Vern's Verbal Vibe

Singer-songwriter/multi-instrumentalist and purveyor of folk 'n' roll: spirit-filled sad songs made better.

February 01, 2015

Have They Lived Here? Like, in February?

So, The Economist recently proclaimed my humble little burg the best city in the world to live in.

I say it's Toronto's weather that puts us over the top. Why, as I write it's -10 with a -20 wind chill and we're under a winter storm warning, with 15 cm of snow on the way, probably double that in the western suburbs. The long-range says more snow on Wednesday, and at no time this week does the mercury even approach the freezing mark. Fast-forward six months and you're looking at 30 to 35 with humidex readings in the mid 40s, thunderstorms, and likely any combination of a tornado warning, heat advisory or smog alert.

I've spent my whole life here in paradise, so trust me when I tell you that for at least three months (January, February and mid-July to mid-August) the place is unfit for human habitation. Late October, November, December, March and all of April are iffy at best. That leaves May and June—which can be lovely, I admit—early July, late August, September and early October. That's four and a half decent months out of twelve.

Perhaps my perspective is skewed because I don't drive. Hopping from heated (or air-conditioned) home to heated car to heated office, one observes but is barely exposed to the elements. For these folks—one of whom must have written this article—I suppose it's not bad at all. Maybe this is paradise and I just don't get it. Though I'm quite sure there are far worse places to call home even in affluent North America, I fail to see what makes stuffy, complacent, frigid-or-sweltering Toronto much more than a junior-league New York.

I mean, seriously: Berlin, London, Melbourne, New York, Paris, Tokyo, San Francisco—to name a few actual world-class cities—pale in comparison to the T-Dot? Count me as one Torontonian who'd gladly live in any of them for a year to find out.

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