Dear Toronto

“Dear Toronto,

Thank you.

Thank you for your big gestures:

for welcoming me with open arms at eighteen,

eager-eyed and pimpled,

potential brimming from my every molecule,

not yet aware that I was born for the city.

Thanks for welcoming me back some years later,

when I bought my first apartment

(a tiny sunlit room in an old high-rise building),

and though it isn’t perfect, it’s my new home;

my very own small piece of you.


Dear Toronto,

thank you for your small moments:

for that June afternoon spent with my mom,

window shopping along Queen Street,

slurping up pad thai at the Rivoli,

laughing as we let the sauce run down our chins.

For that special evening, slow dancing with that boy at that formal,

his hands on my waist, mine on his neck,

feeling like I have stars inside.

And thanks for tonight, as I write this poem,

my roommate’s fragrant cooking crawling under my door,

hearing sleepless sirens from my open window,

searching for the perfect words to trap these moments in amber.

Dear Toronto,

Thank you.

You are exactly where I belong.”

Why I Wrote This Piece

I was inspired by the prompt, “#DearToronto,” to write an open letter to Toronto, thanking it for being the place I call home.


  • Clare O'Brien

    I am a writer and artist from Oakville, Ontario. I completed my undergraduate degree in American Studies, English, and Cinema Studies at the University of Toronto, and have since made Toronto my new home. An essay I wrote on Toronto film culture, entitled "Nirvanna the Band the Show the Essay", was recently published in the Caméra Stylo Journal of Cinema Studies.

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