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  #1  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2013, 2:31 PM
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Sports in Canadian culture

More and more the "Stadiums and Arenas of Canada" thread has become the de facto talk shop for cultural discussions that are only tangentially related to actual stadiums and arenas. Often people will take the time to post pictures and they'll quickly get lost under the weight of other discussions.

So if you want to talk about why Toronto doesn't support its teams or how popular the CFL is out west then this is the thread for you. Clearly there's a lot of interest in these topics.
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  #2  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2013, 2:58 PM
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I'll repost this from that thread. This misconception about Toronto needs to be settled once and for all.

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Originally Posted by The_Architect View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by isaidso View Post
Just look at every hockey team in the city. They're all in steep decline and/or re-locating to other cities that value hockey as part of their culture. Toronto supports the Leafs because it's deemed worthy of them, not because it's hockey. Toronto would rather have no hockey at all if they couldn't be in the NHL.
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Sorry but that's not true at all...

If you think of the hockey teams in Toronto/GTA other than the Leafs, the Marlies have had some of the highest attendance in the AHL the past few years, regularly filling the Ricoh, it has the largest minor hockey association in the world, and has 2 Junior A teams (formerly 3), including Mississauga and Oshawa. Brampton relocated because putting a hockey team in Brampton, in an arena 7km from another team was utterly stupid. Looking a bit further out you also have another AHL team in Hamilton (which still has nothing to do with Toronto), and a number of Junior B teams.

Compare that to the hockey hotbed of Montreal, which has an NHL team, but no AHL team and a grand total of 1 poorly-operating Junior A team, along with a huge list of failed hockey experiments.

The narrative that Toronto isn't a hockey city is overblown at best, and complete bullshit at worst.
Sorry to isaidso for calling you out, you know I'm generally with you on a lot, but this specific one gets repeated by a lot of people and is just wrong.
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  #3  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2013, 3:08 PM
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Originally Posted by The_Architect View Post
I'll repost this from that thread. This misconception about Toronto needs to be settled once and for all.



Sorry to isaidso for calling you out, you know I'm generally with you on a lot, but this specific one gets repeated by a lot of people and is just wrong.
I think I agree with you about hockey in Toronto. There are challenges with turning New Canadians unfamiliar with hockey onto the game, but you have this in every major city in Canada with lots of immigration.

Given the city's demographics and the cost of the sport, hockey's about as healthy as it can be in Toronto.

Now... would Toronto be so pro-hockey and especially pro-Leafs (NHL) if the sport and the NHL was a non-factor in the big US cities of the northeast?

Good question! But one that is impossible to answer.

But sure, many Canadians do tend to overestimate how big time the NHL is across the US, but on the other hand I've also had more than a few spontaneous and fun hockey talks with Americans (generally from the cities people have mentioned here already) once they have found out I was Canadian.
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  #4  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2013, 3:25 PM
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I'd also add to The Architect's points on hockey a more general note: it's becoming incredibly tiresome to hear about how immature and beholden to the U.S. the culture of Toronto is. The city's culture is internationalized, yes, but that doesn't make it counterfeit. TIFF, Pride, Caribana, all the food and ethnic fests... what's wrong with this? It's elitism? Hardly.
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  #5  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2013, 3:27 PM
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Sorry, just realized there is a new thread. Moving my post here....

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We know that hardly anyone outside of Canada knows or cares about the CFL, for example, but we haven't collectively realized that the same is more or less true regarding the NHL, with the exception of a handful of US cities including Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Buffalo, Philadelphia, New York, Pittsburgh and Minneapolis.
This is kind of a weird statement. You are saying that the NHL is not relevant in the US, but you just said (and I think you can make an argument for it) that it IS relevant for cities that make up: 4.591+4.292+1.134+5.965+18.897+2.36+3.422 = 50.122 million Americans. That does not include the smaller fan bases in the cities where hockey is not all that relevant (South of the Mason-Dixon line). I think we can all agree that hockey is an iconic Canadian institution, but there is a strong professional hockey fan base in many large US markets, some great support for American League teams in smaller cities, and a growing following for college hockey. CFL is a different story. It is a uniquely Canadian game and has great support here (in most cities). I think we can be just as proud of Canadian Football as we are of our 7 NHL franchises.

