Who's Your City?, by Richard Florida
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Toronto ROCKS!


I’ll be honest… TORONTO IS THE REASON I LOVE CANADA. Everything that Canada is all about – diversity, multiculturalism, tolerance, acceptance, and inclusiveness. When I was a kid in the old Calgary I felt like I was an outsider and would never be welcomed. This was a long time ago but emotional memories can be very strong. Toronto and Torontonians healed my heartbreak of my childhood and early youth being spent dealing with rejection for something I co uld never change. Now everyone has a different experience. I’ve met people who were minorities in my age group and grew up down the street from me during that same time and they have noting but positive memories. Needless to say … Toronto is not perfect but it is an ideal destination for new immigrants given the variety of settlement services in the city.

Richard Florida himself on Toronto

Toronto Maple Leafs

Sent by Aralar from Toronto

10 Responses to “Toronto ROCKS!”

  1. Anita Says:

    I hear you. Small town small minds. Big City Big Dreams Worldly Minds

  2. Mike Says:

    Alberta Einstein: Great spirits often encounter violent opposition from mediocre minds…. that’s why lots of brilliant but misunderstood people move from small towns to big cities like Toronto or Chicago or London… to escape the mediocre minds around them.

  3. Anita Says:

    I hear you. Big cities have more room for experimentation. Probably a result of the urban lifestyle and business culture. Experimentation breeds an openness.

  4. Mike Says:

    I agree. Big cities allow people to blend in. Anything goes. If you can stand out in New York you will probably become famous for it.

  5. Mike Says:

    I go to Calgary for business and there is this anti-Toronto prejudice rampant in the city. But you know …. THEY ARE JUST JEALOUS!!!!!! Toronto is in the top 10 of global metropolitan powerhouses, Toronto is on the monopoly gist of global 22 cities of international prominance, Toronto is the world’s most multicultural city, Toronto International Film Festival is world renowned. The list goes on and one. FACE IT COWTOWN (CALGARY) – HOGTOWN (TORONTO) WILL ALWAYS BE BETTER THAN YOU!!!!! Enjoy the oil boom while it last because all things go bust, it went bust in Alberta twice before, and money means nothing if you have no class. TORONTO DOESN’T CARE OF THE OPINIONS OF COWBOYS WITH NO MANNERS AND ARE BIGOTTED. Calgary earned its reputation because I’ve seen white people refuse to sit by non-white people on teh C-Train every time I rode it. On the Toronto TTC I never saw it and I grew up there. Toronto laughs at Calgary because they are like a big fish in the small pond …. while Toronto is on the world stage. Toronto only cares what its peers think – like New York, LA, London. People who live in Calgary probably share the views of politicians from the West …. remember the Reform Party and their views on multiculturalism???? Not the most inclusive.

  6. Anita Says:

    I go to Calgary on business and I noticed that they dress like Shania Twain except without finesse. They are stuck in the 80’s and the old west. I agree that the anti-Toronto sentiment is because they realize they will never be like Toronto – international, world famous, known for inclusiveness and acceptance, and fun, vibrant, cosmopolitan, etc. Toronto can compete on the world stage in so many areas of business, culture, arts, etc. I love Toronto and would like Calgary but I am a minority too and I don’t appreciate people in cowboy hats using racially derogatory language so freely in the airport. That would never happen in Toronto. People in Toronto just know better and have that thing you can’t buy with cash = class, sophistication, and a sense of protocal.

    I tell people who want to come to Canada to go to Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver. Calgary likes to delude itself that it is cosmopolitan and worldly but I think they are getting a little too in over their heads. To be honest, the only people who think Calgary is cosmo are those with small town pride. Anyone with big city love would find the statement ridiculous. Calgary has a stalker fascination with Toronto. In the Metro News they hahd an article about how you can find the world in Calgary because its cosmoplitan. Hello that is TORONTO!!!! Calgary keeps trying to be Toronto while Toronto keeps trying to be New York. TORONTO IS THE WORLD’S MOST MUTLTICUULTURAL CITY. The only thing that distinguishes Calgary from yogurt is CULTURE.

    I hope one day all this negativity I see will transform. But I am not holding my breath and staying in Toronto.

  7. Mike Says:

    This article says it all…..

    Toronto: Love it? Hate it?

