Call them districts or burroughs or neigbourhoods, but I call them mini cities. And they’re Toronto’s most beautiful feature. You call one home until another beckons you;  you find yourself discovering a whole new world, maybe just blocks away from where you were before.

My current mini city is Roncesvalles, and I could stay here forever. I walk the strip every day, popping by to visit my favourite boutique owners, coffee hubs and tuck shops. Every person has a dog and a toddler (and an arts degree). Every corner has a history. On a warm day, I visit High Park. On a cold day, I tuck into a book at the library.

I know that my mini city is but one of hundreds; I’ve lived in others before. And so, I know the intrigue of Little Italy, the quiet hipness of Bloorcourt and the bustle of Queen West.

Mini cities permeate every corner of Toronto life. Meeting a stranger here doesn’t follow the universal standard of introduction: what do you do? Instead, we ask where you come from. We want to know, of all the mini cities, where you’ve decided to settle in Toronto.

Because where you’ve settled says a lot about you, your interests, your life. If I know your mini city, we bond over where to brunch, shop local produce or find the most coveted vinyls. If I’ve never visited your mini city before, I now have a chance to learn all about it. Maybe, I’ll plan to visit it next weekend. Maybe, it’ll be my next home.

That’s how I keep discovering more and more about Toronto, though I’ve been living or visiting here all my life. Thanks to our mini cities, I might never have to leave.

Kaitlin Wright, Contributor

Kaitlin Wright is a freelance writer and editor from Toronto, Canada. You can find her editorial work in She Does The City, FS Local (Toronto and Canada), Toronto Pronto and BallNRoll. To read more from Kaitlin, check out her blog:

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