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11 Reasons Toronto is Such a Small City for Young Professionals

It seems impossible to meet someone that one of your friends hasn’t already hooked up with or dated. If you meet someone and you have zero mutual Facebook friends, you wonder if there’s something wrong with them. Toronto is damn small, and here are 11 reasons why

We don’t have to tell you that the city can be damn small.

As in, it feels like a mid-sized town on the best of days for most interconnected young professionals (YPs).

It seems everyone knows everyone, and you bump into the same people all the time. 

And it’s not because we experience a shortage of places to eat, drink, and make friends.

1. There’s Something for Everyone
Toronto is ever-shrinking thanks to the interconnectedness of a mixed bag of YP networks of every type. Because the city’s a hub for YPs in every single profession – from entertainment to finance – it has attracted so many groups of YPs throughout who are more united than ever thanks to mutual friends and social media.

2. The Competition’s a Bitch
“Making it” in Toronto isn’t easy, especially when most of us entered the workforce in the immediate wake of the recession. With an intense focus (see: obsession) on our careers, many of us took our time when it came to our personal life, resulting in countless nights out, dozens of first dates, and a few short-lived relationships, all of which meant new introductions.

3. You Know Everyone in Your Industry  
For all the different industries throughout the city, most remain quite cohesive and insulated (i.e. everyone knows or knows of everyone). Industry-specific hangouts – like Soho House for those in media or Ki for the Bay Street set – can make both your industry and the city in general feel like high school.  

4. There Are More YP Charity Events than Most YPs Can Afford
From motionball and Boobyball, to Operanation and AGO’s Massive Party, the past decade has seen an increase in YP-oriented charity events. This, of course, means hundreds of YPs from all professions in one venue (with many of the same usual suspects at each one), flowing cocktails, and, inevitably, personal and professional networking.

5. The Drake Hotel
As much as YPs like to claim prime real estate at their industry hotspot, there’s one spot that attracts YPs of every type – from as hippy dippy artsy as Parkdale can produce, to some of Bay Street’s most boisterous. Whether for brunch, dinner, patio cocktails, or live music, you’re not only guaranteed to see someone you know at The Drake Hotel, but to connect with someone from an entirely new network all together.

6. The City’s Condo Scene Exploded  
Not only do YP networks increasingly intersect in personal and professional circles, where they live serves as a prime breeding ground for connection building. With more condos than ever in the downtown core, it seems we meet a new friend-of-a-friend each morning in the elevator (who we awkwardly recognize through social media).

7. The West End Got Sportier
Up until recently, the sport-lovers had little reason to venture west on “game night,” with the opening of both Dog and Bear and Dock Ellis, there’s now reason to. This means they join the local west end hipsters, offering a (hopefully) harmonious newfound fusion of YPs that proves that the jocks and the artsy types can indeed coexist. #WeTheNorth

8. Tinder Happened
Although Tinder opens up more options to venture out of your social circle, it more often than not serves as a constant reminder of how small the city actually is when your high school sweetheart, best friend’s sibling, and coworker’s faces pop up on your screen within five minutes of Tinder time.

9. Ossington Became a Thing
Sure, the city’s full of spots when it comes to dining and partying. But the thing about the Ossington strip is that it attracts a mixed bag of YPs unlike any other (even The Drake) – from starving artists to snobby foodies, social scenesters to the wining and dining corporate type – you’ll likely meet them all while bar hopping post-dinner…and connect on social media on the spot.

10. We Ditched Our Bosses
Today’s YPs are ditching the safety net of the corporate world to pursue entrepreneurial endeavors in a bigger way than ever before. With such pursuits, of course, comes an intense focus on getting out there, networking, and building your personal brand. With each new connection made, the city shrinks just a little bit more.

11. Toronto Became Cooler
Perhaps one of the reasons we attract YPs in the first place is because the city bustles more than ever. Gone are the days when hitting the town was reserved for weekends; between concerts, art events, film screenings, and restaurant openings, there’s something notable happening every night of the week. This only means you’re exposed to more fellow YPs than ever –  both at the events and later on social media when you inevitably post and hashtag a picture. 


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Erin Davis

Erin is a Toronto-based actor, writer and queen of the side hustle. When she’s not writing the day away in a face mask, she’s taking in the city’s vibrant arts scene, doing a red carpet interview or brunching with her leading ladies. Follow me: @erinnicoledavis