Post details: My Kind of Town... but not on the "Top Ten"...


My Kind of Town... but not on the "Top Ten"...

I love Toronto... my family has STRONG roots in this city from the first gaslights to the building of modern city attraction...

I'm pleased to be ranked amongst the city's supporters with my true life's work web site, TorontoGhosts.Org... and was born, raised, and have lived here all my life.


...but ask me how "shocked" I was that Toronto was NOT in the "Top Ten" North American cities to visit, according to Travel and Leisure Magazine?

Not an iota.

Sorry, but I may love this burgh, despite my occasional complaints, but even I recognise that it has all the raw, exciting, and awe-inspiring tourist attraction as a plain donut has an attraction to a fine-foods critic. On occasion, and when necessary, a nice repast... but I can't say I'm waiting on pins and needles to revisit it!

Torontonians have been sold a bill of goods that this is a World Class City in league with New York, Rome, London, and Paris... NOT A CHANCE!

I don't think there's ONE child out there, somewhere outside Canada, who's looking up at his or her parents saying, "Gee, mom and dad... can one day WE go to Toronto?"

Now, for those that would argue this... sit down and think of how you would book a "vacation extraordinaire" to a visitor to this city for one week... without sending them off to Niagara or Wonderland... What, in Toronto, could someone do as a tourist to fill seven days? What sites do we offer? What museums? What history?

Hell, what "is" the Toronto Experience???

Here's what I would do and how I would "market" Toronto to make it at least an INTERESTING destination...

#1: Re-Claim the waterfront... not only to open the beaches, but also re-open/re-build Sunnyside and make the Palais Royale a real happening place again. Sorry, commuters, but the Gardiner and bits of the Lakeshore gotta go! Expensive, but worth it in the long run. I would market this as a "throwback" in history... really pump the idea that this would be a modern equivelant to a Victorian/Edwardian park/amusement area... like an old Blackpool pier in North America.

#2: Leave the Toronto Islands (including the airport) alone. Period. They're fine.

#3: Three Words - Kick A$$ Casino. Try to convince developers to build the equivalent to a MODERN Vegas style casino... something that yes, appeals to adults, but has the right amount of "family fun and shows" to appeal to the masses.

#4: Fund the historic sites... and kick out those mamby-pamby wimps who take these sites and try to pervert them into more "politically correct"/"representing the modern city" folks out of the management positions... learn from the Brits... Our history is NOT boring and it was NOT always pretty... REVEL in it's more eccentric bits and display them! As a re-enactor, I'd love to see a HUGE historical encampment/festival/whatever held within the city! Celebrate ours AND THE WORLD'S heritage. It can be done and should be!

#5: This city needs a multi-million dollar "multicultural museum" like it needs a hole in the head. If people want to see the different and diverse cultures of Toronto (of which there are many and I enjoy 'em all!), have tourists VISIT those areas of the city! Go to Greek Town, Little Italy, China Town, Little India... and all of 'em! Let the local businesses and people reap the benefits of tourism... not some centralized monstrosity that "encompasses all in one place"! This isn't a MASSIVE city, it's a big one (at about 3 million souls) but people CAN and WILL get around it!


Okay, that's a joke... sorta... but it would have been very cool if our own TTC had bought up some of London's old Routemasters when they were pulled off the road in England, did a wee bit of work on them (to make them Left-Entrance or something) and ran them on "tourist routes" as standard vehicles...

Okay, pipe dream... but it's true. It would have been cool.

Toronto is a place known to be a bit boring... plain... and with a throwback to England.

Why not play that up? Why not MARKET that? Why not say, "Yeah, we have cool clubs, a diverse multicultural population, great history, and some neat attractions... but overall, we're a quiet, safe, introspective, almost Victorian city."

What do you think? Would you visit a place like that?


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Comment from: Matty G [Visitor] ·
I certainly agree with your first point. Toronto's waterfront could be such a great magnet for tourists and its own citizens as well, however Mayor Miller has not done much to further that plan.

Also, the gardiner is something that city council is eerie to part with. If it was removed and the result was traffic horror, we'd have a real mess on our hands. Some point to Boston's Big Dig as a solution but it was rife with shoddy work and went overbudget.

Toronto could be in the top 10, but I suspect that we'll have to wait a while for that day to come.
PermalinkPermalink 08/29/06 @ 23:42
Comment from: administration [Member] Email ·
Hey Matty,

Thanks for your comment. I would just like to be able to take the kid and dog to the beaches and not have to worry if they dip their toes in .. ;)

PermalinkPermalink 08/30/06 @ 08:10
Comment from: Mike V. [Visitor] ·
For what it's worth, I think that Toronto is a great town.

BTW, thanks for stopping to comment.. :)
PermalinkPermalink 08/30/06 @ 20:17

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