A strange thing that I have noticed over the last few months, walking the bustling streets of Toronto, is that I walk on the wrong side of the street. Or, as I’d like to say, the rest of the people in Toronto walk on the wrong side of the street, and I walk on the right side of the street. I challenge you to try this little experiment for yourself, and see what results you get – granted it may involve visiting another country to truly get the meaning of my post, but still 😛
I’ve subconsciously always walked on the left-hand side of the sidewalk my whole life, it’s just the way I’m used to walking. However, in Toronto, people tend to walk on the right-side of the sidewalk. I noticed this when, after absent-mindedly walking around for a few minutes, I would nearly bump into someone who was walking on the same side of the sidewalk as me. I would then (politely) move to the other side of the sidewalk, and continue on my merry way, since there’s a trail of a few people behind the person I nearly bumped into.
I eventually realized that it wasn’t my mindless walking that made me almost bump into people, but more because they were used to walking on the right-hand side of the road (which would be the left-hand side of the sidewalk if they’re walking towards me), while I was used to walking on the left-hand side. This, clearly, was a problem.
When I first realized this happening, I started purposefully walking on either the left or right side, to see which people would move out of my way (not many people did…), as well as carefully (and not at all creepily) keep an eye out on how other people walked, and whether they walked on the right or left-hand side of the sidewalk.
This long experiment led me to the conclusion that people actually tend to walk on the same side of the road that they drive on. And as a person who comes from a country where we drive on the left side, thus walk on the left side, it has been an interesting experience to come to Toronto, where they drive and walk on the right side instead.
Now I ask you – what side of the road do you walk on?