    R.M. VAUGHAN

    From Saturday’s Globe and Mail

    April 14, 2007 at 12:00 AM EDT

    If, as the makers of a new documentary claim, everybody hates Toronto, why does everybody live here? I mean, everybody who matters?

    Let’s All Hate Toronto, premiering next week at — where else? — Toronto’s internationally acclaimed Hot Docs documentary film festival, tries to uncover the reasons for the rabid hatred that TROC (The Remaindered of Canada) feels for Toronto, the nation’s cultural and commercial capital.

    Directed by transplanted Montrealer (transplanted to — where else? — Toronto) Albert Nerenberg, the film shows what happened when Mr. Nerenberg and a pal posing as “Mr. Toronto” drove across the country setting up fake “Toronto Appreciation Day” booths. The results are not pretty — for the also-ran cities. People kick the signs down, attack Mr. Toronto verbally and physically, and make really ugly anger faces into the camera. What a load of jealous, whiny, unresolved-childhood-issues-carrying ingrates.

    People in Montreal appear mostly bemused by Mr. Toronto’s antics, probably because bemused is their default reaction to everything.

    Montrealers are too lazy to lift an eyebrow. Mount Royal could suddenly turn into a smoking tower of bubbling lava and the nicotined boulevardiers of St. Laurent would only shrug, blame the federal government, and get back to the vital work of sneering over their federally subsidized pints of Maudite. A life without aspirations must be such a comfort.

    Vancouverites, people who spend a suspiciously Macbeth-ish amount of time protesting their calm, forgiving natures, turn positively apoplectic at the very sight of the word Toronto. I suspect this is largely because Vancouver is where failed Torontonians go to die. They have good reason to be bitter, stuck as they are, huddled and wet under the ass end of a mountain, forgotten and lonely, with only the faint hope of a devastating avalanche to get them through the night.

    Other cities weigh in on the Toronto issue as the film chuckles along, but they are places too small and of too little consequence to mention. You know the cities I mean — the kind that people get away from.

    When I first moved to Toronto in the early nineties, from no less a sludgehole than Saint John, N.B., which bears the questionable distinction of not being “the cute St. John’s” (i.e., the one in Newfoundland), I was instantly entranced.

    I remain so today, because all the bad things the rest of the country says about Toronto are so wonderfully, refreshingly true: It’s trashy, dirty, dangerous, rude and full of itself. In other words, it’s a big city. If Toronto suddenly turned quaint, clean, secure, polite and ingratiating, it would be Victoria, or Fredericton, and the last thing this country needs is another scone-hoarding mini-Rhodesia wrapped in a dusty doily. One per coast, please.

    Toronto is big and, like all big things, except Saskatchewan, complicated. When you go big, you accept a certain amount of mess, and expect to leave a trail.

    So, yes, Toronto has homeless people, street preachers, beggars and streetwalkers sporting thigh-high boots, just like in the movies. Movies about cities.

    Yes, Toronto has lots of people from lots of different places who don’t always understand or like each other. Some of us find the confusion entertaining, a live screwball comedy with a multiracial cast. Another benefit is the happy truth that a great number of Torontonians, coming from elsewhere, are, blessedly, folks who have never heard of Nickelback, sung that god-awful Barrett’s Privateers song in a fake Irish pub, found curling anything but weird, or revered the stale stylings of Michael Bublé. They bring their own bad art to town, and are happy to share.

    And, yes, Toronto has snooty restaurants manned by crabby underwear models — if by snooty one means that every entrée is not served on white toast and slathered in canned gravy (unless you ask, and pay extra).

    But best of all, Toronto does not care about you, about what you do, about where you’re going or what you’re wearing. In Toronto, nobody is watching from behind their kitchen window curtains, nobody knows your parents, grandparents and dentist, nobody remembers where you went to school or how bad your hair was in Grade 11, and nobody is cluck-clucking about your divorce, weight gain, poor investment strategy or binge drinking. Until they get to know you.

    You are alone here, anonymous. You have no history, owe no social debts, sing no little-town blues. For as long as you like, you can be one of the crowd — because we actually have crowds.

    To anybody who has ever lived in a small Canadian town, one of those finger-wagging gossips’ warrens run by the United Church and unburdened by genetic diversity or stylish clothing, the averted gaze of the preoccupied, uncaring Toronto subway rider buried in his BlackBerry is a benediction.

