Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Hate-On For Hogtown

Deb: I am from Toronto. I am a very open-minded open-hearted traveller. I have never been anywhere where I didn’t find many or at least some things to like about my destination. I am kind, respectful, friendly, and I do my part to stimulate local economies—heaven knows! I go out of my way to tell people when I travel how much I love their city, town, country, or hamlet. I am a fan of the planet, what can I say. And yet....

Yet....

I am from Toronto.

The hated, despised Toronto. It is the city the rest of the country loves to hate. In the U.S., I believe that city is New York. In Canada, it’s Toronto. I guess every country has to have a whipping town. No point in saying I am sick of it because that isn’t going to stop it. No point in saying I am hurt by it because the people who would bash my city to my face think that I have no feelings. They think that because I am from Toronto.  They think that I when you are from Toronto you are a self-centred, head up your ass, don’t care about anyone else in the world, cold-hearted, narrow-minded, city dwelling knob. They apparently think this of every single person who resides in Toronto. I can only assume that this includes animals and children.

First of all, no one in Toronto thinks these things. It is the rest of the country that assumes we go around thinking we are the greatest. What we are really thinking is what YOU are thinking: how do I pay my mortgage, raise my kids to be good people, keep my career going. We are thinking what the whole planet is thinking and yet...

Yet...

I was in a taxi in Vancouver last February. Vancouver (my home away from home—my husband’s home) was in full spring bloom and I was thrilled to be there. As we drove along I had a lovely chat with the cabdriver, asking him what part of the city he was from, if he was born there, and generally going on about the sheer beauty of this lovely city. Until he finally asked me where I was from. Do I need to tell you the rest? This time the irony of the about-face was just too much for me. When I got out of the cab, I pointed out to him (peeing a little, shaking a little) the following: I said, “Jim,” (Yes, Toronto snob that I am I had asked him his name when we met. For the record, he did not return the courtesy.)To continue—I said, “Jim, I got into this cab and engaged you in conversation. We had a lovely chat and I think you judged me to be a nice person. When you found out where I was from, where I was born, where the fates had decreed I hail from I became the enemy. Every single thing you saw and heard with your own eyes, you decided to shun. So, Jim, I would like to say that I am a nice person, a good person. I am from Toronto. Please remember that and please remember that even after your very hurtful, very rude display, I GAVE YOU A TIP!”
And here’s the kicker—HE HAD NEVER IN HIS LIFE SET FOOT IN MY CITY!!!!

So many bashers I have been victim of have never been to my city. Others decide they will hate it before they come here, leaving no room for open mindedness. Other people come here and it is just not their cup of tea. Or they come with an open mind and still hate it. Fair enough. You have the right to hate it. I am not saying that it does not have its flaws. Truth be told, I have never been anywhere on this planet that does not have its flaws ... Okay, maybe the rainforest. But the fact is, we are all from somewhere. Whether we stay there or whether we stray, it is still home. So when you are bashing someone’s home remember, it’s someone’s home.

I have friends around the world who live in areas that would never make me happy. Places that I would not live in only because they do not suit my style, they do not serve my needs. And when I visit them or when I am talking with them I sing the praises of their home sincerely for all the beauty I see in it. What is the point of the put-down? If it isn’t right for me does that mean it is an awful place? Why would I say something nasty about it? Yes, that is exactly the right word. People are nasty about Toronto. To my face, on Facebook, on Twitter, at parties ... They love the hate of Toronto. They feed off of it. And just so you know, I am not posting this looking for the Toronto the Good stories. But nor am looking for Toronto the Bad stories. If you hate my city then please feel free to talk behind my city’s back. But to my face, it is simply rude. It is my home.

And like everything in life, and believe me I have had to learn this lesson of the city judgment (although in fairness I had the decency to talk behind said city’s back), maybe we should step back and try, just try, to look at any  place we hate with fresh eyes. Maybe through our preconceived notions, a glimmer of something else will slip through. Maybe we will open our minds long enough to enjoy something we have decided to despise. This also applies to creamed corn. Toronto the Good has lots of Good about it. And you know what they say: if you can’t say something nice about a geographical location, say nothing at all!

Barbara: Yeah, I'm familiar with this phenomenon. It's very weird. Phil travels across the country a lot and has had many people tell him to his face that Toronto sucks. We've lived here for a long time now (after living in BC and Montreal--both sexy, wonderful cities). Toronto is awesome. It's my home and I'm proud to call it that.



84 comments:

  1. Weird that people feel it necessary to trash Toronto, even to your face like Gary, no Jim. that's so rude, and what is the point? It just makes me wonder why? Is is some kind of an insecurity thing? That cab driver had never even visited the city, so he is just spouting off things of which he does not know. That's putting a lot of negative energy in to something you don't know anything about. What a waste!!

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    1. I know Mary-Jo. As I said I have been resisting writing this one from day one as I tried to rise above it. When I see the trashing on FB from people I just scroll down. Lately it has been relentless so although I know it won't stop, I just had to speak my mind.

