Jonathan Kay perfectly nails why Canadians who don’t live in Toronto learn to loathe it. Kay refers to this article and the special section it appeared in which was published in The Globe and Mail last weekend.
Despite living in Montreal, I used to subscribe to the firmly Toronto-centric Globe because most of the paper was so much better written than the local rag. Good coverage of foreign affairs, and a pleasant lack of myopia on broader issues. Nevertheless, reading the Globe’s Style section every weekend was — and apparently continues to be — the driving-by-a-car-wreck equivalent of newspaper consumption. It’s so tragic, but you can’t help but read it anyway.
I’ve had similar feelings reading the Saturday Guardian here in England. It’s a very well-written paper, but it’s a staunchly London paper, and I don’t live in London. And I could understand if many English people who also don’t live in London thought those capital-city dwellers were snot-nosed, spoiled elitists. Sometimes journalists who work at prestigious newspapers simply don’t realize how much of their own upper-middle class lifestyle they take for granted, and how little of the population shares that lifestyle.
In general, it seems like the relationship between London and England is similar to Toronto and Canada, only way more so. That is, everything really does happen in London, at least as far as the media are concerned, and the rest of England is treated like some muddy backwater from another time and place. London is the political capital, the media capital, the cultural capital, the cool capital. At least Canada has Montreal and Vancouver as some form of counter-weights, and, mercifully, Toronto isn’t the capital city.
Perhaps a better analogy is that Toronto is to Ontario as London is to England. Living in Nottingham, I’m starting to understand how people in Windsor, Sudbury or North Bay feel.