Photo: William Perugini/Shutterstock

14 Signs You Were Born and Raised in Toronto

Student Work
by Rebecca Burton Mar 24, 2015

1. You don’t live in Toronto; you live in [insert neighbourhood here].

You’re not just a Torontonian; you define yourself by your neighbourhood. You might be from Parkdale or the Annex or maybe the east end’s Riverdale or the Danforth. No matter where you live, you love it and you’re proud to show it off.

2. You know how to walk.

You don’t meander from left to right or stroll in the middle of the sidewalk. You know how to get from Point A to Point B — the fastest way possible. To you, there’s nothing worse than getting stuck behind someone slow with no possibility of overtaking. Why don’t they teach ‘walking’ in high school?

3. You complain about the TTC but still use it.

The strikes, the delays, the angry drivers — the TTC is the bane of your existence. But if you don’t own a bicycle or know how to navigate the PATH, then transit is your saviour. Plus, there’s no way you’d own a car with this traffic.

4. You know the phrase ‘Believe in the Lord’ all too well.

5. You shudder at every Rob Ford headline.

But you still tuned in to Jimmy Kimmel to watch our crack-smoking ex-mayor make his late-night debut. Even out of office, you question: what will he do next?

6. You mercilessly diss our city’s sport records but you still own either a Maple Leafs, Raptors, or Blue Jays jersey.

7. Brunch is your Sunday ritual.

You probably already have your go-to spot that serves wasabi-infused caesars, huevos rancheros, and handcrafted scones. Pretentious? Maybe. But you know its well worth the lineup. For you, brunch is more than breakfast — it’s an occasion.

8. If you don’t already have a tattoo, you’ve at least considered it.

The same applies to owning plaid (probably from ‘The Black Market’ vintage). This city is chock-full of hipsters, and whether you like it or not, the style takeover has probably influenced your clothing decisions at some point or another.

9. Every time a Toronto weekly goes under, a little piece of you dies.

Remember The Grid? Or its predecessor Eye Weekly? (R.I.P.) At least you still have NOW magazine as your go-to Toronto bible, despite its pages of adult classifieds and Dan Savage love advice.

10. Forget Kevin Bacon — you have six degrees of separation to a Degrassi character.

Hey, remember when Drake rapped on that show?

11. You’ve lost some of your dignity at The Dance Cave.

Your first time was probably underage or just after you got your student ID. There is also a very good chance you rocked out to Phoenix while dancing next to “Pajama Man.” You definitely hit your peak if you ended the night with a Big Fat Burrito or Smoke’s Poutinerie after the lights came on to Lily Allen’s “Fuck You.”

12. You’re a restaurant aficionado.

It’s nearly impossible to keep up with your top-10 list in this city’s culturally diverse restaurant scene. From chef Grant van Gameren’s Bar Isabel that dishes up whole grilled octopus to Queen West’s Grand Electric that proves people will wait hours for a taco, our chefs are local celebrities.

13. You will do anything for patio season.

There’s always that one week, mid-winter, when the weather skyrockets and you tell yourself winter is over. You call your friends, put on your spring jacket, and hit up the nearest patio for a beer. In the midst of your patio bliss, you forget the pain of winter. Inevitably, it snows even harder the next week.

14. You’re a lot of things rolled into one.

So you’re from Toronto, eh? So you mean you’re a quarter English, a little bit Italian, or part Japanese? We might wear our pride on our sleeves but we’re also proud of our diversity. From Greektown to Little Portugal to Chinatown, we know we’re a melting pot and we’ve got the festivals to prove it.

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