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  #21  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2017, 4:28 PM
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Speaking of language, and recalling recent events, Spain is more divided than Canada or Switzerland, yet from an outsider's perspective at least, their two big cities dominate the country.

Their culture and language seems uniform across the country if you are not well informed. But they are really a collection of kingdoms bunched together as one if I have my history right.

The difference I think is that everyone there can and does speak Spanish and not just Catalan or Basque, etc.

Plus it's not a vast country where people of certain regions have to gravitate towards their local big city.

As well, adding to the domination of Madrid and Barcelona, their clubs absolutely dominate the football landscape. Whereas here, CFL success is spread around, except for one city (get with the program, Winnipeg!). And the Leafs haven't even made the cup final let alone won it in half a century. And Van, Edm, Cal, Ott have all been to the cup final since Mtl last made it. And Wpg is trending in the right direction.

One area London can't lay claim to dominance is their football clubs. Man U and Liverpool are the two most successful clubs, and Man City is currently the best. Only one London club has traditionally been elite and that's Arsenal. Though they are well behind the top two mentioned above. Chelsea is new money so they don't have the history yet. However, London does have an extraordinary number of clubs. Would be a football fan's dream to watch games at several stadiums only a convenient public transit ride away.

Last edited by megadude; Nov 20, 2017 at 4:43 PM.
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  #22  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2017, 4:47 PM
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Whereas here, CFL success is spread around,
Unlike NHL success (Leafs...)
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  #23  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2017, 4:47 PM
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Today a lot of companies are multinationals and it's easy to share information around the world. People bring up news media but, well, I don't even watch TV anymore. About a quarter of Canadians don't now and the number is growing. There is no Canadian media monopoly or English language monopoly centered in Toronto when it comes to internet-based content.
.
I think there is some truth to that but I am not sure that ultimately this leads to more dynamic and unique regional or regional city cultures. (Not saying this is your point or that you even think this BTW.)

One might be able to make a case that the end result will be people who are even more rootless.
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  #24  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2017, 5:14 PM
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Halifax is the Toronto of Atlantic Canada. We're the Quebec. New Brunswick is the West. PEI is the Newfoundland.
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  #25  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2017, 8:21 PM
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I think there is some truth to that but I am not sure that ultimately this leads to more dynamic and unique regional or regional city cultures. (Not saying this is your point or that you even think this BTW.)

One might be able to make a case that the end result will be people who are even more rootless.
No, I think we probably will head for a more rootless society, although it is hard to predict the future.

But the simple fact is if you were in Vancouver in 1900 everybody would have been talking about getting Canadian companies to invest here. Now instead people are talking about Chinese investors or American investors. It doesn't seem to be the case that somebody in Toronto is the mediator for all of the commercial activity that happens in Vancouver and involves someone outside of Canada. I'm not sure it's true in any province outside of Ontario; they all directly look for international trade and investment.
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  #26  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2017, 8:38 PM
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Halifax is the Toronto of Atlantic Canada. We're the Quebec. New Brunswick is the West. PEI is the Newfoundland.
Halifax has a larger share of the Atlantic population than Toronto does of the total Canadian population. And that share is going to go up pretty quickly since the city's growing by 1-2% a year but the region's population is staying the same or shrinking. Soon, there will be more people in metro Halifax than in all of Newfoundland and Labrador.

But I don't think that necessarily means that Halifax is the "big city" of Newfoundland. Or at least you'd need to carefully qualify what you mean by that. Everyone in this thread seems to have a different interpretation.

Halifax is much closer to that when it comes to the Maritimes. Arguably much more dominant in the Maritimes than Toronto is in Canada as a whole. But that is no different from many other province; it's just an accident of history that the Maritimes are 3 provinces.

Another example on the previous page that doesn't seem to mean much is that hotel rooms sometimes cost a lot in Toronto. They probably cost a lot in Fort McMurray at some point too. That is a function of local supply and demand. Here in Vancouver we have the most expensive housing in Canada and it is more expensive than New York. That doesn't mean that Vancouver is more important than New York. We just have a housing bubble.
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  #27  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2017, 8:43 PM
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No, I think we probably will head for a more rootless society, although it is hard to predict the future.

But the simple fact is if you were in Vancouver in 1900 everybody would have been talking about getting Canadian companies to invest here. Now instead people are talking about Chinese investors or American investors. It doesn't seem to be the case that somebody in Toronto is the mediator for all of the commercial activity that happens in Vancouver and involves someone outside of Canada. I'm not sure it's true in any province outside of Ontario; they all directly look for international trade and investment.
BC though was at the beginning very heavily dominated by Americans (and also British and Chinese immigration), rather than Canadians from out east. The Fraser Canyon gold rush had lots of Californians and other Americans come in temporarily to expect to strike it rich and then go home. Same with the Chinese.

