Sometimes observing things from a distance, from another perspective, can lead to new awareness. View from its sidewalks Toronto is immense. It forces you to keep your nose up and feel small in front of the imposing skyscrapers. Small in front of a city in continuous growth that offers many stimuli. But what happens if you look at it from other points of view?
On a cold April evening, a first answer to this question came. A message was enough to interrupt the quiet in my hostel room, the All Day Hostel on Selby Street, a side street of the busiest Sherbourne Street. “Do you go out tonight?”. “I’m already in my pajamas, it’s too cold.” “In 20 minutes I’m in front of the hostel. Get dressed and let’s go out ». The cold stung, in the previous days it had snowed, but the evening was clear and walking in the neighborhood I could not help but stand with my nose upwards to admire the windows of the skyscrapers light up one by one as the darkness fell. “Who knows what it’s like to live up there …” I thought aloud; “Let’s find a place where we can find out,” was the reply. Two blocks later I was at 55 Bloor Street West, in the building that also houses the cineplex. The finger pressed on the elevator button indicated the number 51 and in 10 seconds I was in the attic of the skyscraper. When the sliding doors opened, in front of me there was a room with neatly laid tables, a lounge area where white-collar workers gathered after work, but above all a terrace from which you could admire a breathtaking view.
I was at The One Eighty. “Nice place isn’t it?” “Do you mind if I go out and look at the city?” “But weren’t you cold?” “Now, no longer “ Actually I was cold, but the view of the Toronto skyline in the evening, with the CN Tower lit up, had warmed my heart. It was not the first time I had admired Toronto from above, I had seen it from the tower during the day, but in the evening it took on another charm. I was stunned for I don’t know how many minutes to observe all those lights that were lost in the horizon. “Sara the pizza is ready, come on, come in” “Yes, I’m coming, thanks” Between me and me, however, a thought had begun to make its way: “Toronto in the evening is made for dreamers. Those who go out despite the cold, who get lost in search of the rooftop bar, those who laugh when they get out of the elevator in the wrong plan and realizing the mistake they run back into it. The evening in Toronto is made for those who, admiring the skyline, get excited and don’t want to be elsewhere, because in that moment there is everything they needed to feel alive “. And I, up there, felt more alive than ever.
Looking at the world from new perspectives always leaves a mark. Sometimes you can understand it better, other times you can discover unknown corners, other times you can understand yourself better. I knew there was an island in front of Toronto, but I had never been there until, one afternoon when the sun was playing hide and seek in the clouds and the air smelled of the lake, I managed to visit it. That day I wanted to walk, I wanted to get lost, not to stop my legs until they gave way. I was homesick, but due to the time zone there was no one on the other side of the phone. One more reason to walk, one more reason to do it alone. But I was never really alone in Toronto, because someone always came at the right time. “Today you are stranger than usual” “I have my heart elsewhere” “I’ll take you to my favorite place in town” “And where are we going?” ” In nature” “But if we are in the middle of the skyscrapers” “Soon you will see”
After the baseball stadium, left the financial buildings and the long lake, with its green areas and its cafes, I ended up at the port. “We take the ferry, it costs $ 14 round trip, but it will be worth it” “All right, you find me on one of those beautiful wooden chairs, they’re like those in American movies. I’m going on that rose ». I waited. I was expecting mail or reply messages from home, I was waiting for the ferry. I waited. Even Lake Ontario, reflecting the clouds in the sky, had turned as gray as my thoughts. The water was rippled only by the motion of the ferry that was placidly arriving to take me who knows where. “Come on and sit down here and the show begins.” It really was a show. The boat slowly glided over the lake and the skyscrapers moved further and further away from my horizon, creating a modern, postcard-like landscape. Half an hour of crossing and I was in another world. The concrete had been replaced by immense green lawns. Around me there were also streams and small lakes with little families of ducks. I was in nature and only half an hour from the metropolis. Toronto Island has thus become one of my favorite places.
If on one side it offers a spectacular view of the city, on the other the gaze opens onto the immensity of Lake Ontario overlooking the United States of America. “I have to leave a mark of my passage” “But Sara are you crazy?” “No, now with the pen I make a small S on the quay overlooking the lake so, one day, I’ll come back here and look for it to remember this moment.”
I really did the S. I did it to remind myself that I was there by my will and that I was surviving alone in a large metropolis. I did it because I am convinced that one day I will walk there again on that Toronto Island quay. And I did it because looking at the city from that new and different perspective, I appreciated even more what Toronto was giving me: new awareness and the serenity that is reached when a dream becomes reality.