Toronto vs São Paulo

Most Brazilians describe Toronto as the São Paulo of Canada. The former is the financial centre of Canada, the latter the financial centre of Brazil. But I think that’s where the analogy ends. Since some Brazilians always get concerned that Toronto might be too big for them, I often haste to assure them that no city in Canada can feel as big as a large Brazilian city. The cities are built differently, the density is just not there. Besides, a city of 20 million people can never be said to be the same as one with barely 4 million!

Skyline of downtown Toronto:

© by frigrante

Skyline of downtown Sao Paulo:

© Paul Keller

Not the same at all…

Actually, people keep asking us what is the thing the strikes us most about Toronto after spending one year in Barcelona. Both Alan and I immediately agree that it is space. There’s just SO much more space in this country. Everything is so much bigger and roomier than in Europe. I remember that the sense of space was the first thing that I noticed when I first visited Canada, about 10 years ago. And Canada – having so much space – also doesn’t have the same density so with less density and more space, things feel even larger! The elevators look the size of bedrooms for us! We go downtown at busy times and find everything so empty…

Alan and I are not into crowds so we rather appreciate not having to fight out way just to walk down the street but our new sensibilities also make us a bit uneasy about how spoiled we are here…