See You Later, Toronto!

I had a very different post in mind for today. Originally titled, “5 Things I Will Miss About Living in Toronto,” I was going to list off my favourite brunch spots, neighbourhoods, the constant proximity to “stuff”, a level of hospitality that I’ve only ever experienced living back East… and, believe it or not, I’m even going to miss the TTC. But as I started making note of everything, I realized the only thing I’m really going to miss about living in Toronto is the people.

In the short time I’ve been here, I have made more connections than I ever could have imagined. Before I even flew out, some of you had emailed or tweeted and offered to meet me for coffee, brunch, etc. Most of those meet ups became regular occurrences, and there’s not a single person I’ve met who I wouldn’t want to see again. I can’t thank any of you enough for bringing me into your lives and making me feel so welcome.

On top of making new friends, I was immediately welcomed by bloggers and other people I would never have met were it not for the personal finance community. I was treated to two meals out with the ING DIRECT Canada team, the most recent of which included a presentation by CEO Peter Aceto at The Economic Club of Canada. I walked out of that lunch understanding how important it is for leaders to be completely transparent about their goals and mission. (I was also given an umbrella for my move back to the “wet” coast. Talk about thoughtful.) These are experiences that you just don’t get to have, living in Victoria.

Throughout my time here, there has been one constant in my life – a person who I will miss like crazy – and that’s Roomie. Have I ever told you guys the backstory on how Roomie and I know each other? We grew up together in Victoria, where our parents still live just a few blocks apart. Friends since elementary school, she came out to Toronto shortly after high school and has never looked back. Her independence and work ethic have been a source of inspiration on more than one occasion. And the fact that she literally gave me the ability to test this city for size is a gift I’ll probably never be able to repay her for.

Toronto is an amazing city; there is always something to do and something new to see. But nothing makes a city feel like “home” until you have good people to share it all with. I’m going to miss my morning coffee with K-man, lunch dates with the team, evening laughs with Roomie and weekend adventures with everyone else. I’m excited to be flying home to Victoria tomorrow. Seriously, I can’t wait to get there… But I’m also really excited to come back to Toronto in June.

I’ll see you then, friends! xo

PS – Have you ever had a song rewritten for you? The team took over the karaoke stage on Friday night and sang their own version of this song to me. Here’s a little snippet:

She’s packed and she’s going
We’re crying, she’s leaving, she’s golden
She leaves for BC, ’cause she lives for it
The West Coast, her sole motivation
Mountains high sound pretty good to me
And it makes her smile like a drug for you
Do whatever you wanna do, we support you
We’ll keep on smiling, while you pass through
One flight to the province that divides you
And we’ll speak to you like the tweet to the bird
Drop another blog, rank “BC rates” first
Come on like a big shot, take the stage
We give you the reigns, take it away…