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  2. Wow! I had no idea that people trashed Toronto like that. I have always wanted to see Toronto (never been to Cananda). That's just insanely rude. I don't understand why people have to be so cruel to one another. Why not just say, "Well, that's nice," and move on if you can't say something nice about someone's hometown. Ugh. People need to think before speaking. Why does that seem so hard?!
    Just because a place isn't your cup of tea doesn't mean you should be hateful about it. Respect, people!
    Deb, I have to say, you handled that cab driver well.
    I hear people put down my hometown pretty often because it is small and doesn't have a lot of big chain stores and things of that nature. I love my town BECAUSE it lacks those things, but people can be so cruel about it. I often listen to them trash it, then casually say, "yeah, well, that's where I'm from," and watch them try to cover what they just said. Can be entertaining at times. I try not to take what they say to heart. People may be human, but they are not always humane in the way they treat one another.

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    1. Steph you would love Canada. Just as diverse as the US in beauty and culture but with it's own unique spin. And the funny thing about Toronto haters is that when I say "that's where I'm from" there aren't even ashamed. Funny huh?

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  3. YAY, DEB!!!! Good on you. A born Torontonian myself, I laud your well-expressed resentment of T.O. bashers. I praise your tribute to open-mindedness, consideration of others' feelings, and your inclusion of creamed corn. (I take the latter as a challenge and will try again.)

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  4. Yay Cheryl. Your last sentence killed me and I will say DON'T DO IT! Please don't me be the one who drove you back to creamed corn. One can take open mindedness just so far!!! xo

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  5. Quick quick comment on my way out the door: My fellow Bay Staters and I are what "everyone else" calls Massholes. How's that for kicks?

    bbl

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  6. Wow Dawn Wow! I know this happens to everyone I guess. We should all just quit it!!!!! My favourite is the people who move away and then come back and diss it. What? NO!

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  7. I'd take Toronto over where I'm currently trapped any day. Gladly. Happily. Please!

    I don't understand the Toronto bias! There's so much cool stuff to do in your city. I don't think I could ever be bored there. And, reading y'all's blog has only convinced me further of this. Nuit Blanche. Film Festival. Galleries and openings. Theatre. I'm in!

    Used to be, whenever anyone said, "Toronto," to me, the only frame of reference I had was, "Oh, that's where Forever Knight was filmed." The only thing I knew about Toronto was what it looked like. LOL Now, Toronto means to me, "That's where Deb and Barbara live!" So, Toronto immediately gets the benefit of the doubt from me because it contains y'all! *hugs*

    OK, but as someone who voraciously consumes multiple news websites each morning, Toronto also is, "That place that, if CBC News is to be believed, has a really tacky, batshit insane mayor who seems to have a personal grudge against the arts, public transport, and libraries." But, anyway...

    It's not like we don't have a few of those here in the US. *points to the fight over libraries in Chicago*

    Look, I hated living in the Los Angeles area. LA is just plain icky to me. I enjoyed living in San Diego, totally loved my year there, but LA and I just do NOT click together. Bad fit. BUT, I always say to people, "It's a really, really tough area to live (and ridiculously expensive), but I can see how people get a kick out of vacationing there. Live there for months or years? No. Ugh. The only way I can see that not being a rotten thing is if you are a young, single, no-children college student who's just having a blast for 4 years at university. Some people are fine and happy there, but not me. LA just does not suit me at all. But, yeah, go have a week or 2's adventure. I understand the vacation allure. And, definitely spend time and $$$ in Little Tokyo! There's good sushi and a rocking awesome bookstore!" So, much as I seriously do NOT enjoy the Los Angeles basin, and, frankly, would be fine never setting foot there again for the rest of my life, even I don't 100% bash it. lol

    p.s. I like creamed corn. Yum! And, my grandmother's homemade from her garden corn is the best!

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    1. Yeah Rigel I had a bad experience in LA and I am guilty of having trashed it but when I look back on it now I realize that it wasn't LA as much as my loneliness and poverty. If I went again it would be with fresh open eyes. I would chose to see only the great and there is a lot of great there. I love the Pi day thing. Love it!

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  8. p.p.s. Happy Pi Day!!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jfRDEi0p74

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  9. Oh...this is one I can speak to with a particular knowledge in that I forged a career working for the organization charged with promoting our wonderful, unique,diverse, incredible Toronto as a convention and leisure destination. With 25 years under my belt selling our fantastic home, I can tell you unequivocally,Toronto-bashing is a Canadian thing and, ugly truth coming up, it's based in jealousy! I could put my hand on a stack of bibles and swear that I never once heard anyone based in the U.S. or internationally greet the news of my representing Toronto with anything but the sincerest "Oh I love Toronto!" or if they hadn't had the pleasure, "Oh I've always wanted to go to Toronto!" And these are people for whom traveling is a profession and who have been everywhere...who have the standard to which they can compare and, let me say it again, LOVE TORONTO!
    When I originally joined the tourism industry, one of my first business trips was to Thunder Bay, which is in northern Ontario for those who wouldn't know...I was there to work a booth at a travel show promoting weekend trips to Toronto. I soon learned the natives had about as much interest in heading to Toronto for an adventurous jaunt as I had in getting my teeth drilled without the benefit of Novocaine. As it was my first experience with Toronto-bashing, I actually came away with a name for the deeply-rooted disorder, which is the "I Hate The 401 Syndrome!" (The 401 is the city's main east-west expressway.) To the last man, every body who stood at my booth listing all the reasons they hated Toronto concluded with a passionate, bordering on demented, "And I hate the 401!" Clearly, these people had the impression that Torontonians parked by the on-ramps in anticipation of their driving onto the highway with plans to all merge and gun it thereby clogging the 16 lanes of humming traffic merely because we, the big city slickers, had it in for them. If I hadn't found it so funny, it would have been scary. But in the end, the whole "malign Toronto" phenom reveals a simple truth about humanity..In that Toronto is the center of health, finance, business, etc. in Canada, you can make the argument for it being Canada's big cheese. And since it seems to be instinctively human to bash the big guy, we find our beloved home the brunt of all sorts of scurrilous chatter.
    All I know is that the purported superiority that we are judged so harshly for doesn't exist in the city...and the rest of the country would do well to stop judging us for it and learn to celebrate Toronto for what it is...another great Canadian city!

