Posts filed under ‘Toronto’

How Toronto can improve its ranking

This is what Toronto needs to move from 15th overall to the top 10:


And here is why.

April 3, 2007 at 11:20 pm 3 comments

Going back to Toronto

In exactly one month, Alan and I will be leaving Barcelona to go back to Toronto. We have come full circle during the past 12 months – we were really looking forward to coming to Spain in the months before leaving Toronto, totally fell in love with Barcelona during the first few months (Alan kept asking me if I was sure I couldn´t get a job here), but now that we have accepted we have to go back, we are really looking forward to that. That´s why you´ve seen so many posts on Toronto and Canada lately. I´ll write a post sometime in the next few weeks about what I´ll take with me from the year spent here but for now, I´ll leave you with the random post of the day on Toronto:

Toronto has been ranked 15th best city in the world to live in a recent survey by Mercer Human Resources Consulting. Vancouver came in 3rd behind the Swiss cities of Geneva and Zurich. Other Canadian cities were Ottawa (18th), Montreal (22nd) and Calgary (24th). The main difference between Toronto and Vancouver is the weather, which is much milder in Vancouver allowing it more points in that category. Otherwise the two cities score basically the same. According to the survey “Canada’s big cities are some of the greatest places in the world to live, according to a global survey of 215 world-class cities”.

Barcelona came out in 41st place ahead of Madrid in 42nd. The top 5 cities in the Americas are all in Canada (Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, and Calgary) and the top 5 in Europe are Zurich, Geneva, Vienna, Dusseldorf, and Frankfurt.

Coverage from the Toronto Star can be found here.  For the Mercer site go here. Highlights here.

April 2, 2007 at 4:17 pm 1 comment

Two Weeks

Well, it’s been a very busy two weeks. Last week we went out for beers with Keiko, Sarah, Francesca and Matt. Keiko is going back to Japan after being away for over 8 years.

She left on Feb 9 and we all had to say our goodbyes. She’ll be living with her mom just outside of Osaka. We’re all going to miss her. Francesca is heading out to Bilbao and then back to Florence until about mid March so it was kind of an adios for her too.

Sarah is friends of all of us. She was our profesora in Spanish school and we all keep in touch.

And here are the three togather. I call them “las tres chica teeras”. They are great people and I’ll miss Keiko.

After we got home from that little soiree, I received an email from a friend in Toronto. William is teaching classical guitar at York and he had a student, Jordan, who was coming to Barcelona for spring break and he wanted to buy a guitar. I bought mine here and I thought the luthier where I bought was a special place. I sent an email to Jordan and agreed to meet him when he arrived on Feb 10. We actually met up on Feb 11 in Bari Gotic. He was here with his dad, Ron for a few days of relaxation. We hit it off like old friends and ended up showing them the sites for their entire stay. We brought Jordan to the guitar store on Monday and he tried out quite a few instruments.

He found one he really liked, an Alhambra and that was that. We spent the next few days touring and dining and chatting.

For their last night here, we took them to our favaorite restaurant in Barcelona, Wushu’s. During our brief time together Ron and I discovered a link we had from way back. When I was around three or four we lived in Ottawa, just off Island Park Drive. Our backyard bordered with another house that was owned by a fellow named Joe Feller. Well, it turns out that Ron know’s Joe Feller’s son and had actually been inside that house. We had been chatting about links in life and that started me thinking about some other events that happened and put me into a particular space. One that came to mind immediately was the writing of the previous post, Tribute to Our Frineds (Ron and Jordan are part of that group now).

Listen to this, it’s so strange. The reason that post is there is because a female French journalist, dropped a copy of “The Little Prince” in the Sahara desert, during the Paris / Dahkar rally. I won’t go into the sequence of events that led up to the post but I will relate the last piece. We went to see Moussa (see Alex’s blog for more info) and his words really brought the value of things to the forefront. He was the catalyst that caused me to write something I only would think about. I’m sure there are many more I could find out about. Anyhow, that one was cool.

Jordan and Ron have left now but we, both Alex and I, feel our lives are richer for having met them. I must thank William.

February 14, 2007 at 7:55 pm Leave a comment

Barcelona vs Toronto

I once compared Madrid & Barcelona to Toronto & Montreal. In that post, I made the point that Madrid’s beer culture more closely resembled that of Toronto, while Montreal was more like Barcelona. But having been in Barcelona for almost 9 months now and getting ready to leave, I find more and more points in common between Barcelona & Toronto.

Take multiculturalism, for example. Barcelona is the most multicultural city in Spain and it has been so even during Franco’s regime when most of Spain was practicelly shut out from the rest of the world. Of course Toronto is more multicultural since it is not only the most multicultural city in Canada but was the most multicultural city in the world accoring to the UN. I find this aspect one of the best things about each place.

Both cities are located next to large bodies of water. OK, maybe the Mediterranean is much bigger than Lake Ontario, but it still gives a nice flavour to the town. I just wish our politicians in Toronto could see what was done with the waterfront here and do the same in Toronto… Also, the grid-lock pattern of the Eixample resembles much the map of downtown Toronto. Streets that cross the entire city on a straight line and the practice of giving addresses by naming the closest intersection are some things the two cities have in common. In Toronto we lived on Yonge & Wellesley, here we rented a place on Bruc & Rosselló.

A friend from Canada has warned us that it might take a few months  for us to get used to living in North America again. I don’t know, I think if we focus on the positive sid, it might not take so long 😉

Toronto skyline seen from the ferry

January 21, 2007 at 7:09 pm 6 comments

Season’s Greetings to All

Alex and I want to wish all of our friends a very happy holiday and we hope that 2007 brings you all happiness and health. Here’s a few (actually a lot) photos. Sorry if we’ve missed anyone, it just means I don’t have your picture.

At Itatiaia, in Brazil

At Louis’ in Kensington Market

On the ferry to Toronto Islands

Making music at Pearl’s

At Sant Pol de Mar

At Taragona

At Jackie’s in Barcelona

In Sant Pol de Mar

At Delta de Ebre

In class

At Jackie’s, in the kitchen

at a restaurant called Mé

In Barri Gotic, Barcelona

Again, at Jackie’s

In Sitges

In class

In Sitges

In Raval, Barcelona

In Barcelona

In Sant Pol de Mar

In Vic

In Toronto

In class

In Gracia

In Lisbon

In Vic

At Sebastian’s

In Raval

In class

In Sitges

In Sant Pol de Mar

The Royal St Lawrence yacht club in Montreal

In the Boqueria, Barcelona

On the way up to Montserrat

and of course I can’t forget …….On the beach, Sant Pol de Mar

December 21, 2006 at 4:00 pm 2 comments

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