Even though the smooth elevator was ascending, passing scores of floors in a blink of an eye, for the first few moments, I thought I was traveling back in time. And then almost immediately, it felt like Deja Vu.
As the elevator doors opened, the huddled crowd dispersed and immersed itself into one of the most spectacular views. Standing at the large skydeck, we were looking at the concrete jungle before us. Spreading far and wide, the landscape was dotted with tall curvy buildings, green lush parks, freeways, exchange roads, baseball stadiums, city trains and large open spaces that bordered the deep blue waters. From across the shore, small jets, were taking off from the island’s little runway. Everything and everyone appeared tiny from where we stood (543 m above ground) and yet so undefinably magnificent. And then I sondered – the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as our own—populated with our own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around us like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that one will never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk. And then I felt a tap on my shoulder. Still feeling lost in thoughts, I tried to focus on the vast faded prussian sky. The sun was warm and the clouds, like stretched cotton wool, hung loosely across the curved horizon. Moving to the bottom of this canvas, there were ferries, private boats and yachts docked along the lake front, as if sun bathing in the afternoon sky. A perfect urban city view.
And after sauntering around the city blocks for over a day, I could best describe Toronto as a cross of Chicago and New York. The CN tower as synonyms for Willis (Sears) of Chicago and Empire State of New York. Lake Ontario replacing, Lake Michigan and River hudson, in Toronto. Yonge-Dundas Square as the city’s commercial center, much like Magnificent Mile of Chicago and Time’s Sqauare of New York. From offering bikers friendly commute to peak hour traffics. From ever rising and curvaceous skyline to open water front with ferry ride options on Lake Ontario to the Centre island. From road signs in English, French and kilometers to global cuisines. From warm and activity filled summers to quiet, ferocious and snow slapped winters. From downtown bustling with night life to peaceful mornings in city suburbs. Toronto offers it all – for every make of mankind – a truly cosmopolitan city. It was a home, away from home and we loved every bit of it.
And before I bid goodbye to my version of Toronto, I have to say that it is a must visit for anyone who loves urban landscapes. And Toronto, you din’t let me down.
And since, I am on this page, exhorting and explaining in detail, I have to express that I was in two minds while writing this particular post. Having, always strictly used this blog as a media of sharing my recipes and food experiments, I couldn’t help but share this find. I couldn’t refrain but share my take away and experience of this world class city of Toronto. For those, who may relate to what I said, I felt, I can promise that you will not be disappointed with Toronto, even if you choose to visit it again, and again.
And before I forget, a very happy Rakshabandhan to all siblings out there – even if you are a group of sisters or only brothers or combination of both. Siblings protect each other and this is a festival to celebrate that bonding and promise of togetherness.