Personally, I would like to see the NHL dissolve and there to be a 12 team Canadian Hockey League - Van, Edm, Cal, Sask, Win, Lon, Ham, Tor, Ott, Mtl, Que, Halifax. The Americans can have their own league and there should be a proper world championship where the top clubs from Canada, US, Europe, and Russia play for hockey supremacy.
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Old Posted Sep 19, 2013, 3:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by O-Town Hockey View Post
Personally, I would like to see the NHL dissolve and there to be a 12 team Canadian Hockey League - Van, Edm, Cal, Sask, Win, Lon, Ham, Tor, Ott, Mtl, Que, Halifax. The Americans can have their own league and there should be a proper world championship where the top clubs from Canada, US, Europe, and Russia play for hockey supremacy.
There have actually been talks about a hockey Champions League tournament.
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Old Posted Sep 19, 2013, 3:36 PM
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Originally Posted by O-Town Hockey View Post

Personally, I would like to see the NHL dissolve and there to be a 12 team Canadian Hockey League - Van, Edm, Cal, Sask, Win, Lon, Ham, Tor, Ott, Mtl, Que, Halifax. The Americans can have their own league and there should be a proper world championship where the top clubs from Canada, US, Europe, and Russia play for hockey supremacy.
Hear hear!
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  #8  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2013, 3:39 PM
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Originally Posted by O-Town Hockey View Post
Sorry, just realized there is a new thread. Moving my post here....

This is kind of a weird statement. You are saying that the NHL is not relevant in the US, but you just said (and I think you can make an argument for it) that it IS relevant for cities that make up: 4.591+4.292+1.134+5.965+18.897+2.36+3.422 = 50.122 million Americans. That does not include the smaller fan bases in the cities where hockey is not all that relevant (South of the Mason-Dixon line).
What's weird about it? Hockey is a regional sport in the US, concentrated mainly in a handful of markets in the northeastern states and the upper midwest.

Contrast with the NFL where you can probably find legions of Cowboys, Giants and Packers fans in every town and city in the entire United States.
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Old Posted Sep 19, 2013, 3:39 PM
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There have actually been talks about a hockey Champions League tournament.
But think about it. If there was a hockey Champions League tournament (based on league champions), then Canada would have last appeared in it in 1993!

Hopefully they will adopt a different model (similar to what they do for MLS clubs) and have a Canadian pro club championship consisting of the Canadian NHL and AHL clubs.
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Old Posted Sep 19, 2013, 3:40 PM
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I'd also add to The Architect's points on hockey a more general note: it's becoming incredibly tiresome to hear about how immature and beholden to the U.S. the culture of Toronto is. The city's culture is internationalized, yes, but that doesn't make it counterfeit. TIFF, Pride, Caribana, all the food and ethnic fests... what's wrong with this? It's elitism? Hardly.
With all due respect, I think Torontonians are big enough boys and girls to take it.

On here a routine meme is that certain provinces - always the same one(s) - are racist, xenophobic, Nazi-like and redneck, and there hasn't been a hiatus for that, has there?
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  #11  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2013, 3:45 PM
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With all due respect, I think Torontonians are big enough boys and girls to take it.

On here a routine meme is that certain provinces - always the same one(s) - are racist, xenophobic, Nazi-like and redneck, and there hasn't been a hiatus for that, has there?
The hippies vs. the rednecks vs. the borings vs. the cold car-theives vs. the Americans vs. the Xenophobes vs. the potato farmers vs. the fishermen!

GET IT ON!



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Old Posted Sep 19, 2013, 3:55 PM
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Originally Posted by The_Architect View Post
I'll repost this from that thread. This misconception about Toronto needs to be settled once and for all.



Sorry to isaidso for calling you out, you know I'm generally with you on a lot, but this specific one gets repeated by a lot of people and is just wrong.
It's fine. I respect your opinion, but this is one area we'll likely not see eye to eye on.

From what I've read regarding Brampton and Mississauga, both organizations found it tough sledding. Brampton couldn't make a go of it despite having 550,000 people to draw from and moved to greener pastures in North Bay of all places. Mississauga has 800,000 so their attendance issues are pitiful, imo. It's under 3,000/game. 3,000!

Perhaps we have totally different ideas about what constitutes good support, but neither of these teams were ever close to being well supported. It says a lot when places like Charlottetown can support CHL and Brampton can not. The GTA should be able to support 20 CHL teams each drawing 5,000+.
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  #13  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2013, 4:00 PM
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Originally Posted by The_Architect View Post
The hippies vs. the rednecks vs. the borings vs. the cold car-theives vs. the Americans vs. the Xenophobes vs. the potato farmers vs. the fishermen!

GET IT ON!



Sums the country up quite nicely. Better than A Mari Usque Ad Mare!
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Old Posted Sep 19, 2013, 4:08 PM
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I think I agree with you about hockey in Toronto. There are challenges with turning New Canadians unfamiliar with hockey onto the game, but you have this in every major city in Canada with lots of immigration.

Given the city's demographics and the cost of the sport, hockey's about as healthy as it can be in Toronto.

Now... would Toronto be so pro-hockey and especially pro-Leafs (NHL) if the sport and the NHL was a non-factor in the big US cities of the northeast?

Good question! But one that is impossible to answer.

But sure, many Canadians do tend to overestimate how big time the NHL is across the US, but on the other hand I've also had more than a few spontaneous and fun hockey talks with Americans (generally from the cities people have mentioned here already) once they have found out I was Canadian.
I can understand why Burke wanted to draft Kadri for marketing demographics. I'm glad that Kadri is turning into a good NHL'er too.
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Old Posted Sep 19, 2013, 4:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acajack
With all due respect, I think Torontonians are big enough boys and girls to take it.

