Barcelona vs Toronto

I once compared Madrid & Barcelona to Toronto & Montreal. In that post, I made the point that Madrid’s beer culture more closely resembled that of Toronto, while Montreal was more like Barcelona. But having been in Barcelona for almost 9 months now and getting ready to leave, I find more and more points in common between Barcelona & Toronto.

Take multiculturalism, for example. Barcelona is the most multicultural city in Spain and it has been so even during Franco’s regime when most of Spain was practicelly shut out from the rest of the world. Of course Toronto is more multicultural since it is not only the most multicultural city in Canada but was the most multicultural city in the world accoring to the UN. I find this aspect one of the best things about each place.

Both cities are located next to large bodies of water. OK, maybe the Mediterranean is much bigger than Lake Ontario, but it still gives a nice flavour to the town. I just wish our politicians in Toronto could see what was done with the waterfront here and do the same in Toronto… Also, the grid-lock pattern of the Eixample resembles much the map of downtown Toronto. Streets that cross the entire city on a straight line and the practice of giving addresses by naming the closest intersection are some things the two cities have in common. In Toronto we lived on Yonge & Wellesley, here we rented a place on Bruc & Rosselló.

A friend from Canada has warned us that it might take a few months  for us to get used to living in North America again. I don’t know, I think if we focus on the positive sid, it might not take so long ;)

Toronto skyline seen from the ferry

Author: guerson

Born and raised in Brazil, a Canadian stole my heart and took me to Canada in 1999. After seven years between Montreal and Toronto, we then moved to Barcelona, Spain, where I did research for my PhD thesis. This blog began as a chronicle of our adventures while living in Barcelona and exploring the old world and has acquired a life of its own after we moved back to Canada.

6 thoughts on “Barcelona vs Toronto”

  1. I think for me, returning to Toronto after 9 months in Spain was difficult at first but mostly for more personal emotional reasons than anything else. I did have a hard time adjusting to speaking and hearing English all the time for the first few months, plus how rushed everyone in Toronto is to get places (in Valencia, everything was “tranquilla, tranquilla”). That is one thing that I really like about living in El Paso, it reminds me of Spain in some ways (hearing Spanish spoken all the time, more laid back way of life; although in other ways, it is completely different!!).

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  3. Im from South Africa and im thinking of travelling to Canada the whole of canada on a 1 year holiday visa. I would like to know where the best cities are to travel. I would like to start travelling from March from Toronto that is where I will live and work then throughout the summmer travel the East of Canada to Niagara falls, ottawa, montreal, quebec, halifax, Charllotown prince edwards islands and so on. Then from late September as the winter apporoaches id like to travel to live in vancouver. Can you please give me details of what to look forwars to in canada which cities I must not miss out on how the chicks are the culture the people what is the cheapest means of transportation that I can use to travel to around Canada. What is winter like in Vancouver. any information you can give me please on travelling canada thank you

  4. Too Joel Matai….South Africa has been a place that I have dreamed of since I was really young… anyway not the point of the reply… I havn’t traveled much of Canada… although I was born and raised here… I live in Toronto the east end Scarborough… The TTC is a great way of getting around in Toronto… the night life is good.. girls gorgeous… probley because there is alot of mixed races and what not ;) anyway.. I find downtown Toronto a little over whelming.. Everyone is always in a rush to be somewhere… but the nightlife no matter your age group is great people come out esspecially on the weekends from all over the GTA me being one of them. if you visit outside of downtown toronto you have a better chance of taking in the crazy multicuralism here..anyway have a great trip :)

  5. Hi Joel,

    Your plans sound very good! Canada is a very beautiful country and I too wish I could travel across the country. The itinerary you mentioned sounds good. Both Toronto and Montreal are very dynamic, multicultural cities and I don’t think you’ll have trouble finding things to do there.You’ll find Canadians to in general pretty warm and welcoming. Particularly in places like PEI, Newfoundland & the east. But if you are planning to be on the east coast in the summer, you might have to plan it more carefully because places like PEI and Nova Scotia get very crowded with Canadians enjoying their holidays.

    As for cheap transportation – Canada is VERY large and I’m afraid transportation isn’t very cheap. You might want to look at buses & trains for places that are not too far apart (Like Nigara Falls-Toronto-Ottawa-Montreal-Quebec City) but you’ll definitely have to fly to Vancouver and probably even from Montreal to Halifax.

    Sorry if I’m not of much help. I’m sure you can find a blog that talks about traveling across the country.

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