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My Toronto: Jamie McKnight

What would you show a visitor to Toronto?<
“I would definitely go to Canada’s Wonderland or, depending on the season, the CNE because I love rides. And Kensington Market because you can get great vintage clothes there. Definitely the Toronto Islands, too. I love to rent tandem bikes and ride around on the paths. If you come to Toronto, you have to see the view of the city from Panorama restaurant. The view is unbelievable. You can see the entire downtown.”

What’s your favourite neighbourhood?
The Danforth—the food is amazing. My favourite restaurant there is Sher-E-Punjab. I always get the same thing: the chicken sizzler platter. I get a lot of appetizers, too—samosas, pakoras and naan bread and the raita that they give you. It’s so good!”

Where do you like to shop?
“For shopping, it’s Queen Street West. I like all the big franchises there. If I am being honest, though, I hate shopping. I get impatient and if something doesn’t fit me, I feel defeated and just want to go eat. Except Future Shop—wherever there’s a Future Shop, I like to go and spend money there.”

What restaurants do you like?
“If you want the honest truth, it’s Swiss Chalet. It’s so fast, you can get takeout and it’s pretty cheap. It was close to the theatre that I worked at a while ago, and my friend and I would get takeout and split the family pack—it’s a whole chicken with four sides and rolls and gravy. Salad King is sooo good. It’s a zoo there, but it’s worth it. I like the chicken satay.”

Favourite hangouts?
“I like Revival Lounge. It’s in Little Italy, across from El Convento Rico. On Mondays, they have a live band that will play anything you ask and you can just get up and sing. It’s not like karaoke—it’s a live performance. At the Rivoli on Queen West, every Tuesday they have a comedy night where people go up and perform. It’s like a variety show with a host and a bunch of different acts that get up and do whatever they want.”

Describe your ideal day in the city.
“I like to wander around Queen’s Quay and the King and University area where all the theatres are and where there are a few nice restaurants and patios. It’s fun to people-watch there. That’s what I like about Toronto—no one is the same. You really notice it when you leave. I was just out East, the Maritimes, and not to disparage the area—it’s gorgeous and the landscape is beautiful—but you don’t find the multiculturalism of Toronto.”

When I think about Toronto…
“The first thing that comes to my mind is the people. I think the people are really friendly and there’s so much culture. I’ve travelled to South Africa and all these cool places, but Toronto is still home to me.”—Flannery Dean

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