Wednesday, January 20, 2010

List 4: Places I've Lived

For many people, this may actually be an interesting topic to write about; for me, not overly exciting as I've only lived within the borders of Ontario.  I was born in Toronto, and lived there until I was 4years old.  I don't have much recollection at all about the very first house I lived in except for the very plain white walls, the not so eye-pleasing floor carpet that was dark in color and I believe floral in print, and the blue Challenger my dad used to drive at the time.

When I moved from Toronto to Mississauga, I was 4yrs. old and have lived there all my life until the last year and a half when I got married and moved again.  We had a bigger house in Mississauga, however, by today's standards, it's quite small in comparison to 2000+ square homes being built.  I lived in a semi-detach home with 5 levels...too many stairs to care for, that's for sure.  With two brothers growing up along side of me, that house seemed even smaller on most days.  Despite its lack of physical appeal; although I must say, my parents did a great job renovating as much as they could, both the interior and exterior, I have a lot of great memories from living there.

Having lived in the heart of downtown Mississauga, there was some appeal to having a great shopping mall nearby, a big central library, a rejuvenated city hall, and the naturistic and quaint views of the Lakeshore, in Port Credit.  Elementary school was within walking distance, high school about 10min by car.  What else could you ask for?

All of my life's stories and quirky personality traits came from living in what used to be a very small city at first, of only a few thousand people, to what has now become a city populated at just over 800,000, if not more.  When I moved to Mississauga, or as I like to call it, "Soggytown," there was nothing but lots of uncultivated land and people had more of an appreciation for nature.  Although there are some spots still allowed to keep their reprieve as being serene, much of all the land space is now being filled with new town homes, condos, and high rise buildings.   Soggytown has lost some of its "natural" appeal to the brigade of capitalism, but on the whole it's still one of the more cultured suburb destinations.  We have a huge Living Arts Centre, which showcases much local and international talent, as well as offers a multitude of courses in the arts.  Multiculturalism is very much embraced in the city.  The area surrounding City Hall is now undergoing huge renovations to start the building of a new multi-complex that's going to be filled with quaint little shops, cafes, and a new outdoor skating rink; bringing to life the heart of downtown Mississauga....can't wait!!

As for the present, my current town of residence is Richmond Hill.  Another suburban locale, but definately a busier feel than Mississauga.  I still am perplexed as to why R.H is noted as a town rather than a city.  It's certainly one of, if not the fastest growing regions in York.  The atmosphere is more city-like than it is town-like.  I enjoy R.H for many reasons: one, there are many conveniences situated around where I live, including many schools, public parks, a strip plaza, the big Richmond Green Park, a "town centre" with many stores and restaurants, a cemetary, a fire department, and of course, your local Starbucks (within walking distance).   I also live near popular intersections that are quite busy for the city; although not quite within walking distance, but in my car, just a short few minutes away I find myself near Yonge Street, the heart of downtown R.H.  The town and surrounding area is noted for its historical contributions.  We have a local arts theatre (which I have yet to see a show at, but am looking forward to it), a central library, an observatory, museums, etc..  Also, 10 minutes away, further east, we have historic unionville; another quaint town within a bigger town that seems encapsulated in its own village with many small shops, restaurants, and a fire hall convereted into a fudge and candy factory.....mmmm....the aroma from there is enough to leave your mouth watering, literally.  There's nothing like the smell of fresh, home-made waffles and fudge as you walk by.

Aside from the traditional city feel, there's also a lot of areas within R.H and surrounding area that are deidcated to natural habitats, and make for some of the best hikes and walks within the town.  There are many wild animals to look at and appreciate; many farms with amazing jams, spreads, wines and orchards for picking all kinds of crops.  There's also many carnivals/festivals that are hosted during the summer and winter months, alongside national holidays, especially Canada Day.

No  matter your interests, your passion, your love for anything tasteful and delicious, Richmond Hill has the ability to enlighten and heighten all your senses as there's something for everyone to enjoy.  After all, Richmond Hill is home to the first ever Harvey's restaurant.  I hope you can find the time to check it out and discover for yourself the many smells, sights, sounds and tastes that Richmond Hill has to offer.  There's no shortage of multi-culturalism.   Richmond Hill is  a town that has historically been around for hundreds of years and continues to grow and develop into a natural wonder of civilization.

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