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  10. Annette where the hell were you when I was writing the blog???? Perfect and true. Don't know if people would admit that but jealousy is in there. I even have to endure it now from the 905's. Please get over it people!!!!

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  11. Wow...I did not know this !! Its weird ...But since the day I heard of Toronto....IVE LOVED IT....but yeah now that you mentioned I have a friend I told him that in the future I would love to move to Toronto...actually I said Canada, Toronto came in later....he gave me a disgusted look......And I kept wondering "WHAT THE HECK ??"
    You are right its very rude when people judge you....by some thing they heard SOMEWHERE...but dont even know for sure...I mean everything on this planet has a flaw....but its our decision whether to highlight the best parts of things or the worst..and honestly....I choose the best....atleast I try because thinking about the worst doesnt make me feel good...bcoz theres just no reason to think about something that hurts feelings..!
    But really Deb...IDK anything about Toronto. I am being honest....but since DAY1 I loved it......Toronto would be specific to be general Ive always loved CANADA...always !!!! and I have never been there..yet I know it has to be beautiful...!!!
    And honey dont take those bashers personally...They are rude yet they will keep doing what they do...its their habit....Its our job to be ourselves and prove them wrong....even if we dont....the jokes on them coz....they'd be lucky to have us!!!xo

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    1. I know Shalaka and I try not to take it personally but it is relentless. I have resisted as I said writing this blog for two years. The other day I was doing a gig with someone (two people actually) who said they almost asked for double pay just to come here and they knew I lived here. Sick of it! I said "so why did you come?" They looked at me like I was the rude one. But thanks Shalaka for your intent to love. Hope you get here someday!

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    2. Thats...so rude...thats what they do....make us look like the culprit...Ive had LOTTA EXPERIENCES LIKE THAT HERE !!!
      OH...in 2 years maybe...started consulting for further education...so definitely in the next 2 years...i'M IN CANADA..BABY!!..then I'll help you with these rude bashers.....We'll make sure Toronto is un-basherized!!!
      I know honey...I so feel for ya.....I live in Mumbai and..I am a hardcore, born, raised, you-mess-with-me-and-i'll-kick-your-ass-from-here-to-there Mumbaian..So much...that my stare keeps the pervs to stay 10 feet away from me..but also if someone is feeling sick in the train..I'll skip my classes and make sure that person gets home safely and get them medication...Mumbaian......And I know its a pretty small city for a million people but we so have the biggest heart !!!! when tough times struck this place...it becomes so full of love...!!!! And obviously when people say bad stuff its hurtful....but I know..my small home has a BIG HEART....and I am so PROUD OF IT !!!!!

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    3. Shalaka I cannot wait to get to Mumbai, cannot wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    4. PS..And when I come there.....tell me about everyone that did this to ya........I'll give them a FULL ON Mumbaian answer...NO ONE....can Make My Deb feel bad...
      I gotcha back sistah!!!!!!!!
      (I should stick with the pep talk right ???? but I know how bad it feels when someone is DELIBERATELY rude !! but I should stick with the pep talk..lol.this doesnt work for me...But I dont like to see ya sad...thats true...I thought it might make ya smile)
      This might make ya smile....and please smile..:)!!!!
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7OC5GmsN9j0&feature=related

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    5. Love love love Tom and Jerry. Love when he takes his bow and his little ears flop on the stage!! And thanks Shalaka I shall compile a list of offenders for your visit!

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    6. Awwwh I KNOW....and isnt Jerry's little house the cutest....especially his bed supported by matchsticks.....aaawww...Gosh so glad it made ya happy !!!
      And I cannot wait .....until December..for you its a tough time huh holidays and all......!!! But we are gonna have so much fun !!!! I might never let you go...You should WARN Colin about that!!! lol...jk
      Il let ya go...I cant do that to Colin XD....also coz I'm coming there in a few years....!!!

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  12. I've seen the attitude you're talking of but funny enough I've never heard it from a lifelong Winnipegger. I think that may have to do with the self-depreciating attitude of most people over here in the 'peg. We're determined that no place could possibly suck more than our own city which surely must be the longest running cruelest joke in Canadian history. It seems we take pride in being the worst, Toronto ha it can't even compare. Winterpeg home of the 50 foot mosquito and never-ending winter's lol.

    In all seriousness though it doesn't seem to be as prevalent here. Personally I loved Toronto from my first visit as a ten year old that fell in love with Casa Loma and the view from the CN tower. My husband and I have honestly given serious consideration to moving to Toronto. We stay in Winnipeg because I can't leave my family otherwise we would probably be living there now.

