NYC to YYZ: Five Things That Need to Come to Toronto

By Nicole Cardoni

It doesn’t matter if they say ‘zee’ to our ‘zed’ or ‘soda’ to our ‘pop’ – America vs. Canada only matters when we face off at centre ice. 

So here are five things happening south of the border that need to come to Toronto – ASAP.

This isn’t about jealousy or envy; it’s just about making our city as cool as possible.


In contrast with the five octave, sing-song theatricality of the usual Broadway hit parade, plays like the Realistic Joneses by Brooklyn-based playwright Will Eno have an emotional potency that percolates slower than a fine Brando performance. 

Realistic Joneses tells the story of neighbours who discover they have more in common than just their last names as they somewhat comically work through the despair felt in the day-to-day banality of life. 

Plays of this tone are rare finds on any stage and would be a welcomed change to any theatre row’s marquee.  


Canada ranked dead last in environmental protection in November 2013, according to the Washington-based Center for Global Development. 

(This is where you’d hear crickets if we weren’t killing them all.) 

A possible suggestion to improve our ranking? Green burials. 

Eco Documentary A Will for the Woods follows a man’s fight to use green burials as a way to save a North Carolina forest from being clear-cut. This award-winning doc by Brooklyn-based co-directors Amy Browne, Jeremy Kaplan, Tony Hale, and Brian Wilson highlights a revolutionary movement that uses burials to conserve and restore natural areas, forgoing contemporary funeral practices that operate at the ecosystem’s expense. 


She Keeps Bees is from the balls kick drum rock & roll fronted by the whiskey soaked vocals of Jessica Larrabee.

It also embodies the do-it-yourself ethic of the Brooklyn musician, She Keeps Bees having recorded their music from their living room since 2006. 

With their distortion-fuelled guitars and Cat Power sound, they’re just the kind of band to set fire to The Dakota Tavern on a Friday night. 

In other words, an instant Toronto favourite. 


Since maple syrup is part of the Canadian holy trinity (along with Rush and beaver tails), it’s only fitting that Toronto tap the maple syrup cocktail trend currently taking over NYC. 

Bars like Hotel Delmano in Brooklyn are pouring maple syrup inspired combinations like their Gentle Julep – Canadian rye, maple syrup, mint, lemon, angostura bitters, shaken and served up.

Come thirsty. 

Socializing (aka Party Trends)

Short summers and long winters mean Torontonians need to make the most of their one heated season. 

New York’s response is to throw epic afternoon brunch parties. Just ask Bagatelle, Beaumarchais, and Lavo.

These hot spots promise world-renowned DJs, model clientele (literally), and international playboys. Aka: not a bad weekend afternoon. 

After finishing your French Mediterranean-style brunch, beats will start blaring from about 3pm-6pm and suddenly you’ll be wondering how you were ever thinking about your favourite eggs Benny five minutes ago.  

Should afternoon brunch partying become fully embraced in Toronto’s future, you should probably consider following New York’s protocol of dancing on your table top whilst pouring magnums of champagne. 

In fact, that’s not a suggestion – it’s a requirement

Sound disgusting, obnoxious, and slightly too Wolf of Wall Street for you? Yup, that’s what they all say until they try it… 

And love every second of it.  


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