East End Boys and West End Girls

Somehow this conversation has come up twice over the last few days and I figured I needed to ask some more people. Thanks  to @BuzzBuzzHome and their meetup this evening at the Pour House on Dupont Street for giving me a forum to chat about it this evening. I believe they will be posting on their forum soon about this topic too.

You ask almost anyone living in Toronto, they will tell you that there are “East Enders” and “West Enders”. Once you are born into one or the other, you’re sold. It may not be as pronounced nowadays, but it did when I moved here and you can still feel it in the air.

I moved to Toronto when I was 11 and we moved into the Beach. When my parents split up, my mom moved just north of Kingston Road to the Upper Beach and my father moved to Riverdale. I joined him and my brother there about a year later. When I graduated a year after that, I made my first move “across Yonge Street” to Yonge and Eglinton, a few blocks west of Yonge Street. I was there for 8 months, then moved back to Riverdale where I got an apartment and then bought a house. That was seven years.

My mother and I bought a condo from my father’s project in the Bloor West Village and stayed for about a year. Then moved to East York for another three years and got another condo at Landsdowne and Dupont. A year later, I moved to my father’s for school (which was in Corktown) and my mother moved to the Beach again.

My latest move has me in Forest Hill and though most of my life is in the south east quadrant of the city, I still went north west. This is the first voluntary move that I’ve made “West of Yonge” since Yonge & Eglinton. The other two were to purchase condos in my father’s projects.

My point is that even though I moved to the west end, I am still an east ender at heart. My local pub is in the Beach, and most of my family and friends are around Riverdale or in Scarborough. Torontonians that leave the city for even years return and tend to move back to the same side of the city, though not necessarily the same neighbourhood. Another question that this raises is: Do “North-Enders” exist?

The only thing that I couldn’t quite put my finger on is: What characteristics (if any) discern East from West? Thoughts?

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3 comments on “East End Boys and West End Girls

  1. “North Enders” totally exist although they don’t live in the city of Toronto. They are the people of Thornhill and beyond. I have friends who grew up at Bathurst and Clark and when it came time to buy a house they moved further north! (I know, I couldn’t believe it either.)

    • Thanks Dan. As I said, the feeling may be a bit outdated, but I always noticed the East vs. West. I also realize that there is an uptown vs. downtown feeling, but did not notice it as much as the East vs. West.

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