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Toronto: Love it or hate it?

FortYorkRifleman

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As I have been going through the recruiting process at CFRC Toronto I noticed many of the people from the GTA who don't live in Toronto have a disdain for the city; too crowded, TTC is awful, people are not helpful and rude people. I know that this is a common complaint from people outside the city and have encountered many tourists, either through work or in bars, complain this city isn't what they thought it would be.

For myself, I was born and raised here and love it to death. I have never encountered the problems people speak of nor feel we actually behave this way. I'm not quite sure what people are experiencing that would make them feel this way as I feel the city is no different than any other; you'll meet people of all personalities like in any city.

So I wanted to know what you out there think of Toronto? I know many people who post on this forum are from all over the country and wondered what your impressions of this city are
 

The Bread Guy

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FortYorkRifleman said:
.... too crowded, TTC is awful, people are not helpful and rude people ....
I've heard exactly these complaints from people living in Toronto.

Too crowded?  I'm used to smaller-city living, so I find it a bit much after more than 3-4 days.

TTC awful?  I've used mass transit in New York, Rome and Washington, D.C., and I've always been OK with TO mass transit (with cars built in my home town).

People not helpful/rude?  My experience:  Not really any more or any less than elsewhere.

Love about Toronto?  Lots of things to see/do (I'm a foodie, so it's a pretty target-rich environment for me), and safer than a lot of big cities I've been to.

Hate about Toronto?  Enough people there think they're the centre of the universe (and don't understand the reality of how other parts of Ontario live) to paint the whole crew.  Example:  listen to a CBC "Ontario" newscast on the weekend, and how many stories are from outside Toronto?
 

FortYorkRifleman

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milnews.ca said:
I've heard exactly these complaints from people living in Toronto.

Too crowded?  I'm used to smaller-city living, so I find it a bit much after more than 3-4 days.

TTC awful?  I've used mass transit in New York, Rome and Washington, D.C., and I've always been OK with TO mass transit (with cars built in my home town).

People not helpful/rude?  My experience:  Not really any more or any less than elsewhere.

Love about Toronto?  Lots of things to see/do (I'm a foodie, so it's a pretty target-rich environment for me), and safer than a lot of big cities I've been to.

Hate about Toronto?  Enough people there think they're the centre of the universe (and don't understand the reality of how other parts of Ontario live) to paint the whole crew.  Example:  listen to a CBC "Ontario" newscast on the weekend, and how many stories are from outside Toronto?

There's a disconnect between big and small city dwellers all over the world. I think with that you get people from small towns who just aren't used to the amount of people, the traffic, the noise and the busy nature of people. I see it more as intimidation than anything else.

My issue with people from out of town is the inability to keep up with me; I walk really fast and they don't understand it. Other than that people seem to go with the flow here
 

The Bread Guy

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BTW, forgot to mention:  you're brave asking, "hey, what's so bad about Toronto, anyway?"  ;D
 

FortYorkRifleman

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milnews.ca said:
BTW, forgot to mention:  you're brave asking, "hey, what's so bad about Toronto, anyway?"  ;D

I do think everything that's great about Canada can be seen here in Toronto; low crime rate, people from all backgrounds more or less work well and play well together, diverse fun from the waterfront to museums, shopping malls and cool neighborhoods. What I love most is the personalities of the people I meet and work with on a daily basis, most of whom aren't from Toronto, that come from rural areas that bring the best of those places to the table and make worklife and nightlife all the better. And the hottest women are here too  :nod:
 

mariomike

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FortYorkRifleman said:
As I have been going through the recruiting process at CFRC Toronto I noticed many of the people from the GTA who don't live in Toronto have a disdain for the city;

There is no shortage of out-of-town applicants to join the city's Emergency Services. There used to be a Residency requirement.

To me, it's a city of neighborhoods. There are 140 neighbourhoods officially recognized by the City of Toronto, and upwards of 240 unofficial neighbourhoods.

I like mine. It's bounded by the Humber River, Bloor Street West (including Bloor West Village), High Park and Grenadier Pond, and Lake Ontario. We had two beautiful movie theatres that we liked to go, but they are both gone now. There were no bars in the area until 2000, and no wine with your dinner. No LCBO or Brewers Retail stores either. If you wanted a drink, you had to walk to the Legion. It's gone now too. With all the construction going on, I guess you could say I am a bit of a NIMBY.

