Toronto - January 21, 2012
It’s no secret Torontonians take serious pride in their city. With all the attitude that comes with considering themselves the New York of the North, there isn’t much Toronto can do that could surprise discerning Montrealers. But during our morning stroll through the St. Lawrence Market, we discovered they had invented something even we couldn’t believe: Toronto Dollars. Apparently, Toronto is so big it actually needs its own currency. After a little digging, we discovered that Toronto Dollars actually work exactly like regular Canadian money – except you can only use them within a three-block radius. As self-indulgent as it sounds on the surface, this “Community Currency” was actually invented during the SARS epidemic in 2003 to help draw consumers downtown and 10% of each Toronto Dollar purchased gets donated to local non-profit organizations.
We’ll give Torontonians this: they know hockey genius when they see it. Stroll past the Hockey Hall of Fame and you’ll find yourself walking through Sam Pollock Square in honor of the legendary Canadiens general manager who was the architect behind eight of Montreal’s 24 Stanley Cups. The square was inaugurated in July 2007, one month before Pollock passed away.
Toronto may be Leafs Nation, but as we discovered during the 2010 Playoffs, there are plenty of passionate Habs fans living amongst the Blue and White masses here in the provincial capital. Thanks to Kilgour’s Bar Meets Grill in the Annex, ex-pats and visitors alike can watch every Canadiens game – in French on RDS, no less – alongside fellow bleu-blanc-rouge clad fans right in the heart of the city. If you’re lucky, co-founder Peter Kilgour might even let you take in the game from the comfort of his customized seat from the Montreal Forum.