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    1. Okay Erin you are going to think I am just saying this but I love the Peg. Great restaurants, some funky shopping to be had and nice people. I have been there in summer and winter...yeah I know winter in the peg but, I found the people to be kind and welcoming and I have to say it's one place that I never go the tude. If they were thinking it, they weren't saying it and I am fine with that! Thanks!

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    2. Oh we don’t actually hate Winnipeg we just like to complain about it. Usually when it’s minus 40 and you’re stuck waist high in a snowdrift or being eaten alive by a swarm of mosquitoes despite the 30% DEET repellent you slathered on. It’s hard to resist the urge to exclaim “I hate Winnipeg” once in awhile.

      That said the thought of living elsewhere is mostly a desire to get a break from Winnipeg not leave forever. Someday we may very well live elsewhere but as you said about Toronto I was born here, raised here and it will always be home.

      Besides I could never cheer for the leafs :D

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    3. Born there, raised and it will always be home. I hear you sister!

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  13. Way to go Deb! I love your responce. May we all have the guts to speak our mind when the time is right. I've not yet been to Canada, but I know what you mean. I went to Detroit a few years ago. I heard nothing but bad things about it. For my experience, it was a town, like most others. It had it's bad places, no doubt and I spent a week in a terrible hotel, but Detroit also had its beautiful places. The downtown was as pretty as I've seen in downtowns filled with skyscrapers, fountains, and stone statues. The old buildings there are beautiful, like the Detroit Library. The college in the heart of downtown was pretty and well maintained.

    I'm from Dallas. We are not all rich snobs like they show on TV. Yes, there are many rich people in Dallas. Just count the upscale malls in the city limits, but the people aren't snobs! I'm not one of those rich, but that's alright. I can still go to all those fancy malls and window shop. The people from Dallas are Texan-friendly kind of folk. We also aren't all oil barons. :) That's TV for you.

    You know how in every action flick they blow up either New York, Los Angeles or Washington DC? Those are the cities Americans love to hate. We just blow them up every opportunity we get. LOL!

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    1. Oh Molly that is so funny-your list of the hated cities. I have to say NYC is my passion place and I also love DC but I get what you mean. People do attach their hate to certain places don't they? I would love love love to go to Texas. Next time Colin and Brad have a gig there, I am going!

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    2. I haven't been to NYC myself, but I would love to go there. For every action flick movie that blows up the city, there about about 10 movies that take place in NYC where the city is an amazing character in itself.

      You must visit Texas someday. Pick a city, any city there and you will find something amazing....

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    3. I will Molly. I will come there. Always wanted to!

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  14. Wow, Deb, I had no idea that Toronto had such a bad rap! It's actually on my list of places to see sometime.

    But I have to admit that, last summer when I was in England, I had some preconceived notions about the people there: I imagined them to be rude and boorish and stuck-up. Turns out that there are plenty of pleasant and delightful people there, and they're very interested in us Americans. Not in a creepy way either. :)

    Why can't we all just get along??? You can't judge something unless you try it, that's my opinion anyway. And even then, you probably shouldn't judge anyway (something my nearly-22-year-old self is still trying to work on).

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    1. Holly please don't let our county's hatred of TO discourage you. The city is wonderful, diverse fun, happening. Please come! And yes why the devil can we not just get along??? I think it has to do with the fact that we haven't since the beginning of time right????

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  15. I've never been to Toronto - except the airport as I waited for my connection to Frankfurt (to go onto further, exotic places). Would I like to go? Not certain. It's not because I feel Toronto is "inferior" or "snobs" or "place well used insult/stereotype here". It's just I don't have a "reason" to go (Yes, I went to Egypt and India to visit my in-laws when they were teaching there - that was my reason). I'm not overly keen on traveling, but have a great time once I'm at the destination.

    A lot of Toronto-bashing seems to stem from the Regionalism found within Canada. Out west (I will speak of Saskatchewan), there is a pervasive attitude that Ontario has the ear of Federal Government, and the Feds gives Ontario (and people tend to equate Ontario=Toronto) all the programs/money/resources for them to develop what they want - at the expense of the Prairies. Alberta and Saskatchewan has had to fight the Federal Government just to gain control over natural resources (Energy Crisis of the 1970s). We've had problems with drought and flooding, which affected the agriculture (the primary source of the economy in Saskatchewan for years). So, you've had angry, frustrated adults swearing up and down, cursing those "privileged snobs out in Toronto" (where, where we perceive, the companies controlling the strings are located), and passed on that prejudice to their children. Those children are now adults, and even though we're a "have" province (due to oil right now), we still maintain the mentality of being a "have-not" province and the "stigma" that tends to be associated with it.

    This does not, in any way, justify the stupidity/ignorance that spews forth from people's mouths. I just want to provide a possible suggestion of where it comes from. Deb, I am very proud of you for educating that one person. Will it stick? Maybe. Who knows? But you are a wonderful advocate for Toronto. Perhaps one day, I'll find that "reason" to go...