My mother's side of the family, and my wife's side, are mostly in the Wilson Heights area.

I like to go downtown on the subway during the week, walk through the PATH if it's cold out, and look down on it from the CN Tower. But, it's difficult to keep up with.  TO has more high-rise projects under construction than any other North American city. One third of Canada's population live within a 100-mile radius of Toronto.

FortYorkRifleman said:
And the hottest women are here too  :nod:

:nod:
 

FortYorkRifleman

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mariomike said:
There is no shortage of out-of-town applicants to join the city's Emergency Services. There used to be a Residency requirement.

To me, it's a city of neighborhoods. There are 140 neighbourhoods officially recognized by the City of Toronto, and upwards of 240 unofficial neighbourhoods.

I like mine. It's bounded by the Humber River, Bloor Street West (including Bloor West Village), High Park and Grenadier Pond, and Lake Ontario. We had two beautiful movie theatres that we liked to go, but they are both gone now. There were no bars in the area until 2000, and no wine with your dinner. No LCBO or Brewers Retail stores either. If you wanted a drink, you had to walk to the Legion. It's gone now too. With all the construction going on, I guess you could say I am a bit of a NIMBY.

My mother's side of the family, and my wife's side, are mostly in the Wilson Heights area.

I like to go downtown on the subway during the week, walk through the PATH if it's cold out, and look down on it from the CN Tower. But, it's difficult to keep up with.  TO has more high-rise projects under construction than any other North American city. One third of Canada's population live within a 100-mile radius of Toronto.

:nod:

I've been exploring a lot of Toronto lately and have fallen in love with West Queen West which is cliche in Toronto but one of the most diverse and interesting areas, both people and places alike. I can people watch from Yonge and Dundas Square all day and all night.
 

mariomike

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FortYorkRifleman said:
I've been exploring a lot of Toronto lately and have fallen in love with West Queen West which is cliche in Toronto but one of the most diverse and interesting areas, both people and places alike. I can people watch from Yonge and Dundas Square all day and all night.

I was stationed at Richmond and Strachan back in the 1970's. It was heavy-industry factories back then. Deinstitutionalization wrecked havoc on us and the area.
I guess the Hipsters re-invigorated it, but I was long gone by then.
Never cared much for the Yonge and Dundas crowd, back then or now.
 

FJAG

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Nothing new here.

I grew up in Toronto in the late 50's and all of the 60's before joining the army and going to BC and then Manitoba. People generally hated us folks from "Tarana". It had nothing to do with the size of the city or its amenities but the fact that Torontonians in general considered (and I believe still do consider) themselves the centre of the universe. The rule of thumb for us then was that there was no country north of the 401, east of Scarborough or west of Etobicoke.

In those days the country's entire entertainment/news industry was vested with the CBC, the Globe and later CTV all of which were very Toronto-centric (to almost the exclusion of everyone else with the possible exception of Ottawa). This offended the rest of the nation

Non-Torontonians basically considered us Torontonians as a**holes. At the time I was offended by this but with time have come to accept that the non-Torontonians were probably right. This last year, when I saw Toronto almost single-handedly re-elect the provincial Liberals I came to the conclusion that the rest of Canada is absolutely right.  :facepalm:

Don't fight it; continue to revel in the superiority of your city even if you can't afford a house there. You'll never be able to change such a deep-rooted prejudice. Besides, you're from Toronto; why would you even care what others might think.  ;D

:cheers:
 

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I'm from TO but haven't lived there since I went to uni.  Aside from seeing family and the Chinese food that you really can't get outside of China (or, in some cases, better than in China itself), I don't really miss it.  Sure, it has everything and a massive population but it gets a bit much for me after a week or two.

The big thing after living abroad for a few years is that it seems like every other big city to me.  When I was in Sydney, once you got away from the Harbour Bridge and Opera House, it could have been Toronto. 

I'll hang out in Victoria, thanks.

PS:  As for "hottest women", I thought that too until I was posted to Montreal, Quebec City and even Winnipeg.  Yep, even under-rated Winnipeg - must be the random Ukrainian and Scandinavian mix out there.
 

FortYorkRifleman

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FJAG said:
Nothing new here.

