Chill, Toronto.

Two weeks before I move to Vancouver, I hear about this saucy ad:


Photo credit: The Toronto Star

Personally, I had a good chuckle. To be honest, I kind of enjoy Toronto’s “ice cold” reputation; it gives us a sort of devil-may-care mystique. Plus… it’s kind of true. After living in small towns and visiting other Canadian cities (like crazy-friendly Saskatoon) I can tell that Torontonians do have their guards up a bit more than we’d like to admit.

As fun as it is to poke fun at Hogtown, I think most other Canadians know that on the individual level we ain’t so bad. I’m as excited as a piglet at a picnic for my upcoming move to Vancouver, but I also love it here in the T-dot.

Whatever though, it’s an ad. Some people are getting wa-hay too worked up about it. At time of writing, there are almost 400 comments on the Toronto Star’s story about this billboard–which, we should note, is really just an attention-grabbing tid-bit and not actual news. Still, some of those comments are pretty hilarious. One group poured Coors beer out in the garden during a BBQ (poor flowers!), vowed never to drink the brand again and then celebrated with Heineken. This comment got 14 thumbs up. Oh yeah, awesome. Why not just stick out our tongues and say “nah-nah-nah-nah-nah-nah“?

Let’s remember people,  Molson wants to grab our attention. Taking a shot at “Shelbyville” is an easy way to attract some eyeballs. What’s too funny is that the Coors campaign was designed by, you guessed it, a Toronto-based advertising agency! So, all the commenters saying nasty things about Vancouverites may be misdirecting their chagrin. Besides, no one city has a monopoly on a-holes.

Silliness aside, this whole debacle got me thinking about this supposedly huge rivalry between Toronto and, well, everyone–this time, Vancouver. We can see undertones in the coverage of this story in the Toronto Star as compared to story in the Vancouver Sun. Jeff Lee, writing for the latter, seems to think we only prove Coors’ point by getting all worked up about the billboard.

Maybe he’s right.

As TorStar journalist Petti Fong remarks, “Chill, Toronto. You may be cold, but many of you apparently can get pretty steamed when the city is insulted.”

You know, perhaps Mayor David Miller had it right when he screened “Let’s All Hate Toronto” during one of our local celebrations this year. Instead of getting upset, why not wear eye-patches and make fun of our own apparent lack of warmth and cuddliness?

Toronto the playful pest. I like it.


One thought on “Chill, Toronto.

  1. I guess I missed the joke because I thought it meant that people in Toronto were cold because the weather is cold. I’m so blonde. But then once I got it, I still didn’t find it funny because I don’t find people in Toronto all that unfriendly. I mean, I’m from a small town where people are unnaturally friendly, but I wouldn’t say that Torontonians are any less friendly than Saskatoonites (not sure of the term). The Sheaf people and the people that worked at that little cafe/eatery that I loved and ate at every day there aside, I thought people from Saskatoon were really weird. Could be the freaking coldness. But no one goes around calling THEM cold!!!

    I think also that the rest of Canada hates Toronto because they have that “centre of the universe” mentality. It kind of makes sense, though, because we ARE smackdab in the middle of a very vast land. In terms of the only three Canadian cities that “matter” (Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal), Toronto is the most central, therefore the “most important.” But maybe I’m biased!

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