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The Streetcar - Ken Yam The Streetcar - Ken Yam
Urban Adventure

The Streetcar

December 28, 2016

I’ve spent a lot of time in Toronto lately so where better to start documenting my lifestyle than in the place I called home for the majority of my childhood. The postcard version of Toronto has always been centred on the CN Tower, but I’m going to explain to you why the CN Tower is not the singular landmark that has come to represent the city.

Colloquially referred to as the streetcar, the cities modern tram system best represents the cities character and history. It circulates like an artery throughout the cities urban core.

The tram or streetcar system brings back a lot of nostalgia for Torontonians. It represents the best of the city in its unique beauty, yet has often been the subject of frustration and heated debate. The streetcar is an important symbol of unity in Toronto.

This is important because Toronto is the most diverse city in the world. This fact is corroborated by BBC Radio. In the Old City of Toronto, which today represents the cities urban core, the streetcar touches all of the historical enclaves from the former Jewish quarter in Kensington Market to Chinatown, Little Italy, Little Portugal, Corso Italia, Little India and Little Poland. Despite the different languages spoken, one consistency across all of these enclaves was the streetcar.

Despite its historic importance, the streetcar has become a symbol of the cities frustrated motorists. Commute times in Toronto has far exceeded the cities size, and the streetcar has often been used as a scapegoat by suburbanites who are stuck behind long lineups of streetcars during rush hour.

If its your first time in the city I suggest taking a ride on Toronto’s modern new trams. Two interesting route is the 505 Dundas Westbound streetcar from Dundas Square. This tram cuts right through the heart of Chinatown and Little Portugal. It also represents an interesting food tour because both neighborhoods are known to have some of the best Chinese and Portuguese food in North America. It is truly a off-the-beaten path experience.

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