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    1. Well said Jo and thanks. I think the things you list are valid to a degree. But some of them as you say are outdated and some of them are empty perceptions. The other thing we must remember is that these things are controlled by government and not the people that live here. Yes we vote and we choose but we do not control every single thing they do. Ontario is the seat of power that is true. Somewhere has to be. And as far as privileged, I don't know. I spend a good deal of my time in breakfast programs for kids who are hungry, Christmas drives for those without and Out of the Cold programs for those without food and shelter. I guess that prevailing thought from out west would be that these people are being brought into Ontario from elsewhere? Again just giving the point about perception. And people need and must let go of bitterness passed on to them. They must open their eyes and see what they see for themselves. I am not at all happy about the pipeline in Alberta and that is an understatement. It does not make me judge each Albertan. Do you know what I mean?

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    2. Yes. I agree. The opinion of one doesn't represent the opinion of all. I understand that.

      I'm just saying that when you hear certain things from your questions, and you don't question what's being said, and don't do the necessary legwork to become informed, you get the prejudiced ranting.

      Sorry for not clarifying my position earlier...

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    3. Speaking of dilikes for no reason the fued between Manitoba and Saskatchewan remains on going as far as I can see. A few years back I wore a bombers jersey in Saskatoon and came quite close to being drawn and quartered for it. Probably would have been the same results the other way around with a riders jersey here.

      Personally I've no dislike or prejudice against Saskatchewan but I often hear about it and wonder if it's similiar from the other side. So what say you Jo, do you see it too? I think it's mostly limited to football now a days but just wondering what your take on it is.

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    4. Jo no need for sorry. This is a place where we can all safely speak our minds. Erin I had no idea of the Manitoba Saskatchewan feud. Sports man! Wow. I am a hockey fan but wow, people get crazy intense don't they?

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    5. Oh, the sports rivalries are quite interesting in this province. Basically, Saskatchewan feuds with Manitoba (and I don't know why). Even within the WHL (Western Hockey League - a Major Junior hockey league), the rivalries can become quite intense - even between cities within the province. Saskatoon has a rivalry with Prince Albert. I honestly don't know what it would be like for me going into Manitoba (have never been there. I should remedy that...)

      Last night, Saskatoon's WHL team was playing, and the commentator was interviewing either an assistant coach or player, and was talking about how in the NHL, there is more of a sense of brotherhood amongst the players, unlike in the WHL. And, what's needed is more rivalry...

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    6. If you watched Corner Gas, you'd see whenever the town next to Dog River was mentioned, the Dog River people would spit. Apparently there are smalltown rivalries as well. Although it's usually good-spirited rivalry, that feeds sporting events and such, and Brent Butt satirized it very well.

      I'm in Kelowna right now at my sister's after spending a couple days with my dad, and before that a weekend in Edmonton. I don't like being in the city, but when I'm with people I love, where we are doesn't matter (as long as I don't have to stay there forever, right?). My family out here in Kelowna are so glad to be away from the Saskatchewan wind and cold and mosquitoes, that they don't much enjoy coming out there to visit any more than I like coming here. But it's people, not places, that are the most important.

      By the way Barbara and Deb, guess who's coming to Toronto for a couple days in April or May???? My work is dragging the Saskatchewan girl out of the country! Whodathunk.

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    7. The Dog River thing-yes So funny and again illustrates that every town or city has a hate on for some other town, city, country or continent! Thrilled you are coming. Would love to see you!!!! Send details.

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  16. Sometimes I think the jealousy and hate for Toronto is what truly binds the people of Canada together as a nation....if true...glad we could do our part.
    Toronto is the new home from people all over the world...it comes with it challenges but it is what makes us great! We have had our asses kicked by losing manufacturing jobs to countries all over the world..but we still keep paying more federal tax in Toronto than all the provinces and receive far less in return...thats ok..it makes us great! I would ask those who hate Toronto...have you been on the Danforth near Broadview... College and Spadina....St. Clair and Bathurst...this is where the world comes to live...and what makes us great! Best live theatre..which includes our municipal politics...best film festival in North America...The Toronto Islands. it makes us great!...I never hear people from the Big Smoke denigrate other cities...not that we dont care or are arrogant...we're just too busy suffering with the Leafs, Argos and Jays...it is what make us great! So if you have never experienced some of this great city and you still rag on us....your loss..no hard feelings...then again...go suck eggs! No offence to my cuz!

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    1. So funny Scott! And yes you make an excellent point. I NEVER hear people here dissing other Canadian cities. When I travel this great country I am a proud Canadian. Sadly some people from other provinces see me as Torontonian and that's all.

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    3. Jo Scott was joking. He was doing the suck eggs because we have dealt with the badmouthing for so long and he was simply making a joke. I know you are trying to take the highroad here but your distaste for the east is clear as is your right. As I said in the post, I did not do this to hear pro or con about my home. I posted this to make people sit up and notice that we should not make people feel badly about their homes and we should get over our prejudices and painting people with the same brush. That was the intent of it. We are all Canadians after all. I hope over time your feelings about the east can soften. WE are all the same, just people trying to get through the day.

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  17. I have to share some nice symbiosis here, you guys. I just noticed that my daughter published two illustrations to her blog that she had done for an online mag -- and they celebrate, you guessed it, Toronto!

