by Michel Neray
If you’re coming to Mindcamp from out of town, you may be spending a fews days in the city before heading up to Mindcamp. Or, you may already live in in Toronto. Sure, you could go about your usual daily life by checking email, updating your status on Facebook or hacking into government databases…
You could consider doing a few of my favourite things…
Thing 1: Do The Neighbourhood Walk.
The Greater Toronto Area is heralded as one of the most multicultural cities in the world. Over 140 languages and dialects are spoken here, and just over 30 per cent of Toronto residents speak a language other than English or French at home. Fully 50% of Toronto residents were born in another country!
As a result, Toronto is home to more ‘Little YouNameits’ than any other city I know. We have not one but two Little Italy’s, three Chinatown’s, plus Little Portugal, KoreaTown, Greek Town, and Little India… (to name a few).
It’s not just ethnicity that defines Toronto’s neighbourhoods. According to Wikipedia, the city of Toronto is called “the city of neighbourhoods” because there are 140 officially recognized neighbourhoods and upwards of 240 official and un-official neighbourhoods within the city’s boundaries.
How many hoods can you walk? Grab a bicycle or get a day pass for the TTC to get around! And while you’re at it, ponder how we could creatively export our model of coexistence to other parts of the world…
Don’t miss three of my favourites: the Gay Village where no one ever grows up, The Distillery District where everything is old, and Kensington Market which is a big mashup of everything in between.
Plan your day here.
Thing 2: Game of Tongues
OK so now you know how diverse Toronto is! And after all that touring, you’ll want a place to relax. So here’s a great game to play at the end of your day. Get a group of Pre-Mindcampers together on a nice outdoor patio; one that has a big selection of craft beers on tap.
Every time you hear a language other than Canadian English, write it down on a piece of paper, give yourself a point and finish your pint. The last person to stay sober tallies the score and finishes everyone else’s beer.
My favourites are Bar Volo, Bellwoods Brewery, Mill Street Beer Hall, almost any place on Augusta in Kensington market, and well, pick a spot, any spot:
Thing 3: momondays Toronto August 18!
momondays Toronto happens just a couple of days before Mindcamp. And this month, we have three Mindcampers speaking on the momondays stage! (Four if you include me!)
If you have never been to momondays and you don’t know what it is, imagine what you’d get if you combined one part TED Talks, one part comedy, one part storytelling and three parts fun! Here’s how one recent attendee described her experience:
“Think of a Birthday Party filled with all kinds of wonderful surprises… your favourite ice-cream topped with all the fixings… served to you in a decadent chocolate cone… and an extra one on the side to share. Then Imagine all that excitement and fun. People-Talking-Sharing-Dreaming.”
You truly do meet the nicest people at momondays, and we’ll have a special table just for Mindcampers.
Michel Neray presents Pack the Room! How to write session descriptions that attract truckloads of participants just drooling to hear your content and worship at the altar of your expertise at Mindcamp 2014.