by Kelly Royle
age 25 (and 2/3)
Toronto is the type of city that assualts all your sense. Usually all at once.
You walk out of the subway station and are affronted by this wave of smell. It’s the smell of the city. I had to explain this to Griffin and Wyatt. It’s the smell of thousands of cars and thousands of body’s all within the same space. Combine that with the smell of the street vendors, and the guy walking beside you who has yet to shower that day and you have The Smell of Toronto.
Then there are the sounds.
The sounds of traffic, of people figthing, of the three newscasters we walked past, reporting for their live at noon show. We had walked by that spot where just last week, a lady was held hostage and the guy who held her was at some point shot dead by a sniper. His face was plastered across the front of every newspaper we saw. Ironically? Kinda. There was a newspaper box close to where he died. With his face on it. Maybe that’s not irony but it seems to me like something straight out of a movie.
The people yelling are insane. People selling stuff, people begging for money, calling a cab, shouting at small children. Add to that the cacauphony of traffic – loud engines, honking horns, cursing drivers. It’s an audio assault.
Then there is the feel of the city air. As if all those sky scrapers weren’t oppressive enough, the air itself is thick and damp with the sweat of a thousand people and it presses in on you. Sometimes after a day in the city I come home with random smudges of pollution on my face.
The sites of Toronto are very diverse. For every well dressed office manager out on his lunch, briefcase in one hand, cup of Williams 5$ coffee in another, there is a shabbily dressed homeless person (I had to tell Wy several times to stop shouting, “LOOK THERE IS A BUM!” or “HOLY ANOTHER HOBO, KELLY LOOK!”) in filthy clothes and shoes that are falling a part.
As for taste, if you open your mouth to wide and breathe in, it tastes disgusting. The hot dogs taste great, until you start thinking about why they are called ‘street meat’. To me the city tastes of burger and fries as that is usually what I eat when I am there. And a milkshake.
This is what I think about Toronto.