    Check it out:
    http://vanillacardamom.blogspot.com/2012/03/alphabet-city.html

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    1. I visit her blog very often...coz she is awesome........
      OH MY GOD !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! these are BEAUTIFUL.....its so pretty again...confident strokes....She knows I love here right ??? tell her again.....coz I love her more !!!!

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    2. She's good Shalaka and coming from YOU that is a huge compliment!

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    3. Awwwh this is huge compliment for me !!!! Deb you are awesome
      xo

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    4. Wow Barbara, your daughter definitely does have talent!

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  18. First of all I love the timing and second of all-Steffie rocks it. She rocks every single thing she does. I have my little sketch a day book and I am going to try to copy these for practice. Wow, thanks so much for sharing Barb!!!!!!!!!

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  19. My goodness! Makes you wonder how 2.6 million of us manage to get through the day without throwing up all over ourselves!!! Personally, I think it's Tower-envy.

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    1. Therese sitting here all alone laughing! Tower Envy for sure. And of course right next to the Dome gets the imagination going. Although you know what they say (this is cute and always makes me laugh) Montreal is the mistress and Toronto is the wife. So true. Can't even deny. It's our British up bring!

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  20. I love Toronto having visited it once already and soon again to hang out with you two. So excited by the way. I have never heard this about Toronto here in the states. I do know of what you speak as LA is often criticized by our friends in Northern California who want to divide the state (nuts and chews in LA and pure chocolate in San Francisco). But I laugh it off as I love LA. That is even a song by Randy Newman. Sorry your country chooses to dis your beautiful Toronto.

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    1. I know Madge so exciting!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And you are right you must laugh it off. So....I did the blog and now I will laugh it off, kinda. Maybe. :-)

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  21. I host conferences across the country. I have been to very small centers to the big ones like Toronto and Vancouver, indeed there is much Toronto bashing. I am not Toronto born; I am a lucky adopted child. However, when I need to go back to... my most priced memories many of these are set across Toronto. From playing on Queens park as a child, rolling on the hills of Bellwoods Park, going to school and my morning encounters with the egg lady of Kensington, watching baseball games at Christie Pitts on Sunday afternoon after lunch. My courtship which took place in Riverdale. My first house in Danforth with the bathtub Jon could not use however we did have Alfred Song as a neighbour. As a young married couple we used to walk by his house and think one day ours will look like that as well, for now we had to make do with two strange neighbours one who decided to paint our porch. My second home in East York a stone's throw from John Candy's childhood home, I even had the pleasure of meeting this wonderful gentleman few times , My wonderful bike rides to the beach(es) or better yet ditching the bike and walking the beach east of where everyone goes and finding solitude. Best times Jon and I hand in hand in our own private Island. Then once in a while some wonderful glimpses at some of the most luxurious homes in the Bridle Path weekends swimming and playing tennis. Ironically the following Monday going to work at Main and Danforth at a Drug Awareness facilty for some of the city's down and out. Throughout I had the great fortune of meeting some amazing people. Kindness can and has been found in all corners of this city, and surprising enough not the rudeness attributed to those residing in Toronto. Finally my home for over 22 years, Leaside, where I walk, see familiar faces, who ask about my girls. Lately the talk has been condolences on losing our Rollie as many are just as saddened on the loss of our 4 legged boy. For so long a real fixture at our local park. Thus while Living in a City of close to 3 million people , I find that most of my time I live in a little village that looks after its own. In fact that is the thing Toronto in many ways is composed of such small wonderful villages. Jon and I love on summer Saturdays to go to these areas, lose ourselves, shop the local markets and have some new food at a nice local eatery. We come back home refueedl and energized like a mini vacation to a wonderful destination. However, all it took is a subway ride or a short car ride, or better yet a bike ride. Yes a wonderful bike ride through the best green spaces then from there on to a new destination for our day's adventure. However, I will not bash the rest of Canada, because from Vancouver to Moncton, I have met some of the most delightful people. So enough bashing, instead how about a celebration of all the corners of this great country and its people, who are generous, intelligent, unique and come in so many different packages that indeed a trip in any major city in Canada can feel like a trip around the world. So Thank you , Merci, Micwetch Toronto and Canada.

    Bernadette Da Costa Winberg

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    1. What a beautiful comment and so interesting Bernadette! You are right. This city is made up of a million villages. Glad you toured them all. Leaside???? That's where I live. And I am so sorry about your Rollie. Heartbreaking to lose a pet but so wonderful when other people care and support you in that sad time. You are right, Canada is a trip around the world. Thanks Bernadette.

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  22. Deb,

    I can't imagine why anyone would feel the need to bash a city they'd never been to. Paris gets the same raw deal, and my comment on it is, I don't have to go there anymore. There are other places I feel the same way about, and I what I mean is it's just not my cup of tea. But to anyone's face? About it at all? NEVER. I'm glad when people are happy about where they're from. I resent people telling me Boston and/or MA in general is full of bleeding heart liberals. WHY would you group us all together?

    Deb, I've been to Toronto a few times. I really like it there. I love how it's set up, how walking-accessible it is, particularly for clueless tourists with a map stuck in their face. I love the waterfront area on Lake Shore Blvd. I love how clean the city was after the garbage strike was over. I love how friendly the people were despite the fact that Boston took over the weekend the Red Sox played the Blue Jays. (It's actually just a little more expensive for us to go elsewhere for a weekend of games than to buy one ticket for a Sox home game.)

