Signs the World is Moving On…

When was the last time you saw or heard something that stopped you mid-stride?!?

I had a ‘moment’ this past weekend while in Toronto.

This story starts (okay, so it’s already started, but bear with me!) when I took my family to the city for a couple of days so I could take my wife to see Cirque Du Soleil (Happy Birthday Mrs. Valiant!)

We stayed at the Sheraton hotel, which, if you can afford it, I highly recommend; but with rooms starting at $350 per night (plus $40 a day for parking, valet and porter tips etc) I probably won’t be taking my family back soon :)

Our last night in town I was up late and couldn’t sleep, so I decided to leave the hotel and troll around the streets and alleyways of the city for a couple of hours to wear myself out. Unfortunately I forgot my camera. (What’s the #1 rule of photography? “Never go out without a camera, SIR!”)

As I walked down Queen street, coming up to Bay I passed by what I thought was a starbucks as I started to cross the road; it looked like a starbucks, starbucks sign front and center, trendy glass building etc. Of course, it wasn’t open and even if it were the last thing I needed at 1 am was an over-caffinated starbucks grande something-or-another, so I walked by without more than a glance as I started to cross the street.

When I reached the other side I glanced back and, with my improved view of the glass building, stopped dead in my tracks.

The small building indeed housed a Starbucks, but shared it’s glass enclosure with a TD Canada Trust – a popular bank, for any non-Canadian readers -

Maybe it was just my mood, or thoughts at the time but the site of these two disparate companies sharing such tight quarters inside a glass cube really dropped my jaw.

I’m not sure which of my two initial thoughts shocked me more, but the combination was a 1-2 punch that left me standing agape in front of old city hall.

First, the marketing guy inside me couldn’t help but to try and picture marketing genius who initially thought of this corporate pairing and the subsequent pitch to TWO different corporate boards!

Second was the realization that we have become so secure in our society that someone in this banks heirarchy decided trendy outweighed security and built a bank, complete with vault and everything, in a glass cube on a busy street corner.

And I’m not talking ‘glass building’ like the typical modern day big city skyscrapers. This building is pretty much 4 see through glass walls and a roof.

I searched a long time and could only find one picture to share. It’s not a great shot (actually, it IS a good picture, I just mean it doesn’t show the whole building) but you can see what I’m talking about anyway.

(*I want to mention too that this picture is an all rights reserved image which I grabbed anyway because I couldn’t find another anywhere. I highly recommend you visit this Toronto photographers website and check out his work. He’s got a lot of great work in there and you can get a great glimpse of some Canadian cities!)


I recently watched Inside Man with Denzel Washington and Clive Owen and as I stood there on Queen Street I couldn’t help thinking that Clive Owen could have saved himself a lot of time and effort by simply fhying to Toronto and Renting a Really Big Truck.

And now that our dollar has reached parity with the US greenback, it woul have even been worth his time!