Locals don’t have the privilege of seeing all the quirks of their city with fresh eyes, but thankfully, there are plenty of tourists who are all too eager to share their thoughts and opinions on the internet. A post on Toronto‘s subReddit started gaining traction recently which asks the public to weigh in with “things that strike first-time visitors as special or unusual when they arrive in Toronto” and it has gotten close to 1,000 replies so far. So, what are people’s first impressions of Toronto? Let’s check them out.
The responses are heartwarming, surprising, and downright hilarious. There seem to be a lot of people around the world (and other parts of Canada!) who had no idea black squirrels existed until they came to Toronto — and are slightly terrified of them.
“I grew up in NB. Never saw a black squirrel before I moved to Ontario. They still freak me out a bit,” says one comment. “I moved here from the UK and honestly the biggest culture shock was those black squirrels everywhere,” says another.
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Visitors are also fascinated by the taste of Toronto’s tap water. “My relatives from Korea loved the tap water and water in general. They kept going on about its purity and how good it was for the skin,” one Redditor wrote. “I had family visiting from Los Angeles and they couldn’t believe how good the tap water tasted. It was like expensive bottled water to them,” said another.
Other comments describe how their friends and relatives visiting from out of town marveled at the city’s ravine system, the “highway that goes through the middle of the city,” and even streetcars.
One person wrote that their dad was most excited to ride the streetcar on his visit to Toronto. “We just rode all the streetcars we could find, with no particular route or direction in mind until he was tired. It was fun and my dad was excited the entire time and would not stop talking about it even after they returned home,” they wrote. The sweet story has gotten hundreds of upvotes.
Visitors are also baffled by the expansiveness of Toronto’s waterfront. “I used to work at the CN Tower and guests would regularly be very surprised when I told them that no, that’s not the ocean, that’s Lake Ontario,” someone wrote.
While all of this is sure to give Torontonians a good laugh, it’s also a chance to appreciate all of the small everyday things about our city that we often overlook. You can see the original post here.