So, there was already a bit of "rootlessness" even in BC's own early history. Of course, people wanted more permanent settlement later on.
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  #28  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2017, 9:17 PM
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I've never quite understood that "Toronto as the centre of the universe" statement. Toronto certainly does not feel as such compared to other cities I have visited in the past.
It was never a saying that was meant to be taken literally. It's a commentary on the perception that Toronto often behaves like the world revolves around it. Even Torontonians sometimes use the expression, tongue in cheek.
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  #29  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2017, 9:24 PM
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I have visited a number of world cities, and London seems to me (despite the loss of empire) to continue to have the gravitas of the capital of the world.
They had an empire and many of them behave like its still intact. Entitlement, arrogance, gravitas? London has all 3 but it's also self absorbed, confident, condescending, etc. I suppose those are traits that a city that was once all dominant possesses. As a former Londoner, I found some of its qualities wonderful but strongly hated the others.

It's one of the reasons I left.
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  #30  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2017, 9:40 PM
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They had an empire and many of them behave like its still intact. Entitlement, arrogance, gravitas? London has all 3 but it's also self absorbed, confident, condescending, etc. I suppose those are traits that a city that was once all dominant possesses. As a former Londoner, I found some of its qualities wonderful but strongly hated the others.
People inside the Anglosphere tend to have a huge bias toward assuming the stuff that is most important or notable to them as English speakers is the same for the whole world. It is not unlike how Americans think of #1 in the world as being more or less synonymous with #1 in the US.

Just think of how much more important Canadians tend to think the UK is even though it has a smaller economy than Germany. The UK is closer to France or Italy in terms of global importance than it is to the US or China.

Is London really that much more important than Shanghai or Tokyo? I mean, sure, there's that think tank that produces lists of alpha and beta cities and says London is #1 and Beijing or Paris are one tier down. Guess where they're based? The UK.
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  #31  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2017, 9:45 PM
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Originally Posted by isaidso View Post
They had an empire and many of them behave like its still intact. Entitlement, arrogance, gravitas? London has all 3 but it's also self absorbed, confident, condescending, etc. I suppose those are traits that a city that was once all dominant possesses. As a former Londoner, I found some of its qualities wonderful but strongly hated the others.

It's one of the reasons I left.
In my experience, it's certainly true that at least a certain class of Londoner has a unique ability to make colonials feel like a waste of oxygen. It's not something one experiences with Brits from outside London.
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  #32  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2017, 10:00 PM
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People inside the Anglosphere tend to have a huge bias toward assuming the stuff that is most important or notable to them as English speakers is the same for the whole world. It is not unlike how Americans think of #1 in the world as being more or less synonymous with #1 in the US.

Just think of how much more important Canadians tend to think the UK is even though it has a smaller economy than Germany. The UK is closer to France or Italy in terms of global importance than it is to the US or China.

Is London really that much more important than Shanghai or Tokyo? I mean, sure, there's that think tank that produces lists of alpha and beta cities and says London is #1 and Beijing or Paris are one tier down. Guess where they're based? The UK.
When I see those lists I always think there must be Asian-centric think tanks that we're unaware of and that rank Asian cities higher than even the biggest Western cities.
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  #33  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2017, 10:07 PM
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In my experience, it's certainly true that at least a certain class of Londoner has a unique ability to make colonials feel like a waste of oxygen. It's not something one experiences with Brits from outside London.
A valid point. Unfortunately all of my experiences have been with other Londoners. When we emigrated to Canada the neighbours barked, 'off to the colonies... you'll be back'.

Canada was viewed as a frozen wasteland and some are quite convinced that nothing of any consequence will ever come of this place. British media love to take jabs even if it's tongue in cheek. The Guardian summed up Toronto as 'prozac in city form'.
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  #34  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2017, 10:11 PM
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A valid point. Unfortunately all of my experiences have been with other Londoners. When we emigrated to Canada the neighbours barked, 'off to the colonies... you'll be back'.

Canada was viewed as a frozen wasteland and some are quite convinced that nothing of any consequence will ever come of this place. British media love to take jabs even if it's tongue in cheek. The Guardian summed up Toronto as 'prozac in city form'.
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  #35  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2017, 10:13 PM
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Well, going far back enough there's the "a few acres of snow" remark by Voltaire.
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  #36  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2017, 10:13 PM
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People inside the Anglosphere tend to have a huge bias toward assuming the stuff that is most important or notable to them as English speakers is the same for the whole world. It is not unlike how Americans think of #1 in the world as being more or less synonymous with #1 in the US.

Just think of how much more important Canadians tend to think the UK is even though it has a smaller economy than Germany. The UK is closer to France or Italy in terms of global importance than it is to the US or China.

