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  #1  
Old Posted Mar 3, 2014, 10:05 PM
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Gushing tribute to Toronto on NY Times among most emailed stories

The love/hate thread for Toronto got closed down, and I'm not trying to start that rigmarole up again, but this is somewhat relevant, I think. A tribute to the food scene in Toronto by a writer for the NY Times is the 8th most emailed story on the site today.

Quote:
When I tell my friends in Toronto how much I love their city, they often say, “Really?” I always assume they imagine I’m just trying to be gracious, or perhaps — with characteristic Canadian modesty — they’re reluctant to acknowledge how easy their city is to love.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/02/tr...me&ref=general
I don't actually live in Toronto, I'm about two hours west of it, but I confess to feeling the same way as the "lovers" who proceed to gush further in the comments section, so this is essentially a "homer" post. I admit it.

But beyond that, I think that these kinds of articles are signposts on the journey Toronto is on toward maturing into a true national alpha city that, like it or not, will become Canada's signature city for outsiders. It may not actually get all the way there, but it's certainly moving in that direction.

It's an evolution I find fascinating. I suppose it helps that I like the place. I freely admit that this whole phenomenon would be irritating to me if I were living elsewhere in the country and honestly never took a shine to the city. As many on this forum have stated. I personally like to think that the growing ability of Torontonians to take criticism in stride is a sign of the maturation of our national conversation generally. It's healthy when the sincere inability to see the appeal of Toronto is met with a shrug instead of pettiness borne of insecurity.

This is a coming of age story.
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  #2  
Old Posted Mar 3, 2014, 10:14 PM
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I wonder how many of those are from Torontonians e-mailing the story back and forth to each other? I doubt that the e-mails are being generated by New Yorkers buzzing over the fact that you can get authentic Chinese delicacies in Markham.

Before I am accused of Toronto-bashing, let me say that Winnipeg wouldn't be any different... generally stories by foreign travel writers about this place make the rounds pretty widely. I'm sure that if the NY Times ran a piece on tourism in Winnipeg, it would be extremely widely circulated around here.
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Old Posted Mar 3, 2014, 10:25 PM
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Great to see Toronto getting this kind of positive international exposure in light of the whole Rob Ford fiasco. And I say this as someone living elsewhere in the country (though who has taken a shine to the city). Toronto is certainly rising in ranks and a lot is of good is coming out of it. Let's hope the momentum continues.
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Old Posted Mar 3, 2014, 10:37 PM
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Interesting move. I thought this would have been a relevant story for the main Canada section.

I agree that there are probably a lot of people in Toronto emailing the story, which would have boosted the emailing numbers. Though the comments seem to be half Torontonians and half non-Torontonians. Which is probably par for the course for this type of tourist article.
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Old Posted Mar 3, 2014, 10:47 PM
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The fact that the Rob Ford story got so much international attention is indicative of how big Toronto has become.
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Old Posted Mar 3, 2014, 11:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
Interesting move. I thought this would have been a relevant story for the main Canada section.

I agree that there are probably a lot of people in Toronto emailing the story, which would have boosted the emailing numbers. Though the comments seem to be half Torontonians and half non-Torontonians. Which is probably par for the course for this type of tourist article.
About creating a thread in the Canada section about articles in any international newspapers or magazine about any canadian cities ? This article would fit right in and we could add others in the thread. Just saying.
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  #7  
Old Posted Mar 4, 2014, 12:18 AM
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Originally Posted by middeljohn View Post
The fact that the Rob Ford story got so much international attention is indicative of how big Toronto has become.
Not so sure about this one...
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  #8  
Old Posted Mar 4, 2014, 1:11 AM
middeljohn middeljohn is offline
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Not so sure about this one...
I think it makes a whole lot of sense. The onky reason it was considered significant enough to be "news" was is that Toronto is significant enough on the global scale for other countries to give a rats' ass, even if just for a chuckle.

"Crack-smoking Seattle mayor..." wouldn't have gotten nearly the attention. Toronto is approaching the elite status of being an international city now and will therefore be far more scrutinized for anything that isn't 100% right.
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Old Posted Mar 4, 2014, 1:37 AM
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Originally Posted by middeljohn View Post
I think it makes a whole lot of sense. The onky reason it was considered significant enough to be "news" was is that Toronto is significant enough on the global scale for other countries to give a rats' ass, even if just for a chuckle.

