The City of Toronto has always wanted to be considered a “world class” city. Toronto has just surpassed Chicago in population, becoming the fourth largest city in North America. (Behind only Mexico City; New York; and L.A.)
Back at the time when the 19th Century was ending. Toronto had earned the moniker “Hogtown”. (A name the city actually merited as it was a major supplier of pork to the U.K. and much of Europe). By 1900 a half million pigs were slaughtered annually right downtown in the area bounded by Front Street and Mill Street. This area is now known as the “Distillery District” – a renovated trendy, upscale, tourist area.
We were known as “Hollywood North” due to the lower cost of producing big budget films in the city because of the lower dollar, first-rate film crews and safer working environment.
But of late, we have stumbled badly in our quest to be truly “World Class”.
Firstly, we elected a profane, alcohol besotted, crack-addled, homophobic mayor. We built condominiums along the waterfront to obscure the waterfront from public view. Then we built insanely expensive subway lines to service marginal areas.
In any truly “World Class City”, the airport is accessible by direct subway or rail. Not so Toronto. Our Public Transport to our airport requires both Subway and Bus rides.
To make things worse, our private, regularly scheduled airport bus service will be closing this Fall! The closing of the $27 (one way) bus service leave travelers with only municipal public transport or a $60 (+) taxi fare.
So is Toronto a “World Class” destination? A lot of out backpackers think so. We did a stellar job hosting “World Pride”; but there is still a lot of work to do.
So to visitors, backpackers and business travelers. Welcome to Toronto. A city that always strives to be better.
“HOGTOWN”: The Distillery District, circa 1920.
St Lawrence Market around the turn f the 20th Century.
“Distillery District” today.
Airport Express Bus ceasing operations in Fall of 2014.