Okay, come on, we know and you know that this is not a fair comparison, but we feel compelled to keep trying to put the world’s great cities up against Paris to see if any match up. If you narrow the field by selecting a few key points of comparison, it is possible to have this discussion. Case in point: Toronto, one of the cities we highlight in the most recent issue of our e-magazine, Girls’ Guide to Paris ET PLUS, released today. We’ve picked several categories in which to examine these two cities: hot chocolate, modern art museums, great hotels, iconic towers and graffiti are among the totally skewed yet amusing ways we are attempting to compare these destinations.
Illustrations by Fifi Flowers.
Eiffel Tower vs. Toronto Tower
Toronto is a diverse, modern, fast-growing city with skyscrapers. Paris is an old, historic, beautiful city full of tradition and limestone buildings. The two couldn’t be more different. So let’s take their tall, phallic-looking icons, the Eiffel Tower and the Toronto Tower. No contest here—the Eiffel Tower wins every time.
Centre Georges Pompidou vs. Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO)
Now this is a closer one. Frank Gehry, a Toronto native, has spruced up the AGO with a sparkling new glass and wood facade, a sculpture gallery and an incredible spiral staircase. While the creation of Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano shocked the world when it was completed in the 1970s, and remains incredible, it’s hard to beat Gehry when it comes to museum design. For its collections, the Pompidou wins; for its innovative expositions, the AGO takes a slight edge. I can hear a chorus of people protesting, so have your say on our Facebook page, but we’re giving the blue ribbon to the AGO. Check it out and let us know your thoughts.
Angelina’s Hot Chocolate vs. Soma’s Hot Chocolate
Next is hot chocolate, which is so very important at this time of year. We compare Angelina’s with Soma’s: traditional, thick, rich-as-heck chocolat chaud with crème Chantilly (whipped cream), which has made many a toddler smile, or spicy organic hot chocolate in the Mayan tradition with cinnamon and hot pepper. Oh yes, now you’re talking! Soma is grown-up chocolate, and we love it. Quelle horreur—Soma wins!
Paris Graffiti vs. Toronto Graffiti
This might just be the case of white men can’t jump with the exception of Banksy. IMHO, graffiti needs to come from the ghetto. No question, there is some graffiti that is more artistic and some that is less refined, but while Paris graffiti is innovative (think Space Invader, for example), it’s just not in your face enough. Toronto is again at the helm here.
Plaza Athénée vs. Fairmont Royal York
Not difficult. The Royal York might be the most classic historic hotel in Toronto, and it’s a lovely place to stay, but it doesn’t hold a candle to the sexiness of the red awnings, and the glitz and glamour that you feel enveloping you, when you enter the Athénée. Undoubtedly, Paris wins here.
Then again, why choose? Enjoy both cities, sip hot chocolate, view incredible art and sleep on a perfectly fluffed down pillow. Vive la différence!