Toronto: Awful city, awful people

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Esther Pinder
Toronto: Awful city, awful people

After a horrible weekend experience in Toronto I feel justified in saying that Toronto has no redeeming features. Everyone I dealt with was clearly out to take advantage and only looking out for themselves. There is no grand "community", only petty and slimy denizens out to make a quick dollar and to hell with how that effects others.

quizzical

wow....and oh my.....you met all 3 million of 'em?

Kaitlin McNabb Kaitlin McNabb's picture

Yikes, I rather enjoy Toronto when I'm there. What happened Esther Pindar?

Also, I don't count that Lakeshore area as Toronto anymore Wink

DaveW

umm, my anti-TO credentials are pretty good: born and raised there, but left town the moment I turned 18 ...

but that rant above  is pretty much useless, as of course in a big and sprawling city there are all sorts of people, good, bad and indifferent, and any single visit can, by statistical variation, give you more or less exposure to any of those groups,

 just as your TO visit might coincide with a cold front or beautiful blue skies ...

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

[dipping into the chum bucket]

Having, on two separate occasions, done contract work in Toronto (each contract  lasting 2 or 3 months), I wouldn't go so far as to say Toronto has no redeeming features (although the word few springs to my mind). It is an extremely hard city to warm up to though. My own response to the city could best be characterized as indifference, lightly seasoned with annoyance.

[/dipping into the chum bucket]

 

Island Red

I love Toronto; it's a fabulous place to visit and I find that the people are friendly and accommodating. Of course, anybody can have a negative experience, even here in Newfoundland & Labrador which has a reputation for having some of the sunniest people in Canada - to visitors, anyway. But people are people, regardless of where they live, and neither Newfoundlanders nor Torontians hold the patents on virtuousity or deceit. 

MegB

I was born and raised in Toronto, left to live in the US for a few years, moved back for 15 years or so. Now I live in a smaller urban area 200km outside Toronto. Toronto, like any big city, can be alienating, people seem rude because they're trying to insulate themselves against the crowds and over-stimulation. There are, however, many vibrant communities within the GTA, but it takes time and effort to identify them.

6079_Smith_W

On a similar note, someone called Calgary small:

http://m.vice.com/en_ca/read/calgary-is-actually-nice

I think Esther just had a bad trip. It took me three visits to London to actually enjoy the place, though the fact that Margaret Thatcher was no longer ruling the roost may have had something to do with it.

My advice is to hop on the ferry and go out to the island to get a bit of perspective on things.

 

Kaitlin McNabb Kaitlin McNabb's picture

@6079_Smith_W that Calgary article is hilarious. A friend of mine (a Vancouverite as it were!) made the following comments:

"It stays light outside until after 10PM, something about altitude." -- In fact, if you are on a high enough mountain, the sun never sets.

and

Journalism!

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

I loved the shot at Vancouver....

article wrote:

Everyone is active and very healthy looking as a result, sort of like Vancouver but less annoying. It’s a casual, cultural healthiness.

Do I really have to point out the emphasis was added?Wink

[ETA: altitude, latitude... what's a few jumbled letters? Although she should have been here in winter, when it is dark on the way into work, and dark on the way home from work]

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

While many in Toronto act like it is the Centre of the Universe the real centre is in BC. 

I suspect that the number of awful people in Toronto has decreased over the years since many of them have moved to Vancouver where they continually and ANNOYINGLY complain about the weather.

Quote:

Once the apprentice monk had conducted a few tests and it was determined that this could very well be the Centre of the Universe, he returned to report back to his Master Teacher. The next visit that occurred was in 1984 and this time the Master Teacher and an entourage of followers attended. At the end of the tests including the calming of spirits by burning aromatic fuel in a fire, it was verified that this spot, on top of a grassy knoll with a commanding view of the valley and lake, was the Centre of the Universe.

Tests that passed when verifying the authenticity of the Centre of the Universe included geographic characteristics, shaped like the prow of a ship, pointed south, and sloping from north downwards to the south. Other tests include the spontaneous starting of a fire without an ignition source and the sounds of choral singing.

In 1988, a small but high-ranking group of monks arrived to try to convince the owner of the Vidette Lake Gold Mine Lodge to donate the land and even made initial arrangements to have the Dalai Lama who happened to be in Seattle at the time, to visit by helicopter. When a deal could not be reached to acquire the land and resort, the monks called off the visit.

Since 1980, monks and others seeking to become enlightened, pay their respects, and/or to satisfy their curiosity, continue to visit the site.