I grew up in Toronto in the late 50's and all of the 60's before joining the army and going to BC and then Manitoba. People generally hated us folks from "Tarana". It had nothing to do with the size of the city or its amenities but the fact that Torontonians in general considered (and I believe still do consider) themselves the centre of the universe. The rule of thumb for us then was that there was no country north of the 401, east of Scarborough or west of Etobicoke.

In those days the country's entire entertainment/news industry was vested with the CBC, the Globe and later CTV all of which were very Toronto-centric (to almost the exclusion of everyone else with the possible exception of Ottawa). This offended the rest of the nation

Non-Torontonians basically considered us Torontonians as a**holes. At the time I was offended by this but with time have come to accept that the non-Torontonians were probably right. This last year, when I saw Toronto almost single-handedly re-elect the provincial Liberals I came to the conclusion that the rest of Canada is absolutely right.  :facepalm:

Don't fight it; continue to revel in the superiority of your city even if you can't afford a house there. You'll never be able to change such a deep-rooted prejudice. Besides, you're from Toronto; why would you even care what others might think.  ;D

:cheers:

I think when I really became a Torontonian was in Grade 4 when my teacher, who was from Alberta, pronounced it "TOE RON TOW" and I quickly corrected her with "TER RON OH". She was shocked I said this to her and to this day never lets me forget it
 

FortYorkRifleman

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mariomike said:
I was stationed at Richmond and Strachan back in the 1970's. It was heavy-industry factories back then. Deinstitutionalization wrecked havoc on us and the area.
I guess the Hipsters re-invigorated it, but I was long gone by then.
Never cared much for the Yonge and Dundas crowd, back then or now.

I was born and raised in Jane and Finch which has gotten a bad reputation since... forever but I wouldn't have changed my childhood for a second. I love the neighborhood now as much as then
 

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Not from TO ( from a very small town) but love the city.  The biggest stereotypes of TO come from not actually knowing the people and going by media exposure.

I always tell people Torontonians are just as friendly as everywhere else, they just don't care about you.  Exactly like EVERY OTHER CITY IN CANADA.  Strike up a conversation with a random Torontonian and things are great.  I've lived all over, Halifax, Vancouver, Montreal, Quebec City, Hamilton, Guelph, Winnipeg and every city folk is the same when you are friendly to them.  Actually the most unfriendly city was Halifax in my opinion.
 

mariomike

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FJAG said:
This last year, when I saw Toronto almost single-handedly re-elect the provincial Liberals I came to the conclusion that the rest of Canada is absolutely right. 
Don't fight it; continue to revel in the superiority of your city even if you can't afford a house there.

I've never followed provincial or federal party politics much. BTW, my house was bought and paid for a long time ago, thanks.

FortYorkRifleman said:
I was born and raised in Jane and Finch which has gotten a bad reputation since... forever but I wouldn't have changed my childhood for a second. I love the neighborhood now as much as then

Good for you. Not without its problems, but a lot of good people live up there.

Underway said:
Not from TO ( from a very small town) but love the city.  The biggest stereotypes of TO come from not actually knowing the people and going by media exposure.

I always tell people Torontonians are just as friendly as everywhere else, they just don't care about you.  Exactly like EVERY OTHER CITY IN CANADA.  Strike up a conversation with a random Torontonian and things are great.  I've lived all over, Halifax, Vancouver, Montreal, Quebec City, Hamilton, Guelph, Winnipeg and every city folk is the same when you are friendly to them.  Actually the most unfriendly city was Halifax in my opinion.

Nice to hear that.

 

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This far in and no one has pointed out that Toronto lacks an NHL team.  >:D
 

Humphrey Bogart

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I personally hate Toronto, come to think of it, I hate most big cities.  People always talk about how there is so much to do...... I always ask, "Like what exactly?"

Everything is super expensive and over-priced.  You can't actually afford to own anything in the city i.e. house, car, boat, motorcycle, truck, etc... and if you want to?  Well you better be a freaking multi-millionaire!

I often drive through downtown Toronto I always marvel at how well everyone dresses, like everyone is always wearing designer this/designer that and then I realize it's because they have nothing else to spend their money on because they either can't afford it due to the horrendous cost of living in the "Big City" or they have no space for it, probably partially a result of not being able to afford it. 

Nope I'd much rather live in a place like Deep River, Ontario, where I can have a nice big house for under $200,000 and still be able to afford my truck, boat, skidoo, gigantic gun collection, fishing apparel, etc... oh and eventually invest in a camp somewhere. 

