Let's all Hate Toronto

You must be a grump, the Argonotes are a class act !!! I know, because I have played with one of the Horn players who helped me out a ton, when I started playing again after 25 years , when the discouraged Hamilton Tiger Cat Pep Band tried to get off and running again.( Hint Hint Bob and company, It would a whole lot better to have a roaming grass roots like the Argonotes then a big old band like BTTB, and no disrespect to the BTTB the kids are great and are great ambassadores )
This is a volunteer band and beats anything the BTTB plays. And if it wasn't for having to wear something Argo Blue for the home games there I would go and play but I just can't even in the name of music put on something Argo blue (sorry guys). However I would love to play when you guys come to Hamilton for Labour Day !!

This "Let's hate TO" stuff from Hammertonians sounds a lot to me like the "Let's Hate the US" stuff that Canadians like to indulge in. I can understand both in a perverse sort of way but neither really makes any sense. And in both cases, a lot of envy is mixed in with the 'hate'. A lot of Canucks hate the US because they are what we'd like to be--rich, powerful, influential, vital, etc. The same holds true in the TO-Hamilton relationship albeit on a smaller scale. I drove into downtown TO yesterday and was amazed at the amount of construction going on. That's money being invested, jobs being created, people moving in, a buzz being created, etc. Apart from the differences in the sizes of our 2 cities, I don't get the same sense of growth, action and development in Hamilton. Don't get me wrong---I hate this unbridled development. It's made TO an awful place to live compared to the TO I knew as a kid in the 50s. It's congested, noisy, way too big, too impersonal. Truth be told, I'd rather live in Hamilton!! but you can't deny what TO means to the region, the province or the country. Even for the CFL, does anyone think that the CFL would survive as a serious pro league without a team here? What would a tv contract look like without the country's biggest market? Would the coverage of the league by the media be the same with the Argos given the concentration of the media in TO?

Really folks, maybe you hate TO more for what Hamilton is rather than what TO is.

And finally, why would anyone criticize a bunch of mostly kids who give up their time come out to play in a band to support the local team? They probably don't even get expenses like gas money or bus tickets. I just don't get it.

An Argo-Cat fan

I really didn't see critisism, just a commentary. The ArgoNotes band adds a lot a flavour and culture to the argos and football in southern ontario. Despite their roster of past american pop culture songs

"Argo-Cat fan" , I think this could be considered and oxy-moron?

Let's hate Toronto? That is in the same realm as "Should one keep breathing?"

:D :D :D ;)

With 35-plus conscious years of doing same,

Actually, Jake, to be a true oxymoron one would have to be a "Cat-Argo" fan, in that order to keep the "moron" part in sequence. :wink:

:D

P.S. Barney does deserve a pass in this regard given his insights on ticats.ca...

Oski Wee Wee,

You guys are too kind to me. :wink:

An Argo-Cat fan (in order of allegiances)

Yes. we are.

Next?

Actual "hatred" (which is different from a friendly rivalry) of any large group of people is generally based on ignorance, and this is no exception.

Of course people who are ignorant generally don't realize they are ignorant. (As in -- "I'm not racist, but ... that race really is XXXX, and I know this for a fact" -- when in reality no such "fact" exists.)

Ignorance is the natural state of people on the day they are born. Any actual knowledge takes effort to acquire.

Sorry to offend anyone who happens to be ignorant.

Hey, not to worry, we have plenty of Canadian content. In fact, Ticat fans can always count on hearing our Argo victory song - the Canadian classic, "You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet".

(thanks for the support gang, we'll see you on labour day,we love coming down!)

argonotes
the toronto argonauts band

...gotta love the argonotes,a Labour Day (and pre-season, and regular season, and Grey Cup) institution. That said, gotta love the zingers too, as per the thousands of years of rivalry between the Hamilton and Toronto regions.

Hey, it has just been announced that Let's All Hate Toronto has been accepted for Hot Docs 2007!!

http://www.hotdocs.ca/TemplatePage.aspx?PageID=11

LET'S ALL HATE TORONTO
D: Albert Nerenberg, Rob Spence | 75 min | Canada
The national hobby of hating Toronto is explored in this lively cross-country survey of the one thing that unites and defines Canadians - our perpetual disdain for our largest city.

