Toronto has no friends

I just finished reading an article in SaskBusiness called “Don’t believe everything you read”. It was about how national news coverage on the Canadian economy is disproportionately bleak.

The reason?

Most national news is produced in Toronto. The columnist writes that Ontario has been hit the hardest (due to our auto manufacturers and heavy reliance on the U.S. economy) and so the rest of the country has to hear about our bad luck because we run the media.

Apparently, Saskatchewan is doing just fine–thank you very much–as are PEI, New Brunswick and Manitoba. The writer goes on to warn the citizens of Saskatchewan not to get caught up in the media’s doom and gloom; after all, it’s just Torontonian whining.

Overall, I found his idea interesting. Toronto is Canada’s media hub and it’s quite possible that we take our local observations into the national newsroom. It’s a theory that deserves to be explored.

That said, the article laced into Torontonians (and Ontarians in general), claiming that we’re arrogant SOBs who think we’re the centre of the universe. Apparently, we don’t know or care enough about the rest of the country and its vast offerings. He even made fun of the Leafs–a low blow, but a fair one… well, it would have been if Saskatchewan *had* an NHL team.

Basically, he said we’re the Americans of Canada.

Since I just wrote about this in my BMO post, I thought I should give it a fair shake.

This isn’t the first time Toronto has been dumped on, so maybe there’s something to it. I’ve read a lot on the topic–nothing academic–but in the court of public opinion, it seems that this is how everyone else feels. The Arrogant Worms actually wrote a song called “Toronto Sucks” in which it states:

“I hate the Sky dome and the CN Tower too
I hate Nathan Phillips Square and the Ontario Zoo
The rents too high, the airs unclean
The beaches are dirty and the people are mean
And the women are big and the men are dumb
And the children are loopy ’cause they live in a slum
The water is polluted and the mayor’s a dork
They dress real bad and they think they’re New York
In Toronto, Ontario”

As a Torontonian, I’m not surprised by the comments (except the “women are big and the men are dumb” line, which is completely untrue). I think there’s always that divide between urban and rural. People from each side believe there is something separating them from the other (see “Sweet Home Alabama” versus “Downtown”). Rural sees urban as unfriendly, pretentious and arrogant. Urban sees rural as uneducated, naive and traditional. I don’t think either of those perceptions are entirely true or false. Like most stereotypes, it applies to some.

In closing, I would like to present other Canadian cities with some of their unflattering stereotypes. Instead of taking the high road, I aim to make myself feel better by bashing others. Simple math.

Vancouver–gloomy, depressing, dangerous
Calgary and Edmonton–you both suck, now stop fighting with each other and ride some bulls
Regina–Boring, boring, boring
Winnipeg–too cold for real people to live there
Ottawa–uptight poli-sci losers
Montreal–culture snobs
Halifax–drunkity drunkards
Fredicton–naive simpletons
St John’s–loony, incestuous fishermen

HOW DOES IT FEEL?? HUH? HUH? WAAAAAAAAAAHH!!!!!

(p.s. I like Canada. We should love each other!)

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7 thoughts on “Toronto has no friends

  1. I totally agree, Toronto can be a little self centred but I read an interesting article explaining why, perhaps, cities like Toronto are so hyperbolic in their media.

    The article was actually referring to Berlin (Der Speigel) the German capital which was described by the mayor in an inaugural speech as “poor, but sexy” a few years ago. Unemployment is already high, city taxes are already too stretched, infrastructure is already going down the crap hole, there is little to no industry and there hasn’t been economic growth….ever. So the average Berliner doesn’t feel any effects of this global recession, which has hit Germany REALLY hard as a whole, because they were never on a high ground to begin with. Its a softer fall when you’re already near the bottom

    Save for the oil boom, provinces in the east coast and some west of ontario are already deemed “have not” provinces, being provided with gov. “equalization payments” mostly funded by alberta and ontario surpluses. Unemployment in these provinces is already high (compared to Ontario past), and there isn’t much growth (compared to Ontario past) and jobs are based on heavily volatile markets (commodities like oil, produce and…fish) Unlike Ontario which has a stronger manufacturing sector (which usually is more profitable- a car is more expensive than a ‘load of potatos’) . So it could be that they aren’t feeling the effects as much as Ontario, or Toronto.

    Since Ontario, and Toronto are the financial centres and a usually stable and prosperous province/city the sudden and sharp drop in city/province revenue, high unemployment etc. are felt a bit more (mello)dramatically.

    So screw the rest of Canada! We fell from HIGHER mokey bars!

    I kid, I kid.

    Perhaps we should stop building our towers so high-its a hard fall from the top-and start eating some humble pie.

    Anyway, the article is actually more interesting than what I just wrote if you’re interested.

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,611086,00.html

  2. I live in van, its dangerous but I can promise you its not gloomy.
    quite on the contrary my niggas of the east, it gets hotter then any other big city up in this country.
    after all, BC does have canadas only dessert.

    were also smug.

  3. what is getting me down, Seem s like nobody wants to draw attention to people who are really F’d
    What IF you do not have employment insirance. No claim at all to fall back on. Which is needed for almost ANY govermant assitance Job training or benifit payout.
    What IF that option is not available to you.

    Then what?

    you will find yourself like me. Not one single option after 2 years.
    Beyond job finding clubs Beyond all the pamplets which I have a great collection of.
    Now, there seems to be no program to help people in this spot. What do i do besides just give up?
    At every turn a bill is due, and I am down to disconnections of almost everything.

    Was a computer technician for 14 years. Now, I have no saving s left, do not quailify for employment insirance of any kind ( NO roll back ) NO curretn claim.
    WAs told welfare is not for me as I live iin a house ( its my roomates house not mine)
    So no welfare no govermant progrmas cause of no EI.
    Wow, I live in canada and Im Fd.

  4. If I lived in New Brunswick, Manitoba, or Saskatchawan, I’d be upset too. Fact of the matter is, we are the centre of Economy in what is now one of the richest countries in the world; I think we’ve earned the right to be self centred. Maybe Ontario has been hit the hardest because we had the most to lose. It’s hard for Manitoba, New Brunswick, and Saskatchawan to lose jobs when there weren’t any there to begin with. Theres a reason everyone leaves these bumpkin provinces to come work in Ontario. Lets be honest with ourselves; Ontario is the only province that really matters when it comes to economy. So until all the other provinces stop using us to cover their deficits – I think they should just shut up, and go back to farming, fishing, seal hunting, or whatever they do…

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