"Crack-smoking Seattle mayor..." wouldn't have gotten nearly the attention. Toronto is approaching the elite status of being an international city now and will therefore be far more scrutinized for anything that isn't 100% right.
I don't know... it's probably very surprising to most Americans: "shit, I didn't even know they get crack up there!". The corny neighbour to the north having a mayor who smokes crack - damn. Perhaps makes us more relatable, and probably a part of the reason why it has become such a phenomenon down there.
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  #10  
Old Posted Mar 4, 2014, 2:21 AM
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Originally Posted by shappy View Post
I don't know... it's probably very surprising to most Americans: "shit, I didn't even know they get crack up there!". The corny neighbour to the north having a mayor who smokes crack - damn. Perhaps makes us more relatable, and probably a part of the reason why it has become such a phenomenon down there.
I agree that Americans pretty much draw a blank on Canada, so having a total goofball in the news gives them something concrete to relate to instead of just "nice and polite." But it wouldn't have been constant fodder for talk shows if he was mayor of Calgary or Trois-Rivieres.
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Old Posted Mar 5, 2014, 4:47 AM
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Trois-Rivieres I can see because of the French thing and hence reduced relatablility. Calgary (and certainly Seattle) I don't really buy. I mean, for a mayor, this guy has done and said a lot of ridiculous stuff. Just because he's Toronto's mayor doesn't make it any more news worthy.
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Old Posted Mar 5, 2014, 5:09 PM
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if you listened at the beginning to all the Rob Ford stories on CNN, etc, the one phrase that kept getting repeated is that this is happening in the 'fourth largest city in North America!" or that this is happening in 'a major city'. So I do think it's received so much traction, not only because it's a stranger than fiction story, but because of where it's happening and the name recognition that Toronto already had.
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Old Posted Mar 7, 2014, 3:03 AM
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This is a great article that highlights what is probably Toronto's greatest asset, our diversity.
People say other cities are diverse. But Toronto takes diversity to a whole new level, that you don't even see in places like NYC, where the majority of the population is American born.

I have a friend from Toronto studying in NYC, and even he has stated that the diversity of ethnic food is much better in Toronto, and can be found in all areas, and is just such an integral part of the city, compared to say NYC or other cities with some diversity.

Again, other cities to offer diversity. But the level of diversity Toronto has, I don't think can be matched anywhere. And that has to do with just the sheer number of new immigrants from all over the world, and the large populations from each country.

Having grown up it in, I can say it was one of the best experience ever. Going to school, working, and making friends with people from all corners of the globe. I am in the USA right now, and it is amazing when people look at photos of my friends and I from Toronto, and ask questions about how interesting it is to see people of all different ethnic groups together, and such a large diversity of nationalities.
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Old Posted Mar 7, 2014, 6:05 AM
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But but...saying Toronto is extremely diverse obviously carries with it the underlying meaning that the United States is a bastion of conformity ...
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Old Posted Mar 7, 2014, 7:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ue View Post
Great to see Toronto getting this kind of positive international exposure in light of the whole Rob Ford fiasco. And I say this as someone living elsewhere in the country (though who has taken a shine to the city). Toronto is certainly rising in ranks and a lot is of good is coming out of it. Let's hope the momentum continues.
I watched the Rob Ford interview on Jimmy Kimmel courtesy of youtube. Of course he was going to get ribbed, but Toronto actually came out looking quite good. He shamelessly plugged the city, professed his love for the city, Kimmel echoed those sentiments, and the crowd applauded. When's the last time that happened on US television in front of millions of viewers?

I don't buy the argument that he's hurt Toronto's image, because people know better. If anything this has shattered people's perceptions that we're some stereotypically boring place where nothing happens. Toronto has moved past the point where things like this damage the city. Ironically, it seems to be doing the opposite.
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Old Posted Mar 7, 2014, 8:06 AM
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Originally Posted by miketoronto View Post
Again, other cities to offer diversity. But the level of diversity Toronto has, I don't think can be matched anywhere. And that has to do with just the sheer number of new immigrants from all over the world, and the large populations from each country.
I tell people in London that and they ridicule it as beyond the realm of possibility. They have tunnel vision for New York (and the US) and can't comprehend of any city on the planet beating London or New York when it comes to that very cosmopolitan of barometers: foreign born population. They react like you just shot their mother when you tell them they're 4th behind New York, Los Angeles, and Toronto in absolute numbers.

