Sunday, October 12, 2008

Toronto in the Eyes of Others

Papermag writes up Toronto. A flattering article with some of the old standbys listed (Kensington, Riverdale Farm) and some I've never heard of - Magic Pony. (Check out Magic Pony's moustache necklace!)


Natalie said...

So, it looks like the Paper write up of Toronto is a bit hipster-centric. No wonder, it's by Carl Wilson, The Globe and Mail's music journalist. (

If Brooklyn is like Parkdale, than I am really not interested. I like the old Brooklyn where Refinery was a hole-in-the-wall and not yet on Martha Stewart's Weddings radar, and Smith street was where the best cassettes of Middle Eastern pop musicians could be found. Yes, Wilson did throw in a few places that wasn't all about the music, but I'm still a bit bothered by the Manhattan-artist-gentrified residue he made Toronto out to be, which lets face it, is why Brooklyn now is, what it is. (I guess I'm far more of a sentimentalist than a scenester.)

I also think there are many items on Wilson's list that New York has been for ages, so in fact, it really makes Toronto appear like it's lagging behind instead of carving out its own territory and being an amazing city in its own right. (Who knew I was this passionate about Hogtown?)

Yes, we don't have signature dishes, but we have red-bean filled walnut-shaped cakes, steaming gooey panzerotti from Bitondo's and deep-fried dim sum at Kowloon on Baldwin. Lola lounge doesn't do Gladstone better, but it does do it with a better example of what the city is all about–hosting affairs and events of every culture in a very accessible way. There are more happenings on Harbourfront than at Centre Island (we actually have a waterfront that's a destination) and Cherry Beach Sundays has been more about the sense of community and music than the contrived places Wilson didn't explore further than Queen street to report.

Also, where is the art section in this Culture Vulture profile?

As you can see, I have more to say about this than anticipated.

Oh, and Carl? Those amazing fixtures at the Manhattan Chelsea Hotel? Those signature Kate Spade cards available at Kate's Paperie? Canadian. Castor is responsible for the lighting, (and Anstey Bookbinding for the letterpress printing.

I'm just saying, there's more to Crooklyn than meets the eye.

Carl, may you look again, and maybe this time not from the eyes of what a New Yorker would like to see about Toronto, (can you even see from underneath the shadow of a mythic metropolis like Manhattan?) but what a Torontonian sees about their hometown.

JuliaMazal said...

You are hereby knighted my guest blogger! I'm more of a sentimentalist too. Thanks for this! (One day I'll scan my photos of the Uptown for you.)

I think you should copy&paste this right onto papermag's site!