It’s something everyone West of Thunder Bay has come to accept, Toronto is the centre of the Canadian universe.
We scoff at the CBC and their disregard for Western programming and hockey coverage, federal politicians have long-before snubbed those on this side of the Rockies and let’s face it, they get all the good shopping, and recognition from other nations as being representative of Canada as a whole.
But we’re supposed to hate and make fun of Torontonians, aren’t we?
My company’s head office is in Toronto and it’s pretty much a microcosm of Canadian society. All the big rules are made out there and we don’t know about them until they’re put into affect, after which all of us realize they’re completely useless and probably only serve those in the head office. A co-worker of mine came out here for a visit. He kept referring to the body of water in Coal Harbor as “the lake” and was surprised at the “city” we appear to have. Yes, real buildings, not tree forts.
The funny thing is, Torontonians don’t seem to care. Although we only see the Leafs once a year in NHL action, Canucks fans have the utmost hatred for the boys in blue and white. It’s comparable to Red Sox vs Yankees and Michigan vs Ohio State. But I’m starting to think it’s pretty much a one-way street.
In recent years, the despise for Toronto seems to have faded out here. Many are moving to Vancouver to set up shop, study and work and the other night at GM Place there was a healthy representation of Leafs fans. They’re becoming one of us and we’re becoming… something else.
It seems like Vancouver, much younger than more established and history-rich cities in Eastern Canada, has finally found its footing. Hollywood North, 2010 Olympics, diversity, fashion, cuisine, it all looks good on paper but we could just be becoming just as superficial as our old rivals.
With popularity comes more attention, positive and negative. We always knew our city was great but now that everyone else is starting to recognize this as well, we’re looking in the mirror a little more often. During a conversation with a friend, he mentioned how our ‘multicultural diversity’ is turning into a front for tourist brochures when in fact, we’re seriously lacking in that area (and that’s just the tip of the iceberg).
Toronto may still be the centre of the (Canadian) universe but the fact is, we’re catching up, in good ways and bad.