We’ve been going on and on about all the stuff downtown but there is another side to Toronto, something called the Greater Toronto Authority, a collection of suburbs that are truly unwieldy. Vast uncharted spaces inhabited by strange people called 905ers and full of malls, strip malls, industrial malls, mini-malls and three zillion houses. Single-family dwellings run amok.
AKA Miserysauga, Mississausage, the Sausage
As recent as the early 80s people still kept horses, and wild pheasant and deer were common in your backyard. Then they discovered the joys of concrete and decided to huddle the whole “city” around a fucking mall called Square One.
C&W BURGERS (1694 Dundas, near the 427): The best poutine outside of Quebec. This is where they shot that scene in Billy Madison where Chris Farley and Adam Sandler throw pickles on the window.
MARCONI’S PIZZA (Cawthra and Burnhamthorpe): The Italian guy that runs this joint is one moody motherfucker. Maybe he can’t smile because he is channeling all of his available energy into making the perfect pepperoni pizza.
AKA McTobicoke, Etobicock
It used to be very Scottish but now it has pockets of literally every race in the world including a harrowing little Somalia (near Rexdale).
McNIES LOVELY GRUB (315 Burnhamthorpe Rd. at Kipling) The best fish and chips in Toronto, hands down. This is a CFRB 1010 favorite, real Toronto working-class.
SANREMO BAKERY (374 Royal York Rd.) Run by the Bozzo brothers Nick, Edward and Rob and their dad Natale. The best old-school Toronto-Italian bakery, famous for their cakes. Catch a rap with Rob, he’ll tell you some funny stories about the assholes that sell him veal. And he speaks perfect TI.
AKA Scarberia, Scarcity, Scarburgh
This is where most of the funny Canadians come from: Mike Myers, John Candy, Jim Carrey, lots of the guys from Kids in the Hall. It used to be pretty middle-class but now it’s crime-ridden. This is where Omar Kahdr and Ze Wai Wong were from. Kahdr, (“Son of Al Qaeda”) was recently detained in Guantanamo and Wong, it is said, supplied 1 out of 7 ecstasy pills sold in the US throughout the 90s.
THE BLUFFS: A sad outcrop of rock from the Canadian Shield on the shores of Lake Ontario, and the only significant geographical feature in the whole of the GTA.
THE TORONTO ZOO: The zoo is classic activity shit. But there’s something about seeing a horned Himalayan Tahr just off of the smog-belching 401 that just doesn’t work for some reason.
Markham is almost 100% Chinese. After graduating computer science with perfect grades, students flock to high tech employment in Markham because if you have absolutely no social skills you won’t notice that you are working and living in a completely barren hell-hole.
DYNASTY CHINESE FOOD (HWY 7 and the 407): The most perfectly roasted, sliced, and served three-course, fatty Peking duck outside of Peking.
PACIFIC MALL (4300 Steeles Ave. E.): This is the largest indoor Chinese shopping mall in North America with lots of red streamers, gold dragons and funny fake plaster casts of Buddha and other Chinese cartoon monsters. Check out the Heritage Town section where you can sit in a replica of a Chinese throne. It’s regal.
AKA Wopbridge, Hollybridge, Wopville, Ginobridge.
This utopia was created by Italians who were fleeing the cultural diversity of West Toronto in the 80s. But now lots of other people have moved in and the wops are going even further north and/or losing sleep worrying about real estate devaluation. If you are trapped there, God help you. There is nothing to do. Not a fucking thing.