    What, then, is the problem with TROC (The Refuse of Canada)? The simple response is that they’re just jealous, but jealousy is often a symptom of deeper unresolved issues.

    Post-colonial studies teaches us that citizens of colonies (or, in Canada’s case, former colonies) suffer from a psychological condition that causes them to constantly perceive themselves as being outside the centre, as living on the margins.

    Subsequently, the actual centres of colonized countries (in our case, Toronto) are resented via displacement, because hating the colonizer is too big a dilemma to face, and we’re conflicted in our emotions about our former masters. It’s a bit like being mad at your boss for no good reason because you’re really mad at Mommy and Daddy. Toronto is the scapegoat for the nation’s buried resentment of London, Paris or Washington (pick your colonizer).

    Fair enough, and almost forgivable — Vancouver and Montreal and Halifax can’t help it because they’re mentally ill. If the nation can only cope with its inadequacies by projecting its disappointments onto me and my city, I’m willing to play therapist. But I want compensation.

    At Toronto rates, please. Wellness, like success, ain’t cheap.

    I learned that here.

    Special to The Globe and Mail

  8. Aralar Says:

    Shortly before I came back to Calgary for a short work trip (I’m leaving in October THANK GOD!) this story broke on the CBC…

    B.C. Sikh man wins discrimination complaint against Calgary nightclub

    A Calgary nightclub has been fined about $5,000 by Alberta’s human rights commission for refusing entry to a Sikh man from Vancouver.

    Jaspal Randhawa, a 33-year-old Canadian-born accountant, launched a racial discrimination complaint after he and two of his friends tried to get into the Tequila nightclub on 17th Avenue SW in July 2004.

    Randhawa, who wears a turban as part of his Sikh faith, asked the doorman whether the club had any policies against allowing people with turbans inside. When told it was fine, Randhawa got into the line full of Stampede revelers.

    According to Randhawa’s complaint filed with the Alberta Human Rights Commission, another bouncer approached Randhawa 10 minutes later and told him he wouldn’t be allowed in because “the owners want to maintain a certain image and don’t want clients to say there are a lot of ‘brown’ people inside.”

    On Wednesday, a human rights commission panel agreed that Randhawa was discriminated against and awarded him $3,500 plus interest for injury to his dignity and self-respect, as well as $800 in expenses.

  9. Aralar Says:

    I’ve given up on Calgary and have decided that Toronto is my first choice in Canada as the best city. I’m going to the West Coast and my parting words are: If you’re an immigrant go to Toronto to Vancouver, forget Calgary or the rest of Alberta, the boom is going to go bust anyway. Life is too short and go where you are welcome.

    “Ontario’s diversity is one of our province’s greatest strengths,” said Linda Jeffrey, MPP Brampton-Centre (Ontario Government). “It means that we can offer investors not only a competitive business environment and a culture of innovation, but also a highly skilled workforce that can speak many languages and understand many markets.”

  10. Aralar Says:

    CALGARY – Opposition parties are demanding Calgary Conservative incumbent Lee Richardson immediately resign for controversial comments that suggested immigrants are to blame for much of the crime in Canada.

    In an interview with a Calgary weekly newspaper published Thursday, Richardson is quoted as saying many crimes aren’t committed by people who “grew up next door” and immigrants aren’t as law-abiding.

    “Particularly in big cities, we’ve got people that have grown up in a different culture, and they don’t have the same background in terms of the stable communities we had 20, 30 years ago in our cities. . . and don’t have the same respect for authority or people’s person or property,” Richardson told Fast Forward Weekly, when asked about recent gun violence in Calgary.

    “Talk to the police. Look at who’s committing these crimes,” added Richardson, the Tory candidate in Calgary Centre. “They’re not the kid that grew up next door.”

    Richardson later said he regretted the comments and that he misspoke.

    However, Liberal Leader Stephane Dion was unforgiving.

    “Mr. Harper must fire this man right away,” Dion told reporters in Trois Rivieres. “He cannot be a candidate anymore.”

    Comment: If Richardson was right, wouldn’t Toronto be the most crime-ridden city in Canada? With 42% foreign born, it has the LOWEST crime rate in Canada. Meanwhile, Regina with 7% foreign born has Canada’s HIGHEST crime-rate. Unacceptable comments, that don’t represent the views of a very immigrant friendly Calgary (which is approaching 25% visible minority – already more diverse than Montreal.

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