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Toronto is Canada's largest city. Toronto suffers from delusions of grandeur. This is information smuggled out of Canada by a Red Stater (Kansan) living in Toronto.
Toronto began as a small town called York during the eighteenth century. York was obliterated by the Americans in the War of 1812. After Toronto was blown away by the power and greatness that America was (and still is), York changed their name to Toronto in utter fear of America. Sources "claim" that the name derives from an Iroquois word meaning "place where trees stand in the water". This is completely untrue. Everyone knows that Toronto means "place where there is a large tower made out of chewing gum and hockey sticks". Another town called York was built to the north of Toronto called North York, but it was eventually devoured by Toronto because it is against the law to have a town called York in Canada.
If you visit Toronto (few people do), there are several attractions you would be better off not seeing.
Bata Shoe Museum Edit
There is an exceptional shoe museum at the corner of St. George and Bloor Streets. The architecture of the museum resembles a shoebox. The building is full of shoes. Lots and lots of shoes. A mind-bogglingly large amount of shoes.
Textile Museum of Canada Edit
If you look at all of those shoes and wonder, "What would I wear with those shoes?" then you should trudge over to the Textile Museum. They have as much cloth as the Bata has shoes. You have to really like cloth to go here.
CN Tower Edit
The Canadian National Tower is the "World's Tallest Building". It was built in 1976 and stands 1,815 ft. It is made out of chewing gum and hockey sticks. Canadian children collected all their chewing gum and hockey sticks and sent them to Toronto so the tower could be built. Urban myth states that the tower will crumble when the last hippie dies. You can have "fun" at the tower, watching a 15-minute film on the construction of the tower. Canadians like informational films, as any good American knows from their public school experiences watching these things produced by the National Film Board of Canada. But there is a Revolving Restaurant that is delicious (if you like your macaroni and cheese covered with Maple syrup and beaver meat, that is).
NFB Mediatheque Edit
Located in downtown Toronto, the National Film Board's Mediatheque is a place you can go to watch all of those fine films paid for by Canadian tax dollars. Were you sick the day in 6th grade where you watched a documentary film on honey production in Saskatchewan? You're in luck. You can give it its proper viewing at the Mediatheque.
The Islands Edit
The Islands are located in Lake Ontario. Because the middle of Lake Ontario is a more pleasant place to live than Ontario itself, a lot of very rich people live on the Islands. You have to take a ferry to go there. They have a nude beach. Remember, a rich hippie is still a hippie.
Casa Loma Edit
This is a big house built by a very rich man that messes up the traffic flow in that part of town. It is very expensive to enter this house and it is so expensive to maintain that only the government can afford to do it by extracting taxes on usage of the letter T from the Torontonians.
Royal Ontario Museum Edit
Known as the "ROM". Also known as "a terrible museum".
Getting Around Edit
Toronto has a vast public transportation system. There is a subway, streetcars, and buses. The TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) is one of the extremely corrupt labor unions here in Toronto. They like to go on strike because their contract does not allow them to be as rude and lazy as they would like to be.
Toronto is also designed by English people, which means that there is very little sense to anything. There are no numbered streets, and houses are numbered continuously, with no regard for intersections. North-south numbers begin with 1 in the south (or at Lake Ontario) and east-west numbers start from Yonge Street (pronounced Young) with 1 and are labeled "east" or "west". To find your way around Toronto, you need to know the closest intersection, as the numbers themselves are relatively meaningless. For example, if you are at the intersection of Bathurst Street and Eglinton, the numbers on Bathurst will be around 2000. However, if you go a few blocks over, you will be at 40 Tarlton Road. Yonge Street starts at Lake Ontario and runs all the way to Minnesota. It was once listed as the longest road in the world by the Guinness Book of World Records, and Torontonians still cling to this.
Toronto sports many fine hotels and motels. The Waverley Hotel on Spadina Avenue is particularly choice. Located near both a mental hospital and a drug rehabilitation clinic, it allows the discerning traveler a real taste for urban life. Don't let names like the "Royal York" and the "Windsor Arms" fool you. Sure, they might have valet parking and well-dressed doormen, but why have those things when you can have a drunk meth addict begging you for money?
Music Scene Edit
The prog-rock band Rush calls this Canadian metropolis home. Bassist Geddy Lee grew up in Toronto, lending support to the theory that birth in Canada severely increases a male's chance of being born without any balls. Neil Young also is Canadian, so why not say that he's from Toronto too? (Neil probably doesn't have any balls either.)
Sporting Events Edit
During your stay in Toronto, be sure to attend one of the many professional sporting events hosted here. Toronto is home to the Blue Jays Major League Baseball (MLB) Club, the Raptors National Basketball Association (NBA) team, and the Toronto Maple Leafs National Hockey League (NHL) team. Watching any of these teams is a real treat, especially if a good team is in town beating them. Toronto does not have a National Football League team because Canada has its own football league called the CFL, or Canadian Football League. Canadian football is played on a trampoline with six small soft sacks that must be kept in the air at all times, but only by using the feet. This actually resembles more closely the hippie pastime known as hacky sack, than it does real, American football.
It is recommended that you do not drive in Toronto due to the fact that Canadians cannot drive. They do the most absurd things with their vehicles such as pulling out and blocking traffic when attempting to make a left turn. This maneuver would get you shot in any American city, even the small ones. They also turn unnecessarily slowly. The streets are also planned very poorly, with parking rules changing by the hour and untimed lights that only allow two or three cars through at a time.
Tim Hortons is the fare of choice in Toronto. There are approximately three per city block. Allow at least an hour to procure nourishment at a Tim Hortons as there is always an excessively long line at all hours of the day and night. Also, bring cash! Timmies does not accept credit or debit cards. They do this to weed out the unwitting American tourist.
If you choose to eat elsewhere in Toronto, plan for at least two hours. If you are used to any sort of skilled food service from your life in America, you will be unpleasantly surprised at the apathy directed at patrons here. Because Toronto is full of hippies, many waiters and fast food employees are far too stoned to care about your food, and you will be lucky if they do not consume your meal while bringing it to you. As well, restaurants in Toronto do not seem to care if you sit at their table for hours on end, as they will never bring you your tab unless you ask for it several times, punctuating your request with threats of bodily harm and legal action.
Toronto has many fine "pubs" at which to get a Canadian "beer". Canadians are very sensitive about their beer and you should never insult it, even if it is markedly inferior to what you are used to in America (known commonly to the British as "piss water". Also be prepared to pay five hundred times as much for your beer in Toronto. The average pint of beer requires a bank loan and certified check (or "cheque") secured by real estate or jewelry. As well, leave the Marlboros at home! There is no smoking in any public, interior space within the Toronto city limits. In Toronto, the government looks out for you. It has your best interests at heart.
Leaving Toronto Edit
When you leave, and you'll want to, you can exit through Pearson International Airport or via the 401. The 401 is an insane highway system even more convoluted than the finest Los Angeles has to offer. To make it easier to navigate, construction often reduces the 12 lanes to one, so you won't get confused about where to go. There are "collector" lanes and "express" lanes. The "express" lanes are always in gridlock. A few Canadians call the 401 express lanes home, having been conceived, born, and raised there. The airport is not quite as bad, but you will need to avoid the seemingly constant protests, the soul food of the hippie, against the "corporate interests" there.