I lived in Toronto every summer from age 4 till 13 with my grandparents in Willowdale ( Willowdale and Shepard area near the park close to the 401) then to Downsview on Keele Street right across from what is now the former Officer PMQs. Then I was on Class B for better part of 5 years at CFB Toronto. So I consider myself a kid who grew up in Toronto but went to boarding school in the Ottawa Valley ( at my parents home) .
I loved Toronto as a kid, could not wait to be allowed to go off and explore the city the summer I turned 12 on my own. I went every where, rode the subway every Sunday night after supper till dark, just exploring the stations and the city. I enjoyed my time on the Base from 20 till 25. I have taken my kids there for day trips and events. But I have a hard time sleeping there now, the noise , the changes in the neighbourhood where I grew up. Nothing was the same, I did not really expect it to be the same and sound the same but wow. What was empty space one summer was a construction site the next, then 25 000 homes were built behind the apartment building. The local plaza is now almost as big as some malls in Ottawa. The Jane Finch area was never nice but it seems to have changed and not for the better. ( Who puts a major University in a high crime and low income area?) The subway system I need 2 days of just riding it to see it all again and learn how to get around again. The downtown core is now so different and changed, not sure where to go any more. I love Toronto, I will visit but never sleep there again.