On here a routine meme is that certain provinces - always the same one(s) - are racist, xenophobic, Nazi-like and redneck, and there hasn't been a hiatus for that, has there?
So you're saying that because certain stereotypes persist for areas outside of Toronto that Torontonians themselves should just suck it up and accept stereotypes directed towards them? That makes no sense. The sensible thing is just to avoid sweeping generalizations in general.

As for this idea of splitting off the Canadian teams into a separate league, I would argue this: as a matter of history and shared culture the U.S. northeast belongs with Canada. I'm super excited to see the Wings and Leafs share a division again. That said, I wouldn't mind seeing the league contract in the south and expand in the north.
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Old Posted Sep 19, 2013, 4:13 PM
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I'd also add to The Architect's points on hockey a more general note: it's becoming incredibly tiresome to hear about how immature and beholden to the U.S. the culture of Toronto is. The city's culture is internationalized, yes, but that doesn't make it counterfeit. TIFF, Pride, Caribana, all the food and ethnic fests... what's wrong with this? It's elitism? Hardly.
In all fairness, it's a bit of both. For much of the past 50 years, Toronto has simply mimicked what's hot or trendy elsewhere. Slowly we started to look inward and rediscover what's ours, pour energies into it, and develop the potential we saw. That's certainly true of our food/wine culture, TIFF, PrideWeek, and Carribana, etc. That doesn't mean that we've stopped looking down upon domestic fare completely. Football is a prime example.

We treat our football team and national league in much the same way as we used to view Niagara wine, local food, and local fashion. We're embarrassed of it rather than recognizing it's potential. I'm not sure how Niagara wine turned the corner, but it required people who saw its value. They devoted time, money, and energy into its promotion. We no longer thumb our noses at it and the same thing needs to happen to football.

When I look at Toronto I see a society that's maturing and looking increasingly to itself rather than simply copying other places. Toronto has made great strides, but hasn't become a place that's developed a sense of place yet. The culture here is still maturing. I'm not sure how a city that's 53% foreign born and accepting 100,000 new comers every year can have a mature culture, tbh. It was always going to be a work in progress and will take a long time to start gelling.

Whether Toronto ever celebrates all facets of its history and traditions is still very much up in the air. It's just a little shocking that one institution with such massive national significance might be one that Toronto decides it won't embrace.
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Last edited by isaidso; Sep 19, 2013 at 4:23 PM.
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Old Posted Sep 19, 2013, 4:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
With all due respect, I think Torontonians are big enough boys and girls to take it.

On here a routine meme is that certain provinces - always the same one(s) - are racist, xenophobic, Nazi-like and redneck, and there hasn't been a hiatus for that, has there?
you forgot about equalization payments.

Regarding the all-Canadian hockey league (assuming that the NHL is dissolved), barring a salary cap, Montreal would be transferring revenues to frontiertowns like Halifax. I was going to say London, but the Knights are a HUGE draw; selling out every game in the JLC (I mean, Buttweezer Gardens)
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  #18  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2013, 4:31 PM
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Scouring my brain to think of comparables to (English) Canada vs. the US...

The nuances lie in the level of adoption of another country's culture. Does it serve as a complement to the local one or does it supplant it or supercede it?
It also depends on whether one considers it adopting another country's culture. Is baseball in Ontario adopting another country's culture? According to people in SW Ontario, baseball originates in Beachville, London, and neighbouring towns but few outside SW Ontario consider baseball a domestic sport. Many look to the arrival of the Expos and Jays as the importation of a culture from the US when we've actually been playing baseball since day 1. The Montreal Royals date back to 1898. The London Tecumsehs to 1868 while Beachville claims the world's first documented baseball game in 1838.

I find lots of problems originate in anglophone Canadians being ignorant of their own history.
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Old Posted Sep 19, 2013, 4:33 PM
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you forgot about equalization payments.

Regarding the all-Canadian hockey league (assuming that the NHL is dissolved), barring a salary cap, Montreal would be transferring revenues to frontiertowns like Halifax. I was going to say London, but the Knights are a HUGE draw; selling out every game in the JLC (I mean, Buttweezer Gardens)
Halifax Averaged 10,000 in the QMJHL last year. The best attendances in the country. Even during poor rebuilding seasons the Moose still draw 4,500-6,000 a game. The pro game is a whole other level.
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Old Posted Sep 19, 2013, 4:41 PM
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Regarding the all-Canadian hockey league (assuming that the NHL is dissolved), barring a salary cap, Montreal would be transferring revenues to frontiertowns like Halifax.
If Halifax is a frontier town (founded in 1749), what does that make Toronto, Winnipeg, or Vancouver?
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