Midtown Toronto has made an impression on Toronto Argonauts sophomore Kenny Shaw.
The wide receiver moved into the Yonge-Eglinton neighbourhood this year, and has been enjoying the close proximity to the practice facility in Downsview, as well as the downtown core. And he admits he’s not into the hustle and bustle of the core.
He’s a transplanted Floridian, living in the heart of the city. He said he is loving every minute of it, as he’s played in Jacksonville, Fla., Oakland, Calif., and Cleveland, Ohio.
“Toronto is far better than any of those other cities I’ve played in, by far,” he crows in a phone interview.
That’s great to hear. Before, during the 2015 season, he lived close to the Toronto-Vaughan border, and obviously, the ‘burbs weren’t exactly his thing either.
And now that he’s discovered Mars Diner, on the Yonge strip just north of Broadway, he’s in love.
“Never been there before, but it’s now my favourite spot,” he says, adding the meat-lovers omelette is his gameday meal.
I’ve been to the Mars Diner a couple of times and love its malt-shop throwback feel. My order of choice is the Monte Cristo sandwich, and the folks at Mars make a mean, Alexandre Dumas approved lunch.
Eating at Mars must help as the 24-year-old zeroes in on 1,000 yards receiving this season. Through 12 games he has 58 receptions and 754 yards with four touchdowns. But ask him about it and he’ll only soak in the information when someone tells him about reaching a milestone.
“I just go game by game. I don’t look at statistics until somebody else does,” he says. “That’s the best way to approach a season like this.”
With five games left, the odds are he’ll reach 1,000 and the Argos should make the playoffs.
Of course, the one thing he’ll have to prepare for during the post-season will be Canada’s rather unforgiving winters.
“I remember the first day of camp, it was rainy and it had to be 12 degrees. I was like, ‘Where the hell am I? What am I doing?’,” Shaw says, with a laugh. “So this is my first winter … I’m going to get my Canada Goose ready.”
Rain, snow or heatwaves, Shaw continues to absorb his new surroundings.
“I love it, man,” he says. “I’ve been telling everybody, I love it.”