When I moved to Toronto in the fall of 2006, I was 17 years old. I’d grown up in suburban Calgary, independent to some degree but far enough away from things that my parents would often have to drive me to the C-Train station. Calgary was familiar; I spent most of my time doing the same things in the same neighbourhoods, and I never really thought anything of it.
Toronto was uncharted territory. It was new and exciting and wildly confusing, and I spent a lot of time poring over transit maps and riding the subway to figure out what was going on. My first TTC Ride Guide had all kinds of markings and annotations and addresses scrawled on it, and it wasn’t until it started disintegrating at the seams that I reluctantly picked up a fresh one. I used it every day and got to know the city intimately, soon able to plot my routes anywhere with barely a glance at the colourful, spidery transit lines.
Whenever I’d go back to Calgary, though, it was usually the same old. I was back in familiar territory and going to familiar locales. Most of the exploration stayed east.