Hello, Toronto!

I moved to Toronto last week, and the city has been treating me well. With lilacs, apple blossoms, columbines, and roses in bloom, and everybody riding their bikes, it seems like the perfect season to start over. I’ve never been in love with Toronto; for me, it was the city everybody ran away to when they “gave up” on their hometowns or other smaller, less exciting places. But now that I am here, and I’ve made the decision to make this place my home, I’m quickly realizing why writers, artists, and other interesting folk choose to live in Toronto. I’m so glad I’ve ended up here.

I’ve been walking everywhere, and drawing little maps from memory in my diary, marking intersections, cafés, and my friends’ homes, among other noteworthy places. I’ve been stealing lilacs and thrift store dresses, drinking grapefruit soda in the sunshine, and writing/ drawing/ daydreaming in each park I stumble into. I’ve been here for a week now, renting a summer sublet from a friend, and have created a lovely routine: I get outta bed around 8:30 – 9 in the morning, make coffee, write for a few hours, do some internetting, and then I go out for a walk and/or a friend-date, I read (currently reading Simone de Beauvoir, Twyla Tharp, and Eric Erlandson), and I go to bed looking forward to the next day. I’m feeling less fearful of getting lost, and I am feeling very inspired. I already feel more loved and supported after one week in Toronto than I ever did all those years in Guelph. I am convinced Guelph was a major cause of my chronic exhaustion and illness, because I’ve felt so much healthier after spending time in my hometown, and now in the city.

I have a cozy writing corner by the bay window in my bedroom, where I get to watch the trains go by, and listen to music blasting from car windows, including one car that stopped in front of my home in a traffic jam, and played one of my favourite Pearl Jam songs, In Hiding, which I took as a good sign. I watch cyclists go by and hope I can find (or fake) the confidence to take my new-ish road bike, named Pancake Breakfast, out into the city streets soon. There’s a bus stop at my doorstep, and a post office and photobooth on my block.

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{Click the images to make them bigger.} 1. Clara Bee Lavery; we drew pictures of each other the first day I woke up in Toronto. 2. This is the picture she drew of me. 3. Sticker graffiti, fight boredom in Lindsay, Ontario.

Readers & weirdos in Toronto, I wanna hang out with you!

Torontoingly Yours,
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P.S.: If you’ve benefited from my writing in any way – if my words have inspired you, helped you feel less alone, or sparked some weird feeling within you; if you’ve felt encouraged, or curious, or comforted – please consider compensating me by offering a donation of any amount. Whether you’ve been reading my writing for years, or just stumbled into me this afternoon, I invite you to help me sustain the process!

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