... someone suggests that you consider moving to the new up-and-coming neighbourhood in Toronto: Leslieville and after first having to ask where exactly that was, and then finding the answer, you say "Oh, it's over there." Imagine that in the same tone as you would use if it were suggested that the latest food craze was a blueberry sandwich. Not entirely unpleasant an idea, but certainly one you've never really considered and aren't sure you're willing to consider. Leslieville is very foreign to me. As foreign as, say, Manitoba. It's all part of the country but I can't really imagine what it looks like there. And I'm not really sure I'd be jumping up and down to go live there. But why, why is Leslieville so foreign to me? Because it's on "the east side".
I am a west ender. I freely admit it. I've lived in this city for almost 12 years now. For the first two years, I don't think I really explored any greater a region than the 4 blocks around campus. Queen street seemed too far away. Ossington? Hadn't heard of it. Then, I moved to an apartment one block south. Suddenly anything north of Bloor was in another land. And so it stayed for a while. But I kept moving. Still, took 4 years before I lived north of Bloor (and I quickly moved back south but have returned again these past two years -- I'm 1 km north). I did branch out though. I'm all the way west, now .. nearly at Jane. And playing ultimate at fields far and sunder across the city has REALLY opened my eyes. I've been to Markham, Thornhill, Richmond Hill, and even Woodbridge. But the east end .. I've never lived east of Yonge. And I really don't travel that way much. I've had to go as far east as Jarvis lately for dance and in the summer for ultimate I even sometimes go to Bayview. But seriously -- that's it -- and it still feels a little weird.
I had heard of this phenomenon when I first moved here. People who only crossed sides if they really really had to. It was inconceivable to them just like it is to me now. I didn't realize it and it's just kind of snuck up on me. But I guess, now I'm a Torontonian.