    I haven't been anywhere but downtown Toronto, but I have no reason to suspect things would be any different. I picture the neighborhoods as not much different from my specific city. I'm thinking about this now but it would never have occurred to me to think any differently.

    I've heard people from Montreal and Quebec in general aren't friendly. I'm sure some of those are a tad biased due to the long-standing Canadiens-Bruins rivalry. I had a tough time there only because I never took French. But I tried, the storekeeper tried, and I got my gum. :)

    I've traveled enough to know that there's always something NOT to like about a place, but there's also always something TO like. Why spend your time hating something you don't know or haven't experienced, when you could just as likely LIKE it?

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    1. Yeah Dawn downtown is different from the little villages around Toronto but it combines in a lovely way. I adored Paris we had a great family trip there. Not easy for me to eat there though as I am not big with the meat. But love. Montreal and Quebec city I find are friendly if you make an effort to say bonjour etc instead of hello. In fact I have found this everywhere I have gone. I have found that if I make an effort to greet in the native tongue people appreciate it and are warm. I always figure that it's the least I can do when I travel. I love your last sentence Dawn. Perfect.

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  23. I love being from Boston. It's a point of pride for me. We do have our own attitude, our own accent (who needs all 26 letters, anyway?), and an intense passionate relationship with our sports teams. "We" hate New York, but that's because of the intense Yankees/Red Sox rivalry. (We're REALLY passionate about our teams.) I know, however, that not ALL of NYC follows baseball, not ALL are obnoxious about it, and that the larger part of the state doesn't care about the Yankees. In the same way, we're not all the same. We're not all good, but we're certainly not all bad. I wouldn't like it here so much if we were.

    We Bostonians are proud of our city, and Bay Staters in general are proud of where they live in the state. MA may be one of the smallest states in the US, but we have a LOT going for us. If one bad experience turns others in the country off, that's their problem, not ours.

    There's that attitude again. I'm proud to have it to defend where I'm from, where I live, where I will always call my home, regardless of where I AM.

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    1. Dawn Boston (and I am not just saying this) is one of the great towns. Went there first as a teen with my family. Great history, beautiful buildings, lovely people. Adore Boston. And The Bruins were always my number two team behind the Leafs. When the Leafs were out of the playoffs, I would jump on the Bruin bandwagon. "ALways home regardless of where I AM." Another good sentence Dawn.

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  24. Aww Deb I have never been to Toronto...or Canada for that matter but from your pictures Toronto looks beautiful : ) And as an added tid-bit I heard somewhere that you guys from Toronto pronounce it Torono, without the last T, I dont know if this is true or not but We here in Trenton do the same thing, we say Trenon: ) So you always know who is from your neck of the woods because they pronounce it the same way : )
    I think this bog seemed like a bit of venting for you, like you just need to tell someone/anyone. I always go visit my cousin to vent my frustrations with life, She listens quietly and then we laugh at how long I can go on just rambling my miseries and then feel all better afterwards : )

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    1. Kelly lots of people pronounce it Torono it's true. I use the T as a point of anal stubbornness! Yeah as I said I have wanted to blog since day one about this and did not. But last week at the Genie Awards (Canada's Oscars) a fellow Canadian said something very rude regarding the city which was out of nowhere and uncalled for and he knew that the two people he was talking to call it home. I thought Wow, that's it. Gotta blog about this.

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  25. First of all: I have been to Toronto. I can't remember much (this was nearly 14 years ago, and it only was for a couple of days), but I liked it. No bad experiences ;). We saw the Niagara Falls (amazing!), and drove to our friends, who live in Nova Scotia (wonderful place, too!).

    I don't know, why people hate that city. Or any city. I don't feel comfortable in every city (like Berlin...I think it's too big, but it has some very nice spots and so much history), I've been to, but I would never insult people, who were born there or live there.

    Here in Germany we have that rivalry between cities that are close to each other (like Cologne and Dusseldorf...), but that's more a local thing.

    And there are many Germans, who make fun of people from the Netherlands and Austria, and other countries...but not in a racist way.

    Anyway...I think it's very interesting and fascinating, where you all come from (and we did learn that we are connected). It's a shame that people are so superficial and give more about some stupid false prejudices.

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    1. Becki it's been so fun today listening to people's stories about local rivalry. I guess it's been going on for hundreds of years huh? Yeah but I agree. Wish people would open their minds. I would love to see Berlin. It's on my list!

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    2. I guess, people always needed something to compare themselves to others. Who is the best hunter? Who has the largest beard? Who was born in the most beautiful city?

      Ah...if you come to Berlin, tell me. I've been there many times (my uncle lives there). And they do have donuts (things I loved about Canada...donuts and ice cream! Heaven!).

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    3. Becki, if you make it to Canada, watch out for Tim Horton's. Their donut products are SWEET. As in sugary sweet. I know. They were yummy.

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    4. Because I live in Canada I am wary of the Tim Hortons and never have it! If I did I would be the size of Toronto!!!1 But you are right Becki, we all need to be the best something don't we?

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    5. I know! I loved Tim Horton's! Ah now I miss it. :( The little timbits...

