Unashamed: Out and About in TO


Toronto-skyline

For those who have read (or will read–that’s you, right? RIGHT?) Unashamed, I thought I’d give you a little background on some of the terms and places mentioned in the story. Part one was yesterday, so here’s part two!

As I typed the title, I realized there’s another term to share — Torontonians seldom call Toronto by its actual name. They call it TO (as in Tee Oh), or Hogtown, or the “big smoke”, though that’s usually used by people who live outside of Toronto proper. Oh and when we do actually say Toronto, we seldom pronounce the second T. It usually comes out more like Toronno. And it’s not Toe-ronno, it’s more like Tor-ronno, with an emphasis on the ‘ron’. Unless we’re talking to a non-Canadian, or at the border. Then we slow down and say it with the second T.

Toronto has three million people living in it, but it’s part of two areas — the GTA (Greater Toronto Area–those are the suburbs/commuting areas–and extra three million live in the GTA, including me), and the Golden Horseshoe which is an area that starts just east of Toronto and curves west around Lake Ontario to Niagara Falls which is actually south of Toronto. Almost a quarter of Canada’s population lives in The Golden Horseshoe. So we’re a pretty populous area.

Toronto has been featured in a lot of movies and television shows, usually standing in for Chicago, or Virginia, or London even. If you watched Good Will Hunting — the scene where Matt and Minnie are trying on funny glasses etc? That was filmed in a store on Queen Street. The Silver Streak slams through Union Station in Toronto, not Chicago. Three Men and a Baby? Also Toronto. Let’s not forget My Big Fat Greek Wedding (I even mention the Danforth where a lot of that takes place.) Television shows, well, Flashpoint makes no bones about taking place in Toronto. Suits is also shot up here. We’re basically Hollywood North because Toronto can stand in for a lot of different time frames and locales.

Oh, and the clip of them arriving in Toronto in Canadian Bacon? It was filmed on the Leslie Street Spit, which means they had to actually drive through Toronto to get to that point, LOL.

The entire drive over her stomach had flip-flopped as she’d wondered about…everything. The only thing she wasn’t questioning was her decision to have the threesome. Being with them both, at the same time, would be amazing—of that she was certain. And that she could trust them. Implicitly. Both for the pleasure they’d give her and their discretion.

Noah had hardly spoken until he pulled in front of a beautifully restored old Victorian two-storey house less than half a block from Lake Ontario. The porch light spilled a soft buttery light over the porch and across the yard, warming the old cedar trim of the house and the red brick sidewalk like a Welcome Home sign. While she knew he did good work and earned every cent he made, to be able to afford a house in The Beach much have cost him over a million dollars, and from the care this one spoke of, probably closer to one point five.

“This is yours?”

“No. It’s Max’s place — it used to be his grandparents’ but when they couldn’t look after it anymore, he couldn’t bear the thought of strangers living there, someone else cooking in his Nonna’s kitchen, so he bought it from them.”

He climbed out and rounded the truck to open her door. His hand was warm on the small of her back as he walked her up the front path. Not many guys still had those old fashioned manners which on its own would have made him high on Hayley’s list.

 

Max and Noah live in an area east of downtown, usually referred to as the Beach or the Beaches. (Some people claim it should only be referred to as The Beach, others say the Beaches is correct. To-may-to, to-mah-to I guess.)  Yup, there’s a big sand beach along Lake Ontario, and it’s currently a very trendy area to live. Think of DeGrassi high — it was placed in Leslieville, which borders on the Beaches.  And Leslieville is where Hayley’s project house is. They’re older houses, usually Victorian through to the depression era, so they need lots of renovations. There’s a lot of reno going on as it’s an up-and-coming “place to live” in Toronto.

Houses picture attribution By Josh Evnin from Chicago, IL, USA [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

House prices in Toronto are crazy expensive, by the way. (Though not as bad as they are in Vancouver.) According to this article in the Toronto Star, “The average sale price of a detached house in the City of Toronto remained firmly above $1 million in August, at $1.017 million, up 12.9 per cent year over year, despite an 8.5 per cent decrease in sales.”

We’re not talking a fancy house; we’re talking the average detached three bedroom house. Houses in the area where Max lives (The Beach) definitely cost in excess of a million these days. Even if it probably needs an electrical upgrade, may or may not have a driveway, probably doesn’t have a garage. Don’t believe me? Take a look at this “unliveable” house that just sold a million dollars in exactly the  same area where Max’s house is.


HHHea_200x300Tweaked your interest in reading more of Unashamed? You can buy it as part of the Hunks, Hammers and Happily Ever Afters bundle for just 99 cents, but for a limited time only.

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