They're so self absorbed that they ironically come off as a bit provincial some times. They need to get out more and realize that there's a big world out there beyond London and NY.
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Old Posted Mar 8, 2014, 9:51 PM
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I tell people in London that and they ridicule it as beyond the realm of possibility. They have tunnel vision for New York (and the US) and can't comprehend of any city on the planet beating London or New York when it comes to that very cosmopolitan of barometers: foreign born population. They react like you just shot their mother when you tell them they're 4th behind New York, Los Angeles, and Toronto in absolute numbers.

They're so self absorbed that they ironically come off as a bit provincial some times. They need to get out more and realize that there's a big world out there beyond London and NY.
So, so true. Well said.
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Old Posted Mar 8, 2014, 10:51 PM
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Except it is not true.

Greater London has over 3,2M foreign born residents (2011) and unofficially even more. Versus just 1,4M for the City of Toronto. So it's not even close. In fact, it's not even half.

And metro wise it's over 4M for London and 2,5M for Toronto. Still a 1,5M lead for London.

Londoners are absolutely right for calling out such blatant bullshit!

And guess what, Toronto is behind Paris as well! So it's not even a question of London being 4th, but of Toronto being 5th!
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  #19  
Old Posted Mar 9, 2014, 3:13 PM
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Except it is not true.
Greater London has over 3,2M foreign born residents (2011) and unofficially even more. Versus just 1,4M for the City of Toronto. So it's not even close. In fact, it's not even half.
And guess what, Toronto is behind Paris as well! So it's not even a question of London being 4th, but of Toronto being 5th!
You guys are not getting what people are talking about.
On a percentage wise, Toronto's foreign born population makes up a larger percentage of the population.

Also, cities like London, Paris, Miami, LA. They all tend to have immigrants from just a few places that make up a large percentage of the foreign born population. Where in Toronto, everyone is a so called minority, because we have large populations of immigrants from all around.

Yes there is diversity elsewhere. But I think you need to live in Toronto for to understand why Toronto is just on a whole different level.

It is not touting Toronto as better. It is just stating that Toronto's experiences are different from other places. Add to that Toronto's previous urban planning principles of mixing income levels and housing types, and you get into the situations where there has been a lot more mixing of cultures living close together than in other places.
I grew up for example in your typical 60's suburban subdivisions. But down the street from me was apartment housing. Kids from both places went to the same school, where I interacted with every new immigrant group that came through Toronto in that period. From the Jamican's, to the Polish fleeing communism, to one of my best friends who's family were Catholic refugees from Israel, right on down to the newest immigrants from Southeast Asia.

It is just totally different and I think you have to live in Toronto to see how different it is.

NYC has immigrants, but metropolitan wide, the percentage of immigrants is not as high, and there are whole swaths of the metro region where residents basically never interact with an immigrant.

So stop looking at it as touting Toronto as being better. It is just a different experience, and an outstanding and very rewarding experience at that.
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Old Posted Mar 9, 2014, 5:34 PM
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No Mike you are not getting it. isaidso is claiming and has been claiming for years (despite having been proven wrong many times) that Toronto has more foreign born than London in absolute numbers. Just read back his posts, it's there in literally those words.

Yes the % of foreign born in Toronto is higher (53% vs 38% for London) but % of foreign born is not the only metric that influences a city's multiculturalism (just look at Dubai).

Toronto is not on a different level, certainly not from London, you can get the same experiences you describe in NYC, LA, London, Paris, Sydney, Amsterdam, Brussels (50% foreign born, 70% non native background) and a lot more places on the globe too!
(My closest friends are Iranian, Curaçaoan, Indonesian (but could easily have been Turkish, Surinamese (black or Hindustani), Moroccan, Bosnian or Polish) and I'm 1/2 Spanish myself (and I mean as in my father was born there, not I have a Spanish (or in your case Italian) last name. Mind you, I'm from a small city of 210,000 with a 25% non native population).

Toronto's immigrants are not more diverse than London's. They're mainly from China and South Asia (together almost a quarter of the population). London's immigrants come from even more places than Toronto's and in far larger numbers (except Chinese). Toronto boosters have convinced themselves otherwise, but it's just not true!

Your comment about intermixing is not true either, not culturally/racially and not socially. For instance LDN is 5% mixed race vs Toronto 1,5%. And London neighbourhoods are very mixed, there are no ethnic enclaves.

All this on itself however doesn't mean anything and it doesn't make either Toronto or London better or more unique.
But please let's stick to the facts. I mean it would be nice for Toronto boosters to just admit to the facts... Then you can keep your subjective feeling of uniqueness OK?
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