Appreciating Your City...


Several years ago, my brother decided that he wanted to run the Paris marathon and he made it no secret that he expected my husband and me to go with him to cheer him on.  So, like the dutiful family members we are, we packed our suitcases and made the trip halfway across the world to support him as he ran his first marathon.  We had an exhausting but amazing time on the trip and especially during the race as we tried to track him down on the 42 km course.  A few months after we had returned to our hometown of Toronto, we were spending some time with him one evening and he mentioned that he had signed up for the Scotiabank half-marathon which was occurring in the fall.  He looked at us and asked in a very assumptive tone if we were going to head downtown to cheer him on again.  My husband and I looked at each other and then looked at him with a vigorous shake of our heads, “We’ll pass, traffic and parking are going to be hell!”  

Hopefully my story made you laugh and even to this day, we still chuckle about the fact that we were willing to travel thousands of miles to see him in Paris, yet we could not muster up the energy to head downtown in our own city!  It got me thinking, how many of us pass up the chance to explore our own hometowns or cities because we take it for granted that we live there and we can go at anytime?  I can make a safe assumption that the majority of us are not appreciating what we have at home like visitors and tourists do. 

Let’s take Toronto as an example.  I have lived here for almost 30 years and I have yet to visit Casa Loma.  I don’t go to Centre Island enough although every time I go, I am in awe of the amazing-ness of these islands in the middle of the city, I don’t attend Luminato, one of the city’s major arts festivals and I’ve missed the Distillery District’s Christmas Market 2 years in a row…good grief, do I do anything in my own city?  Lol!  Though I am being a little cheeky, the reality is there is so much to do, I could literally find an activity every weekend of the year and there would still be a plethora of things to choose from. 

Have I motivated you to start exploring where you live?  I hope so.  You may be wondering where to start or how to find out what’s going on.  Many cities and towns have their own websites that can help you.  For example, for Toronto, you can check out or which both have lots of great information on events and places of interests in and around this great city of ours.

So let’s make a promise.  The next time we get the travel bug, don’t think we have to go too far to satisfy our wanderlust – just take a look around where you live and don’t fuss about the traffic and the parking! 

Happy exploring!

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