Hate is a stupid emotion. It does nothing constructive, and is usually based on ignorance, envy, or fear. It’s far too narrow, it’s a waste of time at best, and invariably says more about the hater than the hated.

I live in Toronto. In fact I was born in Toronto. It's a great place to live. It has four universities, all kinds of restaurants, plus theatre, beautiful parks, many attractions of every kind. It's still pretty clean for a city its size, has good schools and neighbourhoods, all the amenities you might expect and more, is very cosmopolitan, and is a good place for kids to grow up.

Sure it’s congested. What big city isn’t? It’s expensive too, needs more transit, the roads are not in good shape and there is pressure on social services. Comes with the territory. Crime is too high too, but amazingly low for a city its size. The country of Jamaica has a similar population but has as many murders in two weeks as Toronto has in a year.

Toronto (the GTA really) is the economic hub of the province, and still of the country, though being displaced by Alberta in that regard. That’s nothing to apologize for. Funny, how many people who claim they hate Toronto don't seem to mind when governments coffers filled by Torontonians are drawn down to give them equalization and other payments for infrastructure and other services. I guess it's human nature.

Underhanded machinations to become the provincial capital in the 19th century?? Come on, give me a break!! Yes, Niagara was the capital for a while. So was Kingston. Toronto (York) lobbied to be the capital. They won. That isn’t underhanded. Didn't Hamilton lobby too? If not, why not? Hamilton had ambitions, some were realized, some weren't. McNab had big ideas, he fulfilled some of them. Good for him, and good for Hamilton. Cobourg had ambitions to be a major hub too. Toronto won out in some respects. No businesses had to set up in Toronto. None had to set up in Hamilton. Lots set up in both cities, and in others. Toronto grew faster and became what it is, the country's biggest metropolis and a good one too. So what? Get over it, please!

Does Toronto have the reputed Centre of the Universe attitude that is attached to it by others? Maybe in some quarters. Not in most in my view. Torontonians, like most Ontarians, tend to identify as Canadians first, and then as Torontonians. I wish it was like that more in some other parts of the country where the first point of identification is often the province. There’s nothing wrong with civic pride. Not in Toronto, not in Hamilton, not anywhere. Toronto isn’t the centre of the universe, or the planet, or even Canada. It’s just a good big city. What’s wrong with that?

I love the Tiger-Cats and I love it best when they beat the Argos, their foremost rivals. But I don’t even hate the Argos, much less Toronto. I don’t have time to waste on that kind of crap.

  • You're missing the point about the term "hate" and its historical context. Were you also offended when George Bush Sr. announced that he "hated" broccoli?

  • Your highly inaccurate assumption that the differential crimes rates and economic opportunities across Canada just sorta developed willy-nilly, and your paternalistic insinuation that the R.O.C. are all glorified welfare bums $ucking at the teat of Toronto, is exactly why Canadians tend to "hate" your city. Toronto was built on northern Ontario natural resources, Western oil, and the co-option of an industrial base that rightly belonged in the Maritimes. These things didn't just happen, they were the product of conscious decisions to enrich Toronto at the expense of outlying regions.

  • MacNab was a Torontonian.

The best thing that ever happened to Toronto in recent decades was the rise of the Parti Quebecois. All the uncertainty created by their misguided priorities was single-handedly responsible for the country's financial hub shifting from Montreal to Toronto in the 1970s and 1980s.

Call it a conspiracy if you want. Who was running the country at the time? Oh yeah ... do you think P.E. Trudeau had a grand scheme to enrich Toronto at the expense of his beloved hometown? And that he wanted this so badly he was willing to risk the secession of his home province to accomplish it?

Sometimes things happen for reasons far more complicated than the evil intentions of politicians.

