Tuesday, October 21, 2008

We're number four (and that's reason to be proud)

According to an article in the Toronto Star, our fair metropolis placed fourth in a global ranking of cities that offer people the best cultural experience, after London, Paris and New York. Pretty good company, I'd say.

And in the same piece, an A.T. Kearney study ranked us 10th in terms of what it calls 'global cities' (below Chicago and Seoul). Again, not too shabby.

Now, compare that with a recent Maclean's magazine cover story ranking 'smart' Canadian cities, (i.e. those 'rich in culture', among other things), and Toronto didn't do nearly as well - we only made it to the middle of the list. In fact, Barrie and Orillia placed higher.

Now, without meaning to impugn those communities, that's a ridiculous result. And so Canadian. Slagging the leader while trying to be politely inclusive towards the rest of the country. The tall poppy syndrome rears its ugly head once more.

Frankly, I'm tired of it. Toronto's the number one city in the country. Complain all you want, it's a fact. And, rather than trying to apologize for what we are, we should celebrate.


zoe said...

Not that I completely disagree with you, but have you considered that maybe the global comparisons didn't include measuring the smaller place like Barrie or Orillia?

Perhaps when they compared Canadian cities they only thought to looks at the majors - and missed out on other places.

Toronto being the number one city in the country is not a fact; it's an opinion. And yes, it's a lovely place to be.


Martin Waxman said...

Thanks for your perspective, Zoe. I'm originally from Winnipeg, a smaller, yet culturally active community. However, as much as they offered, they couldn't compare to Toronto in terms of the variety and scope of artistic activities, institutions, etc.

And while I agree that my 'number 1' statement is an opinion, I think it could be backed up by many factors including our population, number of head offices located here, culture, entertainment, restaurants, sports, you name it.