One of the beauties of Toronto is its diversity, the fact that hundreds of ethnic groups from all over the world congregate here in this metropolis and give their distinct flavour to this urban mosaic of cultures.
Since I had already taken my European visitors on a walking tour of downtown, covering most of the main sights, as well as on a bicycling tour of Toronto’s waterfront, I decided it was time to show them some of Toronto’s residential neighbourhoods for an authentic feel of the city away from the big tourist sites.
We started in the East end and drove through East York, an up and coming neighbourhood, originally working class, where many of the older bungalows are now being upgraded into two-story homes. Crossing the Leaside Bridge over the Don River, we explored the upscale Leaside Neighbourhood, featuring beautifully kept houses sheltered by a canopy of huge trees.
Making our way over through the equally upscale Moore Park Neighbourhood we crossed the Mount Pleasant ravine to get to the highrise towers of Yonge Street. Further west on St. Clair I turned north towards Upper Canada College, one of Toronto’s foremost private high schools, an appropriate anchor point for the elite Forest Hill neighbourhood. On our drive through this exclusive area, my visitors noticed all the horseshoe-shaped driveways in front of the mansions, something that I had never even noticed before.
Heading back down to St. Clair we drove past the multi-ethnic area around Bathurst Street, continuing our trek westwards towards Corso Italia, another Italian neighbourhood in Toronto. My European visitors commented on how green the city is, something that struck them as very different from many European cities. They also noticed that the residential neighbourhoods very extremely quiet and peaceful and that all the hustle and bustle and noise was confined to the main streets. We enjoyed looking at the little corner stores, displaying flowers, fruits and vegetables and the lively…