The site is said to emit power from at least three spots within a seven meter diameter and many feel it could be a much larger area. Ironically, unbeknownst to the monks, this site had been a special place for the local First Nations people to visit for over two hundred years.

http://www.tourismkamloops.com/centre-of-the-universe-in-kamloops-britis...

 

Caissa

Born in TO, escaped at the age of 7 and returned for a year at 28. I prefer my present location.

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

@Kropotkin: I can disprove your theory. It is a well known fact that cats are the center of the universe*. There are no cats at the location pictured in your link, consequently, it cannot be the center of the universe.

 

_____

*Ask any feline you encounter about this.

Pogo Pogo's picture

I lived in Toronto for 5 years before moving back to BC.  I very much enjoyed my stay.  Cats are the center of the universe.  Of course that center like the north pole is mobile and at any one time coincides with where I want to sit down.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Here is a group that you must like.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0W25zsIJFkg

And here is a picture of the cat that resides at the real Centre of the Universe.

KenS

I would visit really often if I could.

But then, my even more favourite places are New York and London, so that kind of indicates where I like to hang out for a change.

Unionist

Pogo wrote:

Cats are the center of the universe. 

This is axiomatic, of course - but what about cats residing in Toronto? Here's the unfortunate conclusion:

http://youtu.be/PKffm2uI4dk

 

6079_Smith_W

I have plenty of good business reasons to go there. Oddly enough, all my trips there have been work related, or on the way to someplace else, most recently 20 years ago. I enjoyed my visit every time.

oldgoat

My dear Esther,  I'm sorry I wasn't in Toronto, or if I was there, that you did not run into me during your trip.  Then, you would have had at least one pleasant highlight.

 

Even though I am currently in exile in Oshawa, Toronto will always be my home and where my heart is.  Growing up, downtown Toronto was my backyard and my playground.  The city and I came of age together.  Maybe try again.  Where are you from, anyway?

Esther Pinder

What happened is that a car driver deliberately smashed into mine on Kipling near Albion. That driver and his 4 passengers then all claimed whiplash to the ambulance attendants. I was mildly injured with a bruise and some bumps. The police were on scene very quickly which was nice, and they pointed out a tow truck that would take my car to a Mazda garage. The driver took my car about two blocks away then said I needed to pay $350 to get to the garage which was about another 2 kilometers away. Then the garage said the parts would be very expensive but my son was able to get a door at a wreckers for about $100, so that saved me a lot of money. The insurance company advisor thought that an insurance scam might be involved considering the number of people in the other car. Until there investigation is over I won't be re-imbursed for anything. Nobody helped, everybody just took and took, except for my son.

onlinediscountanvils

That's terrible, Esther. Sorry your trip was so bad. Maybe the ghost of Watson's Mill cursed your trip because you were missing Dickinson Days.

Your story reminded me both of this [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9PjGXP0iC8]Simpson's clip[/url].

infracaninophile infracaninophile's picture

Yikes, maybe there is an evil spell on  the area of Albion and Kipling. Two years ago I was calmly westbound on Albion (just west of Kipling) when some *&^%$# decided to make an illegal turn across 4 lanes of moving traffic in the middle of the block and broadsided me. However, unlike you, I found people extremely helpful -- bystanders gave witness statements to the police, solicitously examined my car (which was badly damaged but still drivable to the body shop), and the cops charged the driver with dangerous driving. I was subpoenad to the court date a year later where he was convicted. Then last year, only a few blocks from THAT scene, I was stopped at a stop sign on a side street just  north-east of Kipling and Albion, when some young trucker roared around the corner without stopping (or staying in his lane) and nearly took off the front end of my vehicle. Again, neighbours and workers nearby were a big help.  I don't know what that driver was charged with (stupidity perhaps). 

Maybe I'll give the area a wide berth when driving. But I do find North Etobicoke has some wonderful, diverse neighbourhoods. I've worked in both Jamestown and Thistletown in the past and loved it.

takeitslowly

I live in toronto since 1994 and it doe suck alot. There are alot of people that are hard to warm up to, there are alot of employers who treat workers as disposable and the lack of jobs doesn't help.traffice is bad, things are expensive, and communitiews are fragmented. The only reason i like it here is because its relatively gay and trans friendly.

Bacchus

Thats the area I live in and its very diverse (plus has the only homeless shelter outside of te downtown core)

 

But the drivers suck

NDPP

the mayor too...

Sineed

NDPP, my first thought was, Esther must have run into our mayor.

