"I like good strong words that mean something."- Louisa May Alcott

You may have had the experience of hosting overseas visitors and when proudly introducing them to Toronto get asked, “How far is it to Niagara Falls?” or my personal favourite, “Can we go to New York City now?”

The answer, of course, is yes, relatively speaking and once we swallow our pride and acknowledge that there are places people talk about around the world more important than our city.

It’s actually a major benefit of living in Toronto. We’re located about an hour from some of the best “other places’ to be in North America.

Take New York, for example. Last weekend, using the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, two of us left downtown Toronto at 5.00 PM and were drinking a toast to New York in Time Square by 9.30 PM, having already checked into our hotel, changed and ordered dinner. Being an hour flight away from one of the worlds largest, most interesting and culturally rich cities is a big bonus, one that more Torontonians could take advantage of.

Yes, it really is possible to fly to New York for a weekend, without jet lag or spending hours getting there. And best of all, Torontonians should feel at home in New York. In fact, we have our own “New York” moments right here in our own city.

  • Mid-town at Yonge and St. Clair always feels a bit “New York” to me with its diverse combination of businesses and upscale residential.
  • Toronto Street at King Street East has a New York feel, and if that doesn’t do it for you, step into the King Edward Hotel and you’ll get that Waldorf Astoria feeling.
  • We don’t have Macy’s, Saks, Bloomingdales, Barneys, Lord & Taylor (sigh), but our downtown Bay store has New York grandeur fit for a Fifth Avenue store.
  • The piano bar at the top of Tom Jones—definitely New York after dark if you don’t look out the window.

Tell me other examples and I’ll check them out when I can’t fly there for the weekend (which is mostly the case)!

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