As of six months from the date that I finish school, I officially become an Ontaritononian (that's what I call people who are from Toronto). In November 2008, I will become an Ontarion resident.
Now, I could just dodge it all. I could lie. I could never switch over my ID, continue to file my taxes in Alberta, even completely disregard my health care coverage (hey--I have benefits now--so why not?) just for the sake of insisting that I'm an Albertan. I could become a fugitive of the law, just for my love of Alberta. (Okay, or because I just like the idea of being a fugitive of the law. It sounds kind of sexy.)
But I'm willing to give Ontario a chance.
I'm willing to acknowledge that my knowledge of Ontario is limited to Toronto, London and Ottawa. I'm willing to acknowledge I've spent nearly all of my time in the city hear, and according to the television ads, "There's no place like this, no other place like this for meeeee. . .Ontario!" (It's kind of a catchy song.)
So here's the plan. Over the course of the summer, I'm going to devote all my free weekends to investigating my new potential province of residency. If Ontario wins me over by the end of August, I will embrace my status and get an Ontario health care card. (Bold move, I know.) If not, at least I'll have something sexy-sounding to put on my business card.
For my birthday weekend two weeks ago, I decided to put the plan into action. Alex Dodd and I drove to Collingwood. I wasn't impressed at first. See that big hill in the distance? That's what they call a mountain in these parts. Blue Mountain, in fact.We went for a hike up to the Collingwood Caves. Gorgeous view of Georgian Bay? Another point for Ontario. Eight thousand and twenty two people with little kids also hiking up to the caves? That's about minus 10 points for Ontario. There's seriously way too many people in this province.
I was introduced to Ontario's provincial flower--the trillium. Alex told me it was rare and illegal to pick, so I thought it was a definite step up from Alberta's wild rose. But according to Wikipedia, this isn't the case:
While it is a popular belief that it is illegal to pick the common Trillium grandiflorum (white trillium) in Ontario, in reality no such law actually exists. However, the rare Trillium flexipes (drooping trillium) is protected by law in Ontario , because of its very small Canadian population.
Verdict on provincial flowers? Well, the trillium is definitely prettier, but a bit of a pansy (ha, get it) and can be injured easily, whereas the wild rose is thorny and grows like a weed. It's a tought choice, really.
Ontario does have one solid thing going for it: Alex Dodd. He bought me a professional kite for my birthday (I know!), which I promptly flew directly into the top of a very tall, non-sturdy, prickly tree. Alex, in an act of sheer chivarly, prevented me from crying by climbing the very tall, non-sturdy, prickly tree, all while a group of kids gathered around watching and adding commentary like, "I kind of want to see him fall" and "I knew a guy who fell out a tree once and is paralysed now."