Attaboy.ca

Over There (in the UK)

February 6, 2003 at 12 PM

Hogtown

I'm off to our nation's would-be capital today. While the people of a certain "backwater-logging town" may lay claim to Canada's Parliament, Senate and other national institutions, the real center of Canada, at least in its English-speaking persona, is Toronto.

In many ways, Canada makes little sense as a country, and in many ways, Toronto is the manifestation of this insanity. Basically everyone admits that when it comes to so-called big cities, Canada has Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. Montreal is largely French, so it usually lives in its own cultural universe (except for hockey, of course). Vancouver competes with Toronto for attention, but it's on the wrong end of geography, and its inhabitants know it. Vancouverites long ago decided they were more interested in attracting the attention of the rest of the world than the attention of the rest of Canada. Inbetween are Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg, and hanging off the end is Halifax, but basically these cities are too small (Halifax tries so hard, but...), too cold (Edmonton), too much in decline (poor Winnipeg -- it's also too cold) or too focused on one type of culture in which rest of the country has little interest (Calgary Stampede anyone?).

And so, there is Toronto.

Home of all major television networks, all the big record companies (or at least their Canadian divisions), the only big theatre scene, the most popular sports teams, the highest variety of ethnicities, and oh yes, it is the hub of the Southern Ontario wheel that drives the economy: a quarter of the national population and most major business and industry, even though it's only a small sliver of the Great White North. In essence, Toronto is Canadian mainstream.

The great pity of Canada is that only a city like Toronto, because of its size, can support all of the things that one needs to define one's own mainstream. And yet, the lunacy of having a country larger than the U.S., but with only one-tenth the population, means that places like Edmonton, Halifax and Vancouver have little in common with Toronto. Montreal does okay on its own French terms, but English Canada gets Toronto as its mainstream cultural presence whether it wants it or not.

And that, ladies and gentleman, is why we, the denizens of the Canadian hinterland, love to hate Toronto, Ontario.

Now, having said all that, anybody know any good T.O. restaurants and bars? I'll be there for four days.

Comments

Attention all denizens of Montreal:

A store on Mount Royal named “Meow” sells pins so elegantly exclaiming…
“Toronto sucks”.

Go buy one now.

— Megan | Feb. 6, 2003 — 12 PM

It’s hard enough to push the fact we’re a world class city when the other residents of this country can’t back that up with a little of their own class.
Toronto doesn’t pretend to be anything it is not. It is humble about its desires and accomplishments. World class has little to do with celebrity status and glamour but to some name-dropping is all that works. Toronto has been home to Hemingway and Amelia Earhart. It calls itself Hollywood North when Hollywood should in fact be called Toronto South.
The more I travel the world’s metropolis’ the more I believe Toronto is the place to be (though Sydney, AUS is unbelievable).
Toronto is upbeat, open and vibrant. It is safe, easily navigated and full of nature, culture and positive growth.

— sookie | Nov. 18, 2003 — 3 PM

I am so sick of all the Canadian cities always having something against Toronto. But of course, we all know the reason. JEALOUSLY. Hey, without Toronto, all of you would be nothing. Do not forget Ontario must subsidize what we make just for the rest of the cities and provinces in Canada. So please, do not hate because we are better than you.

— James | Jan. 27, 2004 — 12 AM

Toronto is the best city. None of you whimpy Canadian cities can match us!!

— Thomas | Jan. 27, 2004 — 12 AM

toronto is theee bomb!!! best place to be ya’al. So the rest of you betta recognize. Without TO, you guys are nothing. there would be no canadian culture

— Nina Cortez | Feb. 1, 2004 — 1 AM

Toronto has been home-base for me for most of the last three decades. True home is the prairies and sometimes I hear the call of those open spaces. When I’m in those places I soon miss the diversity and intensity of this place. Most of us here were born somewhere else, so we have as part of our birth-right, a share in the chip-on-the-shoulder attitude towards T.O. It’s foolish to say that the Edmontons/Winnipegs/etc. depend on T.O. economically. They’d do just as well if, say, a Chicago, was their T.O.-equivalent. Without the border (and the history that goes with it). T.O. would be Detroit or Buffalo or Cleveland, all fine places, but at least for now, cities that don’t have T.O.’s growth rate. Hope you found some good bars here. There are plenty available.

— Rudy | Feb. 7, 2004 — 3 PM

There is grid lock getting into the city in the mornings because Toronto has all of the jobs. Without Toronto, Ontario would would be financially in the gutter hands down. In the States a lot of people have problems with New York City but at least they admit the New York is the financial centre

— Luella | Mar. 7, 2004 — 3 AM

Look how many movies have been made about New York or centred in New York. I think that the rest of the country needs to just and don’t bit the hand that feeds you.

— Eveie | Mar. 7, 2004 — 3 AM

HEY MEGAN FROM MONTREAL IT MUST BE NICE TO SAY TORONTO SUCKS, WHEN HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS GOES TO QUEBEC JUST BECAUSE IT’S QUEBEC!

— EMMA | Mar. 7, 2004 — 4 AM

I’m tired of hearing quebecers and western Canadians complain about Toronto, when so many (TOOOO MANY) of the them live in in this city taking away well paying jobs from young Torontonians like myself. If I were mayor I would kick them all out!

— Molly | Mar. 7, 2004 — 4 AM

rest of canada is just stupid.. ontario subsidizes so much just to pay you rotten assholes…. if ontario was a country on its own, or even with the united states, we would be soo daymn rich, so fuk the rest of canada

— jim | May. 2, 2004 — 10 PM

Previously: Fonts in OS X

Subsequently: As the Carrot Turns

February 2003
the Archives
Home

In Earshot


I only really read it for Canucks coverage, but even still it’s nice that The Vancouver Sun finally redesigned its hideously awful website to look like it was designed this century.


On pizza box art


Web 2.Origami


Welcome to Obama, Japan


The Toronto Star shows where and how the seats changed in the 2008 election

“In Earshot” RSS feed

In Frame

Photo of Madrid Modern Photo of Wasp Photo of Hairy and Stripy Cactus Photo of Stripy

RSS / XML