I'm sorry about your terrible experience, Esther. Car insurance fraud is rampant in Ontario, and as a result we pay the highest auto insurance fees in the country.

If you come again, I suggest you park your car, get downtown, and go walking in one of the many wonderful neighbourhoods. You are welcome to PM us Toronto folks for ideas. I have a friend who rents bicycles for a reasonable rate if you are into that. I could show you about some lovely car-free bike trails in High Park and along the Ontario Waterfront Trail.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

I never drive in Toronto. The driving sucks, the parking is worse. Tend to use TTC when I'm there, which is at least once a year, usually a work trip. But I do like the city, look forward to my visits. I find the people mostly quite nice. Sorry your visit was so unpleasant, Esther.

lagatta

I always enjoy going to Toronto, usually for work of to attend a conference. I don't drive, and one thing I love in Toronto is that they have kept at least some of the streetcar lines.

Like a lot less the weird animosity to bicycles - although carjerks cutting one off and saying we have broken the law when we have committed no violation exist here too, there is no officially-sanctioned animosity, which is a big help.

I suspect some of the carjerk stuff is simple misogyny... It seems odd, when there actually are still quite a few cyclists who do run red lights. I'm always careful not to.

There are also different ethnicities, and hence different cheap but good small restaurants there, and other types of interesting (not terribly onerous) shopping.

Once, there was a very rude guy on the Queen streetcar who didn't stop harassing me (not sexually, just nasty). Normally I'd have got off the car and taken a later one, but the sun was going down and it was in that sort of isolated spot between Parkdale and Etobicoke south (where the friend I was staying with lives). But crap like that can happen anywhere.

I'm really sorry about the "accident", which does sound like an insurance scam.

Edited to add, funny about oldgoat's "exile". Hardly a far remove...

KenS

Oshawa is just plain exile, no matter where you came from. Tongue out

Since1645

Esther Pinder wrote:

After a horrible weekend experience in Toronto I feel justified in saying that Toronto has no redeeming features. Everyone I dealt with was clearly out to take advantage and only looking out for themselves. There is no grand "community", only petty and slimy denizens out to make a quick dollar and to hell with how that effects others.

 

Yes sadly ottawa is becoming this way as well. I just researched that Toronto's population is 2.5 million. Ontario is 13.7 million - Toronto = 11.2 million. I was shocked to learn this! The way Toronto talks and shows itself you would think they are 75% of the population, they are only 15% of the total population of Ontario, yet they think everyone else (11.2 million) should go without and all their tax dollars should go to Toronto! Well I do not live in Toronto, but this is grossly disguisting and unfair. Toronto wakeu-up and get rid of your damn attitude of entitlement. There are places in canada where people are going hungary, where there are no doctors, where they do not get housing subsidies and they pay the same taxes as everyone else and some have been here for CENTURIES!

lagatta

I'd have loved to spend the week in Toronto, simply because it's been well above freezing and all the bluidy snow has probably melted.

jjuares

Since1645 wrote:

Esther Pinder wrote:

After a horrible weekend experience in Toronto I feel justified in saying that Toronto has no redeeming features. Everyone I dealt with was clearly out to take advantage and only looking out for themselves. There is no grand "community", only petty and slimy denizens out to make a quick dollar and to hell with how that effects others.

 

Yes sadly ottawa is becoming this way as well. I just researched that Toronto's population is 2.5 million. Ontario is 13.7 million - Toronto = 11.2 million. I was shocked to learn this! The way Toronto talks and shows itself you would think they are 75% of the population, they are only 15% of the total population of Ontario, yet they think everyone else (11.2 million) should go without and all their tax dollars should go to Toronto! Well I do not live in Toronto, but this is grossly disguisting and unfair. Toronto wakeu-up and get rid of your damn attitude of entitlement. There are places in canada where people are going hungary, where there are no doctors, where they do not get housing subsidies and they pay the same taxes as everyone else and some have been here for CENTURIES!


Toronto metro has almost 6 million people

Sineed

Considering that most Torontonians were not born here, and immigrants aside, came from communities all over the country, what does that say about the rest of Canada?

Toronto is made up and shaped by people from all the provinces and territories. We are the concentrated essence of Canada.

 

Aristotleded24

Sineed wrote:
Toronto is made up and shaped by people from all the provinces and territories. We are the concentrated essence of Canada.

There's lots of people in other Canadian cities from around Canada and around the world. What's your point?

KenS

I took it as a question. Background: Toronto is full of people from all over, Canada and the world.

