1. What makes you happy in this city?

Local

What makes me happy in this city is visiting the Toronto Islands. The Toronto Islands are a small chain of islands just to the south of the city and can be accessed via a short ferry ride. They are the perfect spot for a summer picnic and a bike ride; I love being able to see the Toronto skyline from there. It is very peaceful and you feel very far away from the bustle of the city.

Anabela Change of View 1

Visitor

I like the photography and art scene here; I have become close to it and the people who love making and looking at images. There are many events happening here like exhibitions, slide show nights, outdoor shows, workshops, or reviews – and all are welcome. The photo scene in particular is not snooty, but imbued with a good feeling of togetherness; we all help each other out.

001

2. WHAT INSPIRES YOU IN THIS CITY?

Local

One of the most inspiring things about Toronto is its public library system because whenever I am feeling stuck on an idea, one of the first things I do is to open a book. Toronto possesses one of the world’s most well-used public library systems and I really do not take it for granted that I can walk up the street or sign in on the website and then enjoy access to nearly any book that I want … without having to pay for it! I have been using this system ever since I was a child and I am still impressed with it.

Anabela Change of View 2

Visitor

Walking through the streets after dark, Toronto is a wonderful city at night; you notice things that you never actually see in the day. Buildings become alive, lights shine from the windows of houses as people settle in after work. The quietness outside draws attention to the life you see in those split seconds when you walk past their homes. It is almost like a film set: quite tranquil, staged almost. For a big city, Toronto is very quiet, calm, and almost sleepy.

002

3. WHAT WORKS FOR YOU VERY WELL IN THE CITY?

Local

As Toronto is very neighborhood-oriented, and as each neighborhood is distinct and different from the others, I like that I can travel from neighborhood to neighborhood and feel as though I am visiting different cities altogether. One of my favorite Toronto neighborhoods is the University of Toronto campus where I work and where I used to be a student myself. It is very peaceful, yet also quite close to the bustle of the financial district.

Anabela Change of View 3

Visitor

The city is easy to get around and the water is close by, so I head down there to relax and walk about. I like its industrial side; it is rare to be so close to a working harbor in a large city, to be able to sit and take in the view, a mix of industrial and urban landscape.

003

4. WHAT WOULD YOU DO BETTER?

Local

Something that makes me sad about Toronto is that it is a relatively new city and there aren’t many old buildings that have been preserved. All too often, older buildings are torn down to make way for new structures. I would love to live in a city that works to preserve its cultural heritage and architecture.

Anabela Change of View 4

Visitor

I would like to see better planning for the construction of condominiums near the waterfront. The first time I visited Toronto, ten years ago, you could see the water from a distance. Now, there is a sea of tall buildings blocking the view. There are some great events happening at the water, but I feel that the city should invest and work harder to preserve the area by perhaps granting building permits that will also complement and enhance the waterfront, rather than the constant concrete structures that create a divide between the city and the water.

004

5. HOW WOULD YOU DO IT BETTER?

Local

As Johan pointed out, there is a great divide between the water and the city. It is so easy to forget that we are situated on a lake because we feel so cut off from it. I would love to see waterways incorporated into the structure of the city. Obviously, this would be a massive and expensive undertaking, but it could have truly beautiful, inspiring results.

Anabela Change of View 5

Visitor

Anabela brings up a good point: Toronto is a relativity new city and you do notice that many of the old buildings have been replaced by glass and concrete. As a newer city, it does seem to lack an emphasis on protecting its heritage. In future, I would like to see better planning and protection of what is left.

005