I’ve been away from Toronto for a week now, after working there for four months. As it was the place where I spent the most time this summer, I feel the need to make a formal good bye to the city. I decided to follow in the tradition of Isabella Whitney, the Renaissance author who wrote a poetic farewell to London. What follows is my own poem as I leave some of my favourite places behind.

The time is come I must depart

From Toronto, the Big Smoke.

Before I leave I must give praise

To the city some call a joke.

Mayoral instability

And crumbling roads aside,

I think well of this fair city

And speak of it with pride.

I’ve spent the bulk of four months’ days

Working at York and King,

But I’ve crossed downtown many times

To hear bells on Church St ring.

With blessing that are numerous

And so many things to tell,

I must cut short this prologue for

It is of the city I’ll speak well.

Though many gifts I take with me

From the places I have found,

Much I must now leave behind

For when I’m not around.


And now let me dispose such things

     As I shall leave behind

So you may now encounter them

With an open, willing mind.

I leave tinted office windows,

And buildings standing tall,

No longer will I have to face

The grey cubicle wall.

I leave York under construction,

And to Bay I say goodbye.

I won’t be away forever,

But I certainly will try.

I leave Restaurant Row to King St,

Say farewell to the clubs,

And also to Belly Buster’s,

Where I ate late night subs.


David Pecaut Square and new friends

I leave, but that’s for the best.

I will think upon encounters

As I head further west.

Queen St’s diverse seek to conform

In tank tops all girls wear.

Infinity on tops and rings,

Flower crowns for your hair.

The tourists I will leave behind,

Denizens of downtown too.

Hipsters and those who loath the term

Drink Amster’dam good brew.

To The Horseshoe specifically

I must pay due respect.

I leave the legend behind now,

Which is my deep regret.


I look at groups on patios

As tattooed people meet.

They seem to match the area,

Tattooed buildings on the street.

Vintage stores near Grand Electric,

With bourbon all in rows.

Perhaps for tacos I’ll return,

In winter, when it snows.


Chinatown left for another,

I know I’ll miss the walks.

I move past shops to Kensington

As friends continue talks.

I leave College to schools and bars

And I leave Sneaky Dee’s.

A sticker from a booth inside,

I took and keep with me.


Head back to Dundas, AGO,

OCAD on spindly legs.

Students take a break from work, and

Sit taking cigarette drags.

Queen’s Park up University,

I leave Osgoode Hall.

I sat with 1984,

Then would not return at all.

I pass by the Eaton Centre

With haste, but that’s just as well.

I shall not dwell upon it now,

But that mall is my hell.

(I stretch the truth, I’m sure you know,

But that’s a place I will not go.)


I leave the St Lawrence Market,

So I’m forced to replicate

The eggplant parm I had before

That really is so great.

Eating yogurt covered pretzels,

David Crombie’s where I sat,

Thinking of Distillery District,

The sunset at my back.

From Mill St where I’ve often been,

Tankhouse I take with me.

But as I’ve travelled far and wide,

Union’s where I must be.


I leave the lake in passing now,

Leave TO in good care.

There is much more that I could say,

As much I have left there.

Now it’s to London I must go;

I can’t help but feel merry.

So finally I make an end

 No longer can I tarry.


Song of the Day: Dead Disco by Metric

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