      I guess I'm lucky that we don't have a donuts shop here in my city, and I can only eat them once, twice a year.^^

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    6. Becki I love that you miss Tim Horton's. Love it! I have only had maybe 3 Tim's trips in my life and I live here!!!!

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    7. Mayve if I lived there, I wouldn't go there more often, either. ;)

      I also had a Toronto Hard Rock Cafe T-Shirt, but it vanished some years ago, and I can't find it anymore. :(

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  26. When my family moved to Canada 40+ years ago, we were welcomed in Toronto. I lived there for 7 wonderful years - great people, great things to do and so diverse!

    You can't imagine what I heard from my friends in Toronto when I told them I was moving to Winnipeg! Most said, "WINNIPEG??????, what is there to do there? Well, in 35 years, I have found lots to do here and so many wonderful people and great places.

    My father told me when we moved to Canada, that "you get what you give" and Toronto and Winnipeg have both given me such wonderful memories!

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  27. and, that's where I met Deb!

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    1. It's true Carolyn we all have our issues. That is what I am talking about. WE all need to let go of our preconceived notions. I used Toronto because A) My home and B) most abused. But we are all scraped along the floor at one point or another right?

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  28. Deb, I hope to get the opportunity to travel someday. I want to go almost everywhere, and Canada is included in that. And when I think of Canada, Toronto is one of the first places that pops into my mind that I would LOVE to visit. So there, Jim et al.
    I think it's really sad that Jim treated you worse purely because of where you're from. It's almost like within country racism. Too strong? Maybe. Is it because I'm annoyed at Jim for discriminating against you? Probably.
    And Deb, you said you've been holding back and trying to take the high road for ages now, which is fantastic, but I don't think that your address to Jim let you down. You made your point without being petty or rude. You had received bad treatment and expressed yourself clearly and respectfully and did not return his ill treatment. In my book, you made a point and retained the high ground. :)

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    1. Aimee thanks. I think (biased) that you cannot go wrong wherever you go in this great country of ours. Largest in the world (thank you Soviet Union) but I think like any holiday it depends on time of year and what you are looking for. When you decide, I will have lots of ideas for you as I have travelled this country far and wide. Yukon and Northwest territories next!!!!!!!!!!

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  29. When I was in Scotland this summer I was told that the people in Glasgow were really rude since it's the biggest city in the country. But I found that to not be true; I found the locals to be very friendly! Same thing in Edinburgh!

    A few years ago me and a group from my church had the not-so-misfortune of being stranded in NYC when our flight got delayed from Nicaragua. We ended up perusing the city and had fun....everybody just shoved each other. SO CROWDED. I got claustrophobic.... :S

    Bottom line; not a city person. Fun to visit for short periods of time. Stick me in the country and I'm fine.

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    1. Some of us are city mice and some are country mice. You are a country mouse. I am a city mouse. Both are friends and both are friendly. Wait a sec!!! Isn't this a kids book? At any rate. LOVE GLASGOW. Sexy raw, interesting wild and friendly-where in Scotland is not??? And Glasgow? Birthplace of my husband-well, slightly 20 miles south.

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  30. I never knew that about Toronto either I have never been to Canada but someday I hope to. My kids have both been to Quebec on a school trip I wish I could have gone with them. The pictures are beautiful I found out by accident that I love to travel and if I ever have the funds I hope to do more. If any of you have never been to North Lake Tahoe you have to go the most beautiful place on earth I've seen so far

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    1. Mary I have been to lake Tahoe. Stunning! Loved it. You made me laugh with "I found out by accident that I love to travel". I hope you get many many more chances!

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    2. I love it when I can make people laugh. Actually I flew for the first time in my life when I was in my thirties. I was terrified but once I got to NV I was in love with the west and it was like coming home. I'm thankful my children got to experience so much more than I did as a kid.

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  31. I have always said a house can be any where a home however is where memories are made. Deb toronto sounds great.

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  32. Thanks Lyndsie, well said.

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  33. People love to hate, regardless of whether they have any experience themselves. Far too many snobs around for my liking. I never judge a place until I've visited, and I have a long list of places I haven't been to yet. The downside of having children in my mid-twenties. :P

    I've visited Canada once, for my sister's wedding, which was in Toronto back in 2000. I loved the city, and when I have a little more money I definitely intend to go back to explore some more. :)

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  34. Thanks Roz we hope you do!

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  35. Wow, Deb... I had no idea that people hated Toronto! Granted, I've only been there twice, but it looks to be perfectly lovely! I would love to take the time to explore the city!
    I happen to live in the suburbs of Buffalo, NY- a much-maligned city about two and-a-half hours away. Now, we are city that is dissed quite often. We are told our weather sucks, our sports teams suck (which they do, kinda, but we're trying to fix it!), there are no jobs, there's nothing to do, etc. I disagree whole- heartedly with many of these statements! We have some great stuff going on here, if folks would take the time to notice. (Also, I'd rather have a blizzard than a hurricane ANY day of the week.)
    I say, when it comes to defending a place you love, you should! I do. :)

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  36. Thanks Beth. I remember now that Buffalo used to get a lot of dissing from other American cities. I remember when I was a kid and would watch the Buffalo stations they had a slogan "Boost Buffalo it's good for you!" I remember their tourism board trying so hard to put it out there. I am glad to hear you defend your lovely city! We have to don't we????

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