A Tale of Two Cities

I am leaving you.

The centre of the universe beckons me.  The cultural mecca of our great country calls me.  The jewel in the crown lures me like hapless bait on a fishing line.

Yes, I am going to Toronto for a week.

It is time again to frolic in all things Zoomer in Znaimer-land.

I have to admit every time I visit T-O as it is affectionately known, I am welcomed like royalty.  Torontonians know how to treat us Westerners well and I willingly succumb to their seductive fawning.  I love being wined and dined and I respond by being so appreciative of being allowed to set foot on such hallowed ground.

But this time, I want to bring Toronto a special gift from Vancouver…some suggestions on how to improve Toronto… if that is even possible.

Let’s start with Toronto’s mayor…no let’s not go there.  

However, let’s see what Vancouver’s picture of pulchritude, Mayor Gregor Robertson has to offer the denizens of Hogtown.  Why it’s a free year’s supply of his own organic Happy Planet products with guaranteed  green results.  Those who imbibe the sweet nectar of Lotusland will be sporting Birkenstocks before they know it.

And there’s more. Toronto’s Mayor Rob Ford is keen on revitalizing the Toronto Harbourfront and Vancouver’s mayor has the solution for him.  Robertson suggests Ford destroy the Gardiner Expressway with its endless flow of traffic and replace it with bicycle lanes, community gardens and chicken coops.

The resultant noise reduction (cackling notwithstanding) would lull all those highrise dwellers to a more peaceful sleep.  They would be oblivious to the fact they have no view of Lake Ontario and can’t afford their mortgages.

Cycling to work each day will strengthen their bodies and fortify their souls for the bad news which awaits them on Bay Street.

They could revel in good health as they enjoy fresh free-range eggs and veggies for their breakfast frittatas washed down with more Happy Planet juices.

They could pick beautiful flowers from their community garden and wear them in their lapels on the way to the Occupy Toronto protest wishing they were in warmer Vancouver instead.

Robertson continues his benevolence by consoling Torontonians who haven’t seen their beloved Toronto Maple Leafs anywhere near the Stanley Cup playoffs since 1967. He is offering them free satellite coverage of our own 2010 Stanley Cup Riots to show them what they are missing.

His generosity is neverending.  As Toronto has never won a bid to host the Olympics, he wants to share the love.  He will send Toronto the bill still owing on the Olympic Village at False Creek.

And Con-Air will continue to flourish.  Apart from sending suspected felons back to their cities of origin, Vancouver will ship back all ex-Torontonians who complain about our high cost of living…free of charge.

And finally, all citizens of Toronto the Good will receive a barrel of pure, unadulterated Vancouver rainwater.  They can sip it, wash in it or simply splash in it.  If they want more, we would be happy to sell it to them. 

I love Toronto…but I love you more Vancouver.

I miss you already.

I’ll be back soon.


April Lewis

(as published in November 2011 in the Peace Arch News)