5E 1C3
St. Lawrence Market, Toronto, ON M5E 1C3
St. Lawrence Market, Toronto, ON M5E 1C3
St. Lawrence Market, Toronto, ON M5E 1C3
St. Lawrence Market, Toronto, ON M5E 1C3
St. Lawrence Market, Toronto, ON M5E 1C3
St. Lawrence Market, Toronto, ON M5E 1C3
St. Lawrence Market, Toronto, ON M5E 1C3
St. Lawrence Market, Toronto, ON M5E 1C3
St. Lawrence Market, Toronto, ON M5E 1C3
St. Lawrence Market, Toronto, ON M5E 1C3
St. Lawrence Market, Toronto, ON M5E 1C3
St. Lawrence Market, Toronto, ON M5E 1C3
St. Lawrence Market, Toronto, ON M5E 1C3
Flavours & Arts of India festival, Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen St W, Toronto
Flavours & Arts of India festival, Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen St W, Toronto
Flavours & Arts of India festival, Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen St W, Toronto
Flavours & Arts of India festival, Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen St W, Toronto
Flavours & Arts of India festival, Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen St W, Toronto
Flavours & Arts of India festival, Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen St W, Toronto
Flavours & Arts of India festival, Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen St W, Toronto
Flavours & Arts of India festival, Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen St W, Toronto
Flavours & Arts of India festival, Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen St W, Toronto
Flavours & Arts of India festival, Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen St W, Toronto
Flavours & Arts of India festival, Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen St W, Toronto
Flavours & Arts of India festival, Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen St W, Toronto
Flavours & Arts of India festival, Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen St W, Toronto
Flavours & Arts of India festival, Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen St W, Toronto
Flavours & Arts of India festival, Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen St W, Toronto
Flavours & Arts of India festival, Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen St W, Toronto
Flavours & Arts of India festival, Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen St W, Toronto
Flavours & Arts of India festival, Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen St W, Toronto
Flavours & Arts of India festival, Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen St W, Toronto
Flavours & Arts of India festival, Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen St W, Toronto
Hong Kong Island Dim Sum House, 248 Spadina Ave., Toronto, ON M5T 2C2
Hong Kong Island Dim Sum House, 248 Spadina Ave., Toronto, ON M5T 2C2
Hong Kong Island Dim Sum House, 248 Spadina Ave., Toronto, ON M5T 2C2
Hong Kong Island Dim Sum House, 248 Spadina Ave., Toronto, ON M5T 2C2
Hong Kong Island Dim Sum House, 248 Spadina Ave., Toronto, ON M5T 2C2
Hong Kong Island Dim Sum House, 248 Spadina Ave., Toronto, ON M5T 2C2

My other Toronto observation—just an observation, not a theme… hopefully—is that the city is a bit… ahem, rougher than it was before, which is not surprising considering how many people can’t afford food and rent.

People are smoking crack in the middle of the street and the middle of the day, and encampments are getting bigger and bigger. I stopped by the Chinese bakery on Spadina two days in a row, and both times, something happened. On the first day, someone tripping on something started to throw trays around. On the second day, a guy ran in, grabbed a bunch of buns, and ran away. The employees look exhausted and quite scared, apparently, it happens all the time now.

Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen St W, Toronto
Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen St W, Toronto
Spadina Ave., Toronto, ON M5T 2C2
Spadina Ave., Toronto, ON M5T 2C2
Spadina Ave., Toronto, ON M5T 2C2
Spadina Ave., Toronto, ON M5T 2C2
Spadina Ave., Toronto, ON M5T 2C2
Spadina Ave., Toronto, ON M5T 2C2
Spadina Ave., Toronto, ON M5T 2C2
Spadina Ave., Toronto, ON M5T 2C2
Spadina Ave., Toronto, ON M5T 2C2
Spadina Ave., Toronto, ON M5T 2C2
Spadina Ave., Toronto, ON M5T 2C2
Spadina Ave., Toronto, ON M5T 2C2
171 Baldwin St, Toronto, ON M5T 1L9
171 Baldwin St, Toronto, ON M5T 1L9
Baldwin St, Toronto, ON M5T 1L8
Baldwin St, Toronto, ON M5T 1L8
Guy smoking crack, Augusta Ave, Toronto, ON M5T 2L8
Guy smoking crack, Augusta Ave, Toronto, ON M5T 2L8
Grange Ave, Toronto, ON M5T 1E2
Grange Ave, Toronto, ON M5T 1E2
Spadina Ave., Toronto, ON M5T 2C2
Spadina Ave., Toronto, ON M5T 2C2
Spadina Ave., Toronto, ON M5T 2C2
Spadina Ave., Toronto, ON M5T 2C2
People TO (4)Spadina Ave., Toronto, ON M5T 2C2
Spadina Ave., Toronto, ON M5T 2C2
Spadina Ave., Toronto, ON M5T 2C2
Spadina Ave., Toronto, ON M5T 2C2
Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M5T 1G9
Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M5T 1G9
Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M5T 1G9
Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M5T 1G9
Phoebe St, Toronto, ON M5T 1A8
Phoebe St, Toronto, ON M5T 1A8
Queens Quay W, Toronto
Queens Quay W, Toronto
Queens Quay W, Toronto
Queens Quay W, Toronto
Queens Quay W, Toronto
Queens Quay W, Toronto
Bremner Blvd, Toronto, ON M5V 3M9
Bremner Blvd, Toronto, ON M5V 3M9
Front St W, Toronto, ON M5J 1E6
Front St W, Toronto, ON M5J 1E6
Front St W, Toronto, ON M5J 1E6
Front St W, Toronto, ON M5J 1E6

I still like Toronto. It’s lively, it’s different, it’s picturesque…

… and I kind of found themes, after all.

1 Blue Jays Way #3200, Toronto, ON M5V 1J1
1 Blue Jays Way #3200, Toronto, ON M5V 1J1
CN Tower, 290 Bremner Blvd, Toronto, ON M5V 3L9
CN Tower, 290 Bremner Blvd, Toronto, ON M5V 3L9
Union Station Toronto, 65 Front St W, Toronto, ON M5J 1E6
Union Station Toronto, 65 Front St W, Toronto, ON M5J 1E6
Front St W, Toronto, ON M5J 1E6
Front St W, Toronto, ON M5J 1E6
Harbourfront, Toronto, ON
Harbourfront, Toronto, ON
Queens Quay W, Toronto
Queens Quay W, Toronto
Harbourfront, Toronto, ON
Harbourfront, Toronto, ON
Harbourfront, Toronto, ON
Harbourfront, Toronto, ON
Roundhouse Park, 255 Bremner Blvd, Toronto, ON M5V 3M9
Roundhouse Park, 255 Bremner Blvd, Toronto, ON M5V 3M9
Roundhouse Park, 255 Bremner Blvd, Toronto, ON M5V 3M9
Roundhouse Park, 255 Bremner Blvd, Toronto, ON M5V 3M9
Roundhouse Park, 255 Bremner Blvd, Toronto, ON M5V 3M9
Roundhouse Park, 255 Bremner Blvd, Toronto, ON M5V 3M9
Roundhouse Park, 255 Bremner Blvd, Toronto, ON M5V 3M9
Roundhouse Park, 255 Bremner Blvd, Toronto, ON M5V 3M9
Downtown Toronto
25 Grosvenor St, Toronto, ON M7A 2G6
Grosvenor St, Toronto, ON M7A 2G6
Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M5T 1G9
Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M5T 1G9
Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M5T 1G9
Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M5T 1G9
Kensington Market
Toronto, ON
Kensington Market,
Toronto, ON
Spadina Ave., Toronto, ON M5T 2C2
Spadina Ave., Toronto, ON M5T 2C2
Huron St, Toronto, ON M5T 2A8
Huron St, Toronto, ON M5T 2A8
Spadina & Dundas, Toronto
Spadina & Dundas, Toronto
Spadina Ave., Toronto, ON M5T 2C2
Spadina Ave., Toronto, ON M5T 2C2
289 College St, Toronto, ON M5S 2K2
289 College St, Toronto, ON M5S 2K2
Spadina Ave., Toronto, ON M5T 2C2
Spadina Ave., Toronto, ON M5T 2C2
Downtown Toronto
Downtown Toronto
 

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