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Old 09-08-2015, 11:16 AM
 
Location: Vancouver
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fusion2 View Post
I think the 'unique' identity thing is overplayed.. It can also sort of unhinge the idea of various people that are different being able to freely express 'different' I suppose.. Look AJ, I get what you're saying but at the end of the day I sort of just don't really feel the need to trumpet a pan Toronto uniqueness. I suppose for me, the idea of a bunch of different ppl being allowed to either integrate and assimilate by their own volition is more important than pressing this sort of forced identity.. On the other hand, for those that do want to integrate into our society, we need to embrace 'different' something that is a challenge for any city and Toronto is no different - there are still closed minds here.

With that said I would agree, Toronto isn't a city you can easily put your finger on in terms of getting a strong identity but i'm not sure this is something we should be struggling to change - do you? As I mentioned, should we force a refugee from Sri Lanka or Syria or an immigrant from China or India to mandatorily join the what is it - monarch league of Canada or something and brand them with a Union Jack and eat fish and chippies or peameal bacon sandwiches and sing god save the queen in the streets lol...

Will Toronto gain that ever elusive 'identity' - I don't know AJ but I think there are more important issues for us to deal with in the city.. I also didn't mean we're 'busier' than anyone else just that in the Canadian context we have bigger issues involving growth, infrastructure and transportation.. The city is growing and great will become the first megacity in the country - wonderful but what are we going to do to house all these people, provide good jobs for them and ensure they can get from their place of residence to work in a timely fashion... That is what I meant by more important things than an 'identity' - something tells me though, that if people ever want Toronto to have this strong identity across the board they will always be disappointed - I think Toronto will always be a place with a bunch of identities - and that is OK.
Well one could argue a city is a city is a city these days, but I find many things in Toronto that brand it as Toronto and nowhere else.
The Skyline with the CN Tower taken from the islands is pretty iconic.
The red coloured streetcars scream Toronto streetcars and not say Amsterdam etc.

In other words if I was blind folded and plunked down in the middle of Toronto, without being told where I was, once the blind fold was off, I'd know soon enough.
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Old 09-08-2015, 11:18 AM
 
Location: Toronto
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Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
I actually find the whole "e pluribus unum" thing in large diverse cities (New York, Sao Paulo, etc.) to be quite fascinating.

What's ironic is that although I find Toronto surprisingly wanting in this respect, on the streets Torontonians of different stripes arguably get along better than New Yorkers, Paulistas, etc.

In the other cities the populace can sometimes be fractious and feisty, but paradoxically they also seem to have a lot more common ground.
Actually this is a good actually perhaps a very good observation.. I can't really explain other than I think NYC and perhaps Sao Paulo and other large and diverse cities (London comes to mind) are located in places with a more celebrated and strong cultural foundation to begin with.. For whatever reason, Toronto has sort of been almost happy to shed its past - Toronto the good moniker if you will.. As if it was boring and not worthy.. This is all kind of intertwined in the whole English Canadian culture not being very strong and English Canada itself not having an 'identity' argument.
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Old 09-08-2015, 11:25 AM
 
Location: Toronto
12,714 posts, read 11,252,745 times
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Originally Posted by Natnasci View Post
Well one could argue a city is a city is a city these days, but I find many things in Toronto that brand it as Toronto and nowhere else.
The Skyline with the CN Tower taken from the islands is pretty iconic.
The red coloured streetcars scream Toronto streetcars and not say Amsterdam etc.