The majority of the office buildings you see in downtown Toronto are tied to the financial industry. Banks, insurance companies, money managers, and the people who give them legal, accounting or other professional advice. I'm not sure that's any less legitimate of an industry than pulling things out of the ground. But if you're ever planning a city, it's a much more appealing economic base for about 100 different reasons than being completely dependent on a particular commodity ... or even (ahem) steel.

My point exactly. The financial industry you cite was built on stuff pulled out of the ground in places like Cobalt, Kirkland Lake and Timmins, which was then shipped to and sold from Toronto, in order to enrich Torontonians.

The Forbidden Website has once again been contacted to provide the producer of this film with some well learned content.

For those interested in learning more about why Toronto is likened to Mordor, have a read of " Hamilton, Toronto and “Argos $uck!?: History and Rivalry"

http://tinyurl.com/2dyfx5

Re broccoli, I like it. However, broccoli is a vegetable. "Hating" it hurts no one, though I do recall the broccoli producers were upset at Mr. Bush’s statement. Hating people or a city where people live is different I think.

I make no assumption at all about differential crime rates. I only cite Toronto's to indicate I think it's a pretty good, safe city for its size. I'm not sure what factors lead to that, but I believe it's true. Do you disagree with me on that?

Neither do I assume differential economic developments occur willy-nilly. They occur because of geography, proximity to resources, proximity to markets, transportation links, workforce availability and skills, corporate choices, inertia, and many other factors.

Nor did I suggest or insinuate or imply or think that everyone outside Toronto is a glorified welfare bum. Nothing of the kind. Your characterization is not apt, I think it is grossly overstated.

I tried to say what I meant, that Torontonians pay a lot in taxes that find their way to other parts of the country. And I noted that some of the people who express hatred (their term, not mine) of Toronto do so despite this redistribution. If some people hate Toronto or Torontonians out of envy, that would be a shame... on them I think. That was my point. I think it's a fair one. You think it's paternalistic and justifies or explains the hatred; I'm sorry you feel that way.

I disagree with your argument that Toronto's industrial base (or southern Ontario's perhaps?) rightfully belonged in the Maritimes. Is this the historical context you were referring to? Who said it belonged there? Why did it belong there? It belongs where manufacturers decide to put it. These days, they're putting it increasingly in China.

Of course Toronto was built partly on resources, as well as on manufacturing, agriculture, financial services and many other sectors. Most large cities are. So what? That's the way big cities become big.

I think your argument that there were conscious decisions to enrich Toronto at the expense of other regions is nonsense. What evidence do you cite for that? Decisions by whom?

McNab was a Torontonian? I didn't know that. But so what? He was a proud promoter of Hamilton. Good for him, I'm glad he was and contributed to Hamilton's development. I've never heard it said though, that his promotion of Hamilton was heavily based on hatred of Toronto. Was it?

The historical context I was referring to was in terms of the word “hate.? As I mentioned previously in the thread, the title “Let’s all Hate Toronto? is taken from a satirical book of the same name, written in 1956, by a torontonian. “Hate? in the way the original author used it, and in the way it has been co-opted by the current production, is a very different thing than “hate? in a present-day sense, which has not only changed colloquially but also has a legal definition. All that being said, I think the doc producers have toyed with changing the title for the very reason that inclusion of the word “hate? seems to generate confusion. On the other hand, this very debate is excellent grist for the mill in terms of a documentary on “hating? Toronto. In fact, I believe the question of what exactly people mean when they say they “hate? Toronto gets asked frequently throughout the film.

This was my earlier point about “hating toronto.? It quickly becomes apparent in LAHT 1956 that when Canadians say they "hate" toronto, they are really saying they hate pollution, they hate economic and political inequality, they hate urban sprawl, they hate the de-personalization of society, etc. Therefore, it could be argued that “hatred? of Toronto, like “hatred? of Broccoli, not only “hurts no one,? but may in fact be a benefit.

Agreed. I would only add that I believe there are solid, historical reasons as to how this reality came to be, and it's not always peaches and cream.

