When I stepped outside a for my morning coffee a couple of days ago, I thought for a moment that it had already arrived. But we were a few degrees short of the mark. Nevertheless, I basked in the glorious sun, forgetting for a fleeting moment that it was early March in Canada. Feeling my Vitamin D reserves replenishing after the dark and dreary winter months, I began to plan it out… what I was going to do when it finally arrived… the day… the first t-shirt wearing, patio drinking, city walking, most-perfect day of the year. The day that wakes up the sleepy residents of the city and sends them out onto the streets in droves. It is my favourite day of the year. We all know what day I am talking about. We have all experienced it, though few of us know what it’s called. I call it ‘The Day’.
(Not that day)
Every year in early spring, we in Toronto are blessed with a perfect weekend day, with the bright sun shining in our sunglasses-covered eyes, the warm air on our freshly uncovered skin, and a feeling of euphoria that accompanies the end of our (sometimes endless) winter. Every year on this day, I pull myself out of bed bright and early, throw on a t-shirt and little else, and step outside onto the street for a day of wondrous wandering. There is a kind of magic in the air as our city bursts to life once again, a primal urge coursing through the veins of Toronto, the streets bustling with activity. I just love it.
Every annual adventure takes on a life of its own, though some hot spots are staples on the itinerary. The Black Bull patio on Queen St. is always the busiest, sunniest, and best people-watching in the downtown core, though you will have to line up to get a seat. [Danny’s Tip: Avoid waiting in line by agreeing to meet friends at the bar then show up late. By the time you arrive, your party should just be getting seated.] Whatever I do, enjoying a pint in the sun with a cigarette pinched between my fingertips is a must, and for me marks the true beginning of summer.
On my way to the bar, I am sure to encounter heavy foot traffic, and a cornucopia of street performers who come out of hibernation to capitalize on their returning audience. Under normal circumstances, the crowded sidewalks would irritate me, though on The Day I find it downright refreshing. It’s just nice to see how fashionable everyone actually is under all of those winter clothes. This is also the time when I usually start bumping into friends who had the same bright idea that I did. Though I typically start the day with just one close companion, the evening ends surrounded by friends; all of us bubbling up with carefree joy.
The parks experience their annual renaissance with panting dogs chasing shirtless Frisbee players. I usually take a more leisurely approach and enjoy a book, or the scenery [read: lightly dressed women], whilst sipping a latte from one of the many trendy coffee shops that dot the periphery of Trinity Bellwoods. Sometimes I just lean back with the sun on my face and take in a deep breath as the warm breeze flirts with my nostrils. It really is heavenly.
Whatever I end up doing this year, I can’t wait for it to come. For some people it’s Christmas, for others it’s their birthday, for me ‘The Day’ is my favorite time of the year. Too bad I can’t mark it on my calendar… or maybe that’s the magic. You never know when The Day will come.