Vogue released its list of the world’s 15 coolest hoods – proudly, Toronto’s West Queen West is on there – and each area seems to have many things in common with the next: cafés, trendy bars, galleries, and a general artsy nature. Bustling districts like financial hubs or laid back suburban blocks do not make the cut. Why? Because it’s all about creativity. Freedom of expression, individuality, uniqueness and a rebellion against the mundane are all commonalities. By allowing creativity to dominate, once-misfit or forgotten pockets are earning their stripes. And it’s a lesson we all should learn.
Creativity isn’t always original. Fifteen global neighbourhoods that do not share a common postal code, let alone 1,000km radius, overlap with so many traits. Why? Expression is about originality, but the art of that expression is not rare at all. The risk-takers share a common drive with other risk-takers – to be a risk-taker. Creativity is more about taking risks. Don’t worry much about what others are doing, too.