American pro athletes used to think of Toronto as a backwater. High taxes and low temperatures combined with a woeful lack of television exposure back in the States made playing here about as appealing as Canada’s national dish of french fries soaked in gravy and cheese curds.
B.J. Armstrong, the first expansion-draft pick of the NBA’s Toronto Raptors, famously asked to be traded shortly after setting foot here for the first time.
Today, however, Toronto is a road trip just about every pro athlete looks forward to. Some say the city has a cool, international vibe that increasingly stands out.