So if the reputation for Toronto is "full of awful people," doesn't that reflect on the rest of us?

NorthReport

No, just people in Toronto. 

jjuares

KenS wrote:

I took it as a question. Background: Toronto is full of people from all over, Canada and the world.

So if the reputation for Toronto is "full of awful people," doesn't that reflect on the rest of us?


I did too. The concentrated essence part sounds a little arrogant frankly, like as if one city could represent a diverse country like Canada. I don't think it was intended to come across that way though. Anyways if you are just visiting a city your experience skews your viewpoint. I have visited Toronto twice, once I loved it and the other time (30 years later) didn't think it was so hot.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

A city that loved and celebrated Rob Ford is full of awful people?

I'm shocked.

Aristotleded24

alan smithee wrote:
A city that loved and celebrated Rob Ford is full of awful people?

I'm shocked.

Vancouver voted for Sam Sullivan, Saskatoon voted for Don Atchison, Winnipeg voted for Sam Katz, Ottawa voted for Larry O'Brien, London voted for Joe Fontana, and Montreal voted for Gerald Tremblay. Toronto is far from alone in electing bad mayors.

KenS

And its clear which of those bad mayors provided the most levity.

Dont brush off the need for levity !

KenS

There should be more value attached to levity, in its own right.

For example, IMO, Wildrose in Alberta has diminished life for all of us by banning Rob Anders from seeking the leadership.

Basement Dweller

Vancouver also voted in Gordon Campbell, who I think is somewhat worse than Sam Sullivan.

Anyhow, Toronto is just experiencing the same crappy behaviour you'll find in most cities it's size. Don't worry, Vancouver is nipping at your heels for suckiness.

Sineed

Basement Dweller wrote:

Don't worry, Vancouver is nipping at your heels for suckiness.

Your real estate prices definitely make you a contender.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Did Esther Pinder ever tell us which Shangri-La of warmth and human kindness she's from?  Just for some fair comparison?

Given that her beef seems to have stemmed from being struck by a cab, it would be pretty ironic if she just did a "drive by".

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

I love the title of this thread and it would bring me great joy to agree with it, but having lived in Vancouver for too long, I'm afraid it just doesn't warrant it.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

The story from the above photo:

"Pressured by unprecedented increases in the cost of local housing and real estate, five Vancouverites have taken it upon themselves to live on surfboards in a lake.  The surfboard homes, currently valued at $154,000 and climbing..."

Basement Dweller

Sineed wrote:

Basement Dweller wrote:

Don't worry, Vancouver is nipping at your heels for suckiness.

Your real estate prices definitely make you a contender.

There's a nasty tenantphobic mindset here, and I kind of doubt it's as bad anywhere else in Canada, including Toronto.

Example: Several months ago, a condo owner wrote a letter to a New West paper protesting a new rental tower on 6th St. The writer came out and said she felt tenants weren't as involved in or cared about the local community. When I have time, I might find the link, because my jaw dropped at the shameless arrogance. Keep in mind, New West has a huge population who rent.

onlinediscountanvils

Catchfire wrote:

I love the title of this thread and it would bring me great joy to agree with it, but having lived in Vancouver for too long, I'm afraid it just doesn't warrant it.

Is this Deep Cove? I miss Vancouver.

Sineed

Catchfire wrote:

Yoga on paddleboards with mountains as a backdrop?? I'm moving!

Next you're going to tell us this pic was taken in the winter.

lagatta

Basement Dweller, yes, that was disgusting. I've been involved in tenants' associations here (Montréal) for decades. I'd say it is simply good old classism. Richer people are not necessarily "more involved in the community". If one wants to get people without the wherewithal to buy real estate "more involved", then one supports more co-operatives and other forms of social housing that ensure stability and hence involement.

Sineed

Basement Dweller and lagatta, I think that perception comes from the observation that many rental properties look worse than many houses occupied by their owners. I live in a neighbourhood that contains a mix of rental spaces and single family dwellings and often hear people saying that "Renters don't take pride in their properties because they don't own them." This gets my goat since we have a couple of notorious slum lords around here whose buildings are infamous for their unsightly and sometimes dangerous disrepair. I reply that it doesn't make sense, since building maintenance is paid for by the person who owns the building, so how can the tenants be to blame?

And there's also confirmation bias. One of the prettiest houses on our street is occupied by a long-term tenant who is an artist and spends a lot of time gardening, repainting, and otherwise making the place look nice. But casual passersby probably think to themselves that the house is occupied by its owner.

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