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.
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
St John’s–loony, incestuous fishermen
HOW DOES IT FEEL?? HUH? HUH? WAAAAAAAAAAHH!!!!!
(p.s. I like Canada. We should love each other!)