Does Toronto suck?  Damn right it does.

As for big cities having culture?  What culture?  To me, the bigger the city, the more it lacks "culture".  Far more culture in a place like Corner Brook, Newfoundland or even a place like Yellowknife than there is in Toronto.
 

FortYorkRifleman

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RoyalDrew said:
I personally hate Toronto, come to think of it, I hate most big cities.  People always talk about how there is so much to do...... I always ask, "Like what exactly?"

Everything is super expensive and over-priced.  You can't actually afford to own anything in the city i.e. house, car, boat, motorcycle, truck, etc... and if you want to?  Well you better be a freaking multi-millionaire!

I often drive through downtown Toronto I always marvel at how well everyone dresses, like everyone is always wearing designer this/designer that and then I realize it's because they have nothing else to spend their money on because they either can't afford it due to the horrendous cost of living in the "Big City" or they have no space for it, probably partially a result of not being able to afford it. 

Nope I'd much rather live in a place like Deep River, Ontario, where I can have a nice big house for under $200,000 and still be able to afford my truck, boat, skidoo, gigantic gun collection, fishing apparel, etc... oh and eventually invest in a camp somewhere. 

Does Toronto suck?  Damn right it does.

As for big cities having culture?  What culture?  To me, the bigger the city, the more it lacks "culture".  Far more culture in a place like Corner Brook, Newfoundland or even a place like Yellowknife than there is in Toronto.

I lament the fact that Toronto doesn't have a base like Petawawa or Edmonton but that's for another discussion...

Anyway, I think when people mention culture they mean the multi-culturalism moreso than the AGO, ROM, etc. I love the idea of going into a Blues bar like The Rex on Queen West and seeing all ages, all races enjoying themselves or seeing a Indian restaurant with white, black, brown patrons. That, to me, along with events like TIFF, Pride and Carribana signify culture more than anything else. Toronto is a melting pot and it shows in everything.

I also think it takes a certain kind of person to commit to living in any big city. Many people who live in Toronto are not even from there; most I work with are from small towns and smaller cities out West who came for the jobs and excitement of "Big city living". I couldn't live in Deep River or Burlington for that matter because I'd miss the sounds and the energy in the city. Oh, and I hate the woods but don't tell my Interviewing Officer that  :p
 

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FortYorkRifleman said:
I lament the fact that Toronto doesn't have a base like Petawawa or Edmonton but that's for another discussion...

Anyway, I think when people mention culture they mean the multi-culturalism moreso than the AGO, ROM, etc. I love the idea of going into a Blues bar like The Rex on Queen West and seeing all ages, all races enjoying themselves or seeing a Indian restaurant with white, black, brown patrons. That, to me, along with events like TIFF, Pride and Carribana signify culture more than anything else. Toronto is a melting pot and it shows in everything.

Oh I understand what they mean when they say culture.  To me though, the "cultures" found in big cities are really just money making ventures that are there for entertainment.  It's no different than going to a place like Jamaica for example, staying on a secure white person resort, than saying you've experienced Jamaican culture, you haven't really, you've just been fooled by a cleverly designed money-making scheme. 

I also think it takes a certain kind of person to commit to living in any big city. Many people who live in Toronto are not even from there; most I work with are from small towns and smaller cities out West who came for the jobs and excitement of "Big city living". I couldn't live in Deep River or Burlington for that matter because I'd miss the sounds and the energy in the city. Oh, and I hate the woods but don't tell my Interviewing Officer that  :p

I think most people move to the city and end up getting stuck because they get sucked into the vortex.  They go there looking for work, end up working some random job that can barely pay their bills (due to the aforementioned cost of living) so they end up having to settle.

 

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RoyalDrew said:
I think most people move to the city and end up getting stuck because they get sucked into the vortex.  They go there looking for work, end up working some random job that can barely pay their bills (due to the aforementioned cost of living) so they end up having to settle.

They must be the ones from out of town lined up to get on the Emergency Services.

FortYorkRifleman said:
I also think it takes a certain kind of person to commit to living in any big city.

I had enough fun and games working for Metro. I prefer to relax in my neighborhood and enjoy our garden.

This is typical of our area. It's not my backyard, but it's a only a short walk. People sometimes say they "know" Toronto. But, how many really do?



 
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