I think we’re on the same page with this too. The key word is “redistribution.? The tax money you cite does not just appear sui generis. The reasons toronto developed such a large tax base are complex and varied, but can be largely attributed to that city’s exploitation of outlying regions. The very existence of transfer payments in Canada is an acknowledgement of this inequality.

The “paternalistic? comment referred to what I considered to be your remedial, skewed and unfair economic argument. As far as toronto-hating being a product of envy, I agree with you that this is a fair point. As many have been quick to point out, expressions of “hate? say as much or more about the subject as the object. But the contempt inherent in dismissing out of hand this “hatred? - without bothering to wonder why it is that people in Canada from coast-to-coast have felt this way about toronto for thousands of years - is one of the main reasons for the existence of an anti-Toronto bias in this country. As far as shame, I think there’s a power argument here – is it really more shameful, for instance, that the Maritimes (with an unemployment rate that can reach 40%) are “envious? of Toronto, or does the real shame lay in the fact that toronto couldn’t give a tinker’s cuss about how its affluence effects others?

Well, this isn’t really “my? argument, it’s a well known historical truism, and really just a throw-away example of why people may come to “hate? toronto, but here goes: nature, geography and government determined that toronto’s industrial base belonged in the Maritimes. The Maritimes are the home of many natural seaports, and the region was the most convenient and logical way to ship to European markets. Combined with its vast coal deposits, it was consciously picked by government officials as the industrial engine of Canada at Confederation. This changed due to things like the St. Lawrence Seaway, a mega-project designed to benefit Toronto at the expense of the Eastern provinces. The “manufacturers? you cite did not decide to put industry in toronto on a whim, they did it to benefit themselves and their partners in government, who were frequently also their partners in business.

The detrimental impact that economic intensification in toronto has had on the lives of Canadians who live outside its borders is the “so what.?

Again, not my argument, and not a new or original one either. The following publications, among many, many others, should get you started in terms of evidence:

H.V. Nelles, “The Politics of Development?
John Weaver, “Hamilton: An Illustrated History?
Michael Bliss, “Northern Enterprise?
Greg Kealey, “Class, Community and the Labour Movement?
Ernest Epp, et al., “A Vast and Magnificent Land?
Ken Coates, “The Historiography of the Provincial Norths?

Previously in this thread I have given several examples of "conscious decisions to enrich toronto at the expense of other regions," but to elaborate more would be to test the patience of the ticat.ca community and perpetuate my own stereotype as a long-winded blowhard. But I can PM you page numbers, specific quotes, and many other sources if you like. There's lots to Google on this point as well.

MacNab hated Hamilton, and Hamiltonians, largely because the area was a hotbed for democratic reform, something that he also hated. He built Dundurn Castle on corrupt money and de facto slave labour. His poor treatment of his servants was notorious. He almost started a war with the USA when he torched a ship of democratic reformers and sent it over Niagara Falls. He personally punched out several democratic reformers who came to town trying to make life better for working-class Hamiltonians, and he was responsible for putting to death or exiling many, many more. He only promoted Hamilton in the sense that he and his croneys in Toronto felt that it was a good place from which to $uck wealth. All in all, he was the personification of why people came to "hate" toronto.

From the perspective of a present-day Hamiltonian of course, "hating" toronto is somewhat irrelevant (or at least ironic), largely because, as many have pointed out, "toronto" essentially extends from the Niagara Penninsula to the Kawartha Lakes, and all points in between. In this sense, toronto, the Mordor of Canada, has "won" the battle. But in keeping the historical/regional rivalry alive in a good-natured fashion, and indeed, by celebrating this rivalry through things like the Ticat-argo Labour Day Classic, or the forbidden website, we are able to perpetually reflect on the reasons why toronto came to be "hated". And, by realizing that this "hatred" was ultimately caused by greed and inequality, we have a mirror in which to see our own reflection, and a cautionary example to help make sure that we don't become like "them." In this way, Canada's Mordor may have won the battle, but it ultimately loses the war.

