Toronto is Canada’s least-liked city, survey says

Re: Self-Centered…It’s just coincidence that the recent articles I’ve posted is about Toronto. Born and raised in TOronto myself, I understand why most don’t like Torontorians. I don’t like most of them either. I tell it as it, and that’s how it is.

We Canadians seem to be a parochial bunch. We don’t have much regard for things outside our little regional worlds.

But there’s something we all seem to agree on: We don’t like Toronto.

That perception is bolstered by a new survey conducted by Leger Marketing for the National Capital Commission and the Association of Canadian Studies.

The National Post reports Canada’s biggest city is also the most disliked. It had the highest rate of “very negative” responses in the survey.

“Many Canadians have a hate-on for Toronto,” Myer Siemiatycki, a Ryerson University politics professor, told the Post. “Toronto is regarded as totally self-indulgent, so there’s a sort of ‘Who do they think they are believing they’re the centre of the country and the universe?’ ”

The perception seems to have little to do with any actual experience with the city or loyalty to people’s home towns.

“It’s not necessarily that people like their city more than Toronto,” said Jim Milway, executive director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the Rotman School of Management. “It’s that people just don’t like Toronto, period.”

The poor opinion is greatest in Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia, places Siemiatycki says have the most pride in their own cities. Thirty per cent of Albertans are poorly disposed to Toronto, with a Canadian average of 19 per cent.

“The places with the strongest sense of their own vitality and robustness are the ones who are the most put off by Toronto,”. Siemiatycki says. “It’s no coincidence that it’s the three other largest provinces, with Canada’s other most dynamic cities — Montreal, Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary — that look askance and say, ‘We’re the hotspot, dynamic urban place.’ ”

The survey also suggests Quebecers are the most insular Canadians, posting the highest percentage of “don’t know” responses to questions on how they perceived cities outside their province. They were least familiar with Victoria and Halifax.

“It seems to me that they’re not in a position to make an evaluation because they haven’t been there,” Jack Jedwab, executive director at the Association for Canadian Studies, told the Post. “They seem to be the least well-traveled.”

Speaking of Victoria, it got the most love, with 39 per cent of respondents saying they had a very positive perception of the B.C. capital.

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