Disclaimer: If you've clicked on this article because you hate Toronto, keep walking. I'm a born and raised Torontonian, and I'm not about to bash a city I hold so dear to me. I LOVE Toronto in fact. The problem I want to discuss today is not Toronto itself, but the issues that come with being from Toronto. You've been warned my friends.
Despite my love for Toronto I haven't lived there in almost three years. I came to Montreal for school and haven't looked back. I love where I work! And of course I love it here. But my one qualm, is that I feel like I have an abnormal amount of defending to do for my hometown.
That's right, the reason it sucks to be a Torontonian is that people hate on Toronto excessively. Especially other Canadians. It's something to with the fact we're "diluting" Canadian culture, we're "egotistical", and "Americanized". But essentially, people like to hate us out of principle. And to be frank, it's bull$hit.
I think the most frustrating part for me is that these people, who love to hate Toronto, won't really give the city a chance. They've made up their mind from a singular vacation - a tiny, boxed off view of what Toronto really is. To say we're the pinnacle of Canadian culture is ridiculous, but to say we're ruining Canadian culture is equally so. Yes, Yonge and Dundas is a mammoth block, and Bay can kind of feel like 5th Avenue. But our culture doesn't revolve around that, it exists in spite of that. It's as if I based my view of Montreal only on Saint Catherine's Street.
You know why Toronto is seen as arrogant? Because we have no issue with being proud of our city. I'm not saying we're perfect, far from it in fact. Every time I visit the city, I increasingly feel the pressure of high rise buildings, and the thirst for a condo in the Annex. To tell you the truth, the majority of us dislike the Financial District as much as the rest of Canada. But luckily, it's just one portion of a great city.
My dream would be to duct tape all these Toronto haters into a mini-van and, with the passion of an enraged soccer mom, force them to see how great the city really is. When you get cider at the Christmas Market, or watch movies at the Harbourfront in the middle of summer, you forget all about the suits, and feel a sense of community. I'd take them for Pho on Spadina, get them sunburnt lying on the hill in Riverdale Park, climb the roof of Honest Ed's, and show them that the best view of Toronto is not the Island or the CN Tower, but the split second shot of the city you get driving down Gerrard and Woodbine.
But it's just a cheesy dream that would definitely get me all kinds of arrested if attempted. So, I'm sorry to say that there really isn't anything we can do to change the opinions of our fellow Canadians. Just grin, bear the ill placed criticism, and hope they see their error sooner or later.