• When I come to a new city is I combine: I say, well, it's like Barcelona and Edinburgh, though I can't imagine what that would be. But Toronto, the last few times I've been here, what always comes up is Chicago and West Berlin. It's a big, sprawling city beside a lake, of a certain age and a certain architectural complexity. But the high-end retail core looks more like West Germany than the Magnificent Mile. Yonge Street is like K-Damm. There's an excess of surface marble and bronze: it's Germanic and as pretentious as pretentious can be.