Street Walking: In Conversation…

They say Canadians are friendly, always the first to say “sorry”, and… live in igloos?

I tend to agree, and might add that we like bacon, love our beer, and wear toques in the summer. I’ve also heard that Toronto is the most socially cold and unfriendly city in Canada, but I might disagree with that. Yes, every second person you pass on the street will have their face buried in their smartphone, and yes, most people will have earphones in their ears which helps give them that little bit of solitude we all crave in the big city, but if you take a moment to stop and talk to ten people on the street, I’m willing to bet that you can have a meaningful conversation with nine of them.

So, if you ever find yourself in Toronto I invite you to give it a try. Don’t hesitate to ask a Torontonian for directions, or a quick recommendation for a tasty and cheap lunch spot (I’m specifically talking to you Jess), because they’re all proud of their wonderful city, and they all long for that brief but cheerful encounter that you can only get by speaking to a stranger.

Happy Monday everyone!

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In the age of email, text, and Facebook, I find that it is far too easy to lose sight of what the term “relationship” really means. I’m guilty of it too. I can look at the call log on my cell phone and see a month’s worth of phone calls on the screen before I have to start scrolling down.

When I think back to my teens, which was the period just before the internet, I have fond memories of talking on the phone, making plans to meet face-to-face, and carrying on meaningful conversations. My friends and I would spend our mornings working, our afternoons gathering at the local soccer field or hanging around the hotdog stand owned by one of our crew, and our evenings rotating amongst each other’s basements listening to the music that defined the Grunge Era.

But today, we seem to hold ourselves at arm’s length, even with those we love. That’s why I love stumbling on scenes like this one, where groups of friends are laughing and talking with each other, rather than burying their faces in their phones and iPads. As we move one day closer to the weekend, I’d like to encourage you to pick up the phone and give someone a call, make plans to chat over a coffee or lunch, and deeply engage in a meaningful conversation. However, if you do that already, then good on you. I should take some of my own advice.

Happy Thursday everyone!