The Toronto Skyline and Other Perks

Living here, whether you like it or not, whether intentionally or not, you’ll start taking pictures of the Toronto skyline every other week. Trust me. Those big skyscrapers are definitely irresistible and seem to look different with every change of weather or season. You’ll soon learn to distinguish between the many styles and moods of the Toronto skyline, and it just may become your friend. I have many inner dialogues with the Toronto skyline. I call it Bob.

Toronto is a great place to live if you like crowded and diverse cities that are bustling and full of energy, but also very friendly. It’s also great if you don’t mind the extremely low temperatures in the winter and the short and precious summer. But people here find a way to make do.

For example, I don’t know if you know this, but brunch is very popular here. I’m not talking about a Sunday brunch because you slept late after a wild Saturday night, or if you just had a lazy Sunday morning and decided to lay in – brunch in Toronto has a life of its own. It’s like a deity here and people take it very seriously. Plus, it’s a chance to try some delicious food from cuisines from all over the world, because, like I said, Toronto is very diverse, and we have different food from different cultures.

My favorite is the Danish smørrebrød (open sandwich), and have it nearly every day at work. Sometimes I think that when I have that for brunch, I write better codes, haha. One downside is that Toronto has very hard water. Nothing helps unless you measure it and then decide on your solution (learn how at I buy my drinking water, but sometimes I use a pitcher water filter for cooking soups or for tea.

Finding an affordable flat can be a challenge, though. The housing situation here has always been a struggle whether you’re renting or buying, you should take note of this. So just research thoroughly about the area you want to move in and really evaluate your situation, and start from there. You could move into a more affordable area at first and then move up. It’s actually how I started. I never thought I’d like in a big skyscraper, but here I am.

And in the end, if you do move here, be prepared for a lot of cultural trips and a lot of nature!

Snug as a (Wet) Bug in a Rug

Here is a survival tip for anyone thinking of making the move to Toronto: get a space heater. Maybe get a few. I am not going to lie, Toronto is cold. While there are places in Canada that get colder, I personally don’t visit any of them, and I can promise you that you don’t really need to either if you live here. Toronto’s got just about everything you’ll ever need; for everything else, there’s the internet.

I am not a wimp about weather by any means—I’ve been playing ice hockey since I was five—but I hate being cold. I don’t think hate is a strong enough word, really, especially when I’m indoors. I despise being cold. Unfortunately, this is a serious problem for anyone working in IT. Nobody cares about your comfort; it is all about keeping the equipment cool enough to run properly. You can turn into a popsicle for all they care. It’s true. I’ve had colleagues who need to wear gloves at their stations. It’s a problem in all seasons, too. Not just winter. I’m cold in the winter because as I said before, Toronto gets cold. I also get cold in the summer because the air conditioner is always on super high in my office. Also, because our hottest month is July. Coincidentally, it rains a lot in July. This means I get wet either getting to or leaving work, then get blasted by the a/c at my destination, and that makes me cold. I have rain gear but I often forget it, or I forget to look out the window (or I’m at work, where I don’t even have a window so the weather outside is a complete surprise). Instead, I have a small but efficient space heater. The one I use the most is a bathroom space heater. I am not a fan of getting out of a nice warm shower and stepping onto freezing cold tile or into the much cooler temperature of my bathroom. That’s a special kind of torture for me. But it’s impractical to run the heat in just the bathroom in the summer and it’s also expensive to run it to a point where the bathroom is a comfortable temperature in winter.

The bathroom space heater solves my problem. It sits low to the ground so it warms the tile up nicely. It warms the air in the bathroom to a pleasant temperature so I am not freezing when I get out of the shower. If it falls over, it shuts off. If it gets too hot, it shuts off. I can have the rest of the house at a normal temperature and turn my bathroom into a sauna. Some days it is the only time of my day, aside from when I’m in bed, that I am actually at a comfortable temperature. Seriously, this thing is a life changer. Trust me. Once you get used to one, you will never look back. Especially if you are thinking of moving to this wonderful city of mine called Toronto.

Some Guys Have Duct Tape, I’ve Got a Stapler

If you had to put together a basic office supply/tool kit, what would you include? You might have picture hangars and a hammer; you might have pliers and a tape measure. You would surely want a hole punch, a letter sealer (those little plastic bottles with sponge on one end to eliminate licking envelopes), and plenty of paper clips (yes, they are mini tools). Alongside the essentials would surely be a good stapler, manual or electric and a box or two of refills.

Duct tape will do in a pinch to hold these together, but why not the ubiquitous stapler? Sure, it is intended to fasten pieces of paper, but it can also work like magic to mend things around the workspace. (And duct tape is so unsightly!) In fact, I have a mini version in the car and in my brief case. You can buy these wee refills if you know where to go.

The office, at work or in one’s home, must come equipped for various functions. One of the most common is to affix pages of a report or some research for later consumption. I know, I know. We keep these documents handy on our desktops or in files, but there are times when you want to hold something in your hands and make notes. You want to keep it within visual reach. There are also times when you want to give someone your work and feel that forgoing electronic sending is a good thing. Your email can get lost in the thousands people have in their in boxes.

No matter the purpose, the stapler is the answer to many office prayers. It does double duty if it is a staple gun that can attach things like flyers and posters to bulletin boards or walls. It can be used to decorate a room for a birthday or special celebration. Its uses know no bounds. You really should have a couple of different models. You will be surprised how often you will use them (and they don’t cost that much).

Arts and craft people can’t live without their scissors and stapler. They are the tools of the trade. You can even mend a seam that has come apart temporarily or make sure your Post-it note stays in place. A stapler can keep you out of trouble and in harmony with modern office life. Set it on your desk and watch its uses grow.

I think an electric stapler like these would make a great gift for the person who has everything, even duct tape. You can choose a regular size or long reach model once you assess the recipient’s everyday needs. Staplers for the home or office may be simple to complex, but let’s face it, the mechanism of the device is pretty standard. An added treat for your gift would be some colorful matte or metallic finish staples that make the routine process a little more fun.

You don’t have to lift a finger to buy what you need. Go to your budget-friendly office supply site online. If you are really picky, read the reviews and select accordingly. In the long run, a stapler will be your favorite tool.