I celebrated my birthday with my husband a few weeks ago and what a fantastic day it was! We checked out some great new shops on Queen Street, west of Bathurst, ate pizza, sat on the rooftop of the Drake Hotel where I drank an icy cold Mojito and just thoroughly enjoyed the day.
As we were walking into all of these beautiful boutiques and through quaint little neighbourhoods I couldn’t help but think about how cozy and intimate Toronto feels. It’s so funny but the city has almost traded places with the suburbs. I remember when I was a kid growing up in Oakville we went to certain stores for certain things. The delicatessen for our meats, the market for fruits and veggies and then over to K-mart for socks and underwear! Ha ha! Do I ever miss those blue light specials!
Now it seems that wherever I go in Ontario I see the same super-centres filled with the same stores Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Loblaws and then of course there is always a Tim Horton’s close by and usually a Shell gas station on one side of the street and an Esso on the other. I know these big players have their place in the market but walking up and down the streets in Toronto really made me think. The people that live in the big city are really living in small towns that are all maybe 10×10 blocks apart. They go and see their butcher for meat, they hit the market for fresh veggies and fruit and stop by their little hardware store to grab what they need for the house. They also enjoy shopping from local designers and are exposed to eclectic pieces for their home that are more than likely one of a kind. Like this BIG WHITE CHAIR that I just had to get Wayne to photograph me in! One day it will be mine!
It felt wonderful to see the local Torontonians enjoying their city and supporting their local shop keepers. I think that is so important to remember that all of us can do the same in our own towns and cities. We may all have big box stores that are only a 5 minute drive from our house but let’s not forget about our beautiful downtown’s and all of the people that have put their heart and souls into creating beautiful businesses. Amazing restaurants with real ingredients and real chefs, beautiful clothing stores where the sales associates can actually dress you to look your best, gift stores that have something no one else does and of course local butchers and markets that have an abundance of healthy foods to enjoy. So next time you want to rush over to Wal-Mart to grab a head of lettuce (somehow that just sounds wrong), drive that extra few minutes and go and find the little market that just had lettuce dropped off that morning from a local farm.
Life just tastes better in a small town!