Thoughts on an aerial view of Bloor and Bedford St, Toronto

Shots like this remind me why I love living in the city. Most people see a football stadium. But hidden in the mess around this open space, amazing things abound.

To the north of the “V” in Varsity Blues is the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy. Every Canadian knows this school, and has listened to at least a few of the famous Munk Debates, also broadcast on the BBC.

The building immediately south of the “Varsity Blues” is the Royal Conservatory of Music, where I have had the pleasure of seeing some of my favourite musicians play in an intimate setting, including Jordi Savall, Calypso Rose, C├ęcile McLorin Salvant & Sullivan Fortner, and now Carminho on November 9th. You can see artists here that will change your life.

Under the street running parallel to “Varsity Blues” is St. George Station, where Line 1 (ridership 794,680 / day) and Line 2 (ridership 527,640 / day) interchange. At least 200,000 people switch trains at this spot every day without ever surfacing. Running south along the bottom of this photo is Philosopher’s Walk which follows the bed of Taddle Creek. This path is a serene way to travel compared to the hustle and bustle underground. I use both modes of transport often.

Finally I have taken many management courses scattered through University of Toronto buildings in this photo. 60,000 students currently call this campus home, and through U of T continuing studies, I am sure I will spend much more time in this area. You can never spend enough time refining your skills and acquire new ones, and Continuing Studies is a great way to do so.

There is so much more just on the fringes of this photo, I could go on forever. And every Torontonian’s experience of this photo will be unique.

My only point is, any large city looks like a jumble of traffic and condos and noise and stress, but each building and each space in between is an opportunity for personal growth and learning. Like clear and sterile agar in the bottom of a petri dish, steel and glass and cold bare concrete here serve a purpose, the spore of any idea can take root here and grow. The rents are too damn high, but if you are privileged enough to live in a great city, cancel your Netflix subscription and take advantage of your surroundings. Don’t walk past buildings blindly, go inside and see what’s happening, it is usually something amazing.

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