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 ;)