Is London really that much more important than Shanghai or Tokyo? I mean, sure, there's that think tank that produces lists of alpha and beta cities and says London is #1 and Beijing or Paris are one tier down. Guess where they're based? The UK.
Despite the loss of empire, London is still a very globally connected and influential metropolis. It utterly dominates the UK even in North America -- when was the last time Hollywood set a film in the UK that wasn't set in London, but instead Sheffield or Liverpool or Cardiff? London leaves everything in the dust and it is a huge economic centre within Europe, and still does maintain old colonial ties. Only Paris really compares, and even then, I still think London dominates. Paris works more of a "Metropolis of Europe" but London is more globally-connected.

It's actually kinda surprising, considering industrialization and the high density of Europe that more huge metropoli didn't appear on the continent, as in Asia or even the Americas. There's a lot of cities, sure, but not many above 7-8 million. It's really just London, Paris, and Moscow. And I guess Istanbul, but it seems more Middle Eastern these days. But despite their wealth and influence, Italy, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands never spawned a Paris or London. Meanwhile, East Asia has Tokyo, Seoul, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Taipei. The Americas have New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Buenos Aires, and Sao Paolo.
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  #37  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2017, 10:13 PM
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Just think of how much more important Canadians tend to think the UK is even though it has a smaller economy than Germany. The UK is closer to France or Italy in terms of global importance than it is to the US or China.

Is London really that much more important than Shanghai or Tokyo? I mean, sure, there's that think tank that produces lists of alpha and beta cities and says London is #1 and Beijing or Paris are one tier down. Guess where they're based? The UK.
The Canadian media are obsessed with the UK. In reality, there should be no more media time allotted to the UK than France, Italy, Australia, South Korea, Brazil, Mexico, Japan, Germany, or Indonesia but there's more UK coverage than all of these countries combined.

Is the CBC run by an arm of the British royal family? You'd think it was. Canada may have a large block of people of anglo-saxon stock but that shouldn't mean that they devote so much time to the mother land of this ethnic block. The UK should be treated like every other country.

They could cut back on UK coverage by 90% and it would still be out of whack.
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  #38  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2017, 10:25 PM
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Canada as a sovereign nation is directly derived from Britain, so it makes sense that those ties are upheld in everything from elementary education to national media. Taking a step further back, it's also derived from wider Western thought, based on Greco-Roman ideology and Christianity, which explains why we also hear a lot more about Europe than Korea or Taiwan.
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  #39  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2017, 10:26 PM
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^^ It explains why it happens but it's about time we stopped behaving like an extension of Britain. Looking at the world through a British lens may have made sense in 1917 but not in 2017. We stopped being a British country a long time ago. We're a multi-cultural nation with no state religion. There should be no ethnic or religious pecking order in this country.

We're a nation of the world's people and a strong independent member of the world community. We should start acting like it.

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Some still have trouble accepting that the US passed them in economy and influence. When Canada does the same (and we will before the century is out) they'll likely spontaneously combust.
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  #40  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2017, 10:29 PM
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Halifax has a larger share of the Atlantic population than Toronto does of the total Canadian population. And that share is going to go up pretty quickly since the city's growing by 1-2% a year but the region's population is staying the same or shrinking. Soon, there will be more people in metro Halifax than in all of Newfoundland and Labrador.

But I don't think that necessarily means that Halifax is the "big city" of Newfoundland. Or at least you'd need to carefully qualify what you mean by that. Everyone in this thread seems to have a different interpretation.

Halifax is much closer to that when it comes to the Maritimes. Arguably much more dominant in the Maritimes than Toronto is in Canada as a whole. But that is no different from many other province; it's just an accident of history that the Maritimes are 3 provinces.

Another example on the previous page that doesn't seem to mean much is that hotel rooms sometimes cost a lot in Toronto. They probably cost a lot in Fort McMurray at some point too. That is a function of local supply and demand. Here in Vancouver we have the most expensive housing in Canada and it is more expensive than New York. That doesn't mean that Vancouver is more important than New York. We just have a housing bubble.
Some of the highest rents in Newfoundland and Labrador are in Labrador City and neighbouring Wabush. Some the cheapest are in far-flung rural communities that are within an hour's commute of downtown St. John's.

I definitely agree Halifax functions as the Toronto at least of the Maritimes, but I'm not sure how to describe its role for Newfoundland and Labrador. We're so isolated, and so self-sufficient in many ways, there really isn't a lot of opportunity for other cities to play a significant role here. But to the extent that they do, I think Halifax does.

Perhaps the best example is This Hour Has 22 Minutes. I don't believe they have a single cast member who isn't from Newfoundland and Labrador. It flowed from CODCO, and Wonderful Grand Band, and our own traditional and style of humour. It is, in every cultural sense, a Newfoundland and Labrador show. But it's filmed in Halifax.

So what does that say? On one hand, it's clear influence. On the other, that show could be filmed absolutely anywhere - from Moncton to Guelph to Kelowna - and nothing about it would change. Halifax isn't determining its style or content - so is that really influence?
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