So, as the "argos $uck!" demographic (for instance) gathers at Ivor Wynne on a warm summer evening, enjoying a Ticats-argos matchup perhaps, it's important to remember that they're not just beer-swilling schlubs, but social crusaders for a better Canada, with a history and heritage that extends back into the mists of time.

people in Canada from coast-to-coast have felt this way about toronto for thousands of years
Wha?
http://tinyurl.com/2dyfx5

Bunner, perhaps this debate ought soon to go to another forum. If anywhere at all. At the risk of perpetuating it overlong, I would like to respond to just a few points in your last post.

You said:
“The key word is “redistribution.? The tax money you cite does not just appear sui generis. The reasons toronto developed such a large tax base are complex and varied, but can be largely attributed to that city’s exploitation of outlying regions. The very existence of transfer payments in Canada is an acknowledgement of this inequality.?

I disagree that Toronto’s growth is largely attributable to its exploitation of other regions. I think that is a minor factor, if one at all. (I assume you are using the word "eploitation" in a pejorative sense here). Equalization and other transfer payments do not prove exploitation. They prove the existence of unequal incomes. They are not enacted because governments think the wealthy have done someting wrong, but from a desire to share wealth so that all can live a decent life.

You said:
“nature, geography and government determined that toronto’s industrial base belonged in the Maritimes. The Maritimes are the home of many natural seaports, and the region was the most convenient and logical way to ship to European markets. Combined with its vast coal deposits, it was consciously picked by government officials as the industrial engine of Canada at Confederation. This changed due to things like the St. Lawrence Seaway, a mega-project designed to benefit Toronto at the expense of the Eastern provinces. The “manufacturers? you cite did not decide to put industry in toronto on a whim, they did it to benefit themselves and their partners in government, who were frequently also their partners in business.?

I disagree that Toronto’s industrial base belonged in the Maritimes. You can’t “pick? engines. When that is tried, especially by government, it invariably fails. At the time of industrialization, Lower Canada became our first large industrialized area. Southern Ontario (not just Toronto) overtook the Maritimes and Quebec as an industrial base because the major markets for industrial products shifted from Britain to the US. Mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions as the USA grew in population and wealth. Ontario is close to the major population centres of the US, closer to more resources, closer to a larger population base domestically as well. This did not change as a result of the St Lawrence Seaway. That was opened in 1957, decades after GM and Ford had begun building cars in Oshawa and Windsor, Stelco and Dofasco were in operation in Hamilton, Canada Wire was in business, among many, many others. The Seaway reflected Ontario’s industrial growth, it didn’t cause it. I think it is silly to suggest it was built to benefit Toronto at the expense of the Maritimes. Would you argue the Seaway should never have been built? Do you think that without it, (or with it for that matter) GM would have moved its Canadian operations to New Brunswick, or Dofacsco to Cape Breton, even if the government had told them to?

Of course manufacturers put their plants where they do for reasons, not for whims. They do it for all kinds of good business reasons. If their partners in government had decided that they should have put them in the Maritimes where they belonged as you suggest, why did they put them in Ontario instead?

You said:
“The detrimental impact that economic intensification in toronto has had on the lives of Canadians who live outside its borders is the “so what.?

I disagree with you completely on this. I don’t think Toronto’s success has been detrimental to everyone else in Canada. I think Toronto’s success is good for Canada. So is Vancouver’s. So is Calgary’s. I might agree with you if I thought that it was all a zero sum game domestically, or that businesses would only look elsewhere in Canada to operate if told to by governments, or that scale didn’t matter. But I don’t believe that.

I think that without large metropolitan centres, national incomes would be lower, and there would be less money available for public goods and redistribution. I don't think that dismantling Toronto's (or Hamilton's) large businesses and spreading bits of them widely into small communities would lead to equivalent growth nationwide.

I think that in a global economy we should be looking at ways to build greater strengths in our centres, not tearing them down.

Abraham Lincoln once said that you can’t raise the weak up by bringing the strong down. I think he was right.

I am impressed by your extensive reading. I have read a few of the books you cite, not all by any means. I’ve read others too, as have you undoubtedly. I don’t think it’s necessary to belabour this. I sense there is an ideological difference between us that is unlikely to be bridged. That’s okay.