Traveling to a new destination for a conference is always a mixed bag. It’s great to have an excuse to go, but there is never enough time to really settle in. This was my first trip to Toronto and I didn’t know what to expect. What to see? Where to go? Where to eat? I know I didn’t even scratch the surface. My first impression of Toronto, however, is that it is a city in flux, growing and adapting to the changing times.
Big Guy came with me for part of the trip (a first!) because he’s such a hockey fan. And as we walked through the city on our first afternoon, the thing that stood out most was the construction. I have never seen so much construction!
Now for a bit of context, let me say that I’m from the Boston area. I lived through the infamous Big Dig, where navigation became a game of Russian Roulette. You never knew if a road would be there the next time you returned. Still, Toronto shocked me.
We walked about a mile and a half that first day without retracing our steps. There wasn’t a moment that we weren’t surrounded by active construction sites or sites used for storage and staging.
According to a blog post by Tourism Toronto, “Toronto has more than 112 new high-rise projects (30+ stories) in development – more than any other city in the western hemisphere.” That sounds crazy, but having been there, I have no doubt that it’s true. So many cranes!
I never quite figured out where the sudden building boom came from as there were conflicting responses from those I asked. I heard that some was in preparation for the arrival of the Pan Am Games in 2015, while some was just a much needed enhancement of infrastructure. I want to know where all of these construction workers came from and where they will go when it’s all over!
Luckily, Toronto wasn’t ALL construction. It just felt that way at first glance! I managed to sneak in a little adventure on the trip, but that’s a story for another day…