In other words if I was blind folded and plunked down in the middle of Toronto, without being told where I was, once the blind fold was off, I'd know soon enough.
Oh I agree - Toronto and its streets in Old Toronto are pretty unique.. I also enjoy the odd architectural juxtapositions that occur here that aren't as similar in other more architecturally egalitarian cities.. With that said, I get the whole the people and culture of Toronto aren't extraordinarily unique argument though i'm not really convinced this is something we should be struggling to remedy more than more subways and better transportation infrastructure.. Toronto does well in QOL survey's and liveability survey's even without this strong homogenous identity so I think we'll deal
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Old 09-08-2015, 11:26 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
22,152 posts, read 27,595,015 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fusion2 View Post
Actually this is a good actually perhaps a very good observation.. I can't really explain other than I think NYC and perhaps Sao Paulo and other large and diverse cities (London comes to mind) are located in places with a more celebrated and strong cultural foundation to begin with.. For whatever reason, Toronto has sort of been almost happy to shed its past - Toronto the good moniker if you will.. As if it was boring and not worthy.. This is all kind of intertwined in the whole English Canadian culture not being very strong and English Canada itself not having an 'identity' argument.
I often think, from my outsider-insider's perch, that Anglo-Canada is kind of "the country/nation that dare not speak its name"... Toronto is kind of like that too. As such, I guess it's a fitting metropolis for it!

I also think that in spite of all the talk about Canada being kinder-gentler and the U.S. being individualistic, Canadians, and Anglo-Canadians in particular, are a pretty individualistic and freedom-loving people.

There is an inherent freedom in having a pretty loosely-defined identity that I think many Canadians appreciate.

A place where people really don't care that you didn't watch THE football game, or know the lyrics to THE folk song, etc.
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Old 09-08-2015, 11:37 AM
 
Location: Toronto
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Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
I often think, from my outsider-insider's perch, that Anglo-Canada is kind of "the country/nation that dare not speak its name"... Toronto is kind of like that too. As such, I guess it's a fitting metropolis for it!

I also think that in spite of all the talk about Canada being kinder-gentler and the U.S. being individualistic, Canadians, and Anglo-Canadians in particular, are a pretty individualistic and freedom-loving people.

There is an inherent freedom in having a pretty loosely-defined identity that I think many Canadians appreciate.

A place where people really don't care that you didn't watch THE football game, or know the lyrics to THE folk song, etc.
There are some inklings of this changing though.. I don't know if you watched the 'We are north' campaign when the Raptors were in the NBA playoffs.. It was almost revolting how in your face the youth were DT with pro Toronto/Canada banter - so perhaps for better or worse this is something that is gaining traction where speaking your name isn't just something you dare not speak - but you're almost doing such in an arrogant manner.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9xnS9EJmRU
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Old 09-08-2015, 04:38 PM
 
Location: Canada
5,725 posts, read 6,588,842 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
I often think, from my outsider-insider's perch, that Anglo-Canada is kind of "the country/nation that dare not speak its name"... Toronto is kind of like that too. As such, I guess it's a fitting metropolis for it!

I also think that in spite of all the talk about Canada being kinder-gentler and the U.S. being individualistic, Canadians, and Anglo-Canadians in particular, are a pretty individualistic and freedom-loving people.

There is an inherent freedom in having a pretty loosely-defined identity that I think many Canadians appreciate.

A place where people really don't care that you didn't watch THE football game, or know the lyrics to THE folk song, etc.
Bingo, yes! I thought I'd been trying to tell you that for years!
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Old 09-08-2015, 08:52 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
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Originally Posted by netwit View Post
Bingo, yes! I thought I'd been trying to tell you that for years!
I don't think it's just a positive though.

There are also downsides to this IMO.

Personally even if the freedom is a good thing on the other hand I find it a bit unsatisfying on a societal level. It's one reason I moved to Quebec, which I find to be more of a typical society in this respect.

Another thing is that nature abhors a vacuum, and I don't always find that the absence of pressure to conform to the cultural tenets of the home country (Canada in this case) is the same as a total absence of pressure to conform. The pressure to conform can still be there, only the space is filled with American icons and imagery as opposed to Canadian ones. Try being a twentysomething male in the GTA and tell me there isn't pressure to pay attention to the Super Bowl or Hollywood blockbuster movies. It might not be as strong as if you were living in the States, but it's still there.
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Old 09-08-2015, 11:45 PM
 
Location: Toronto
12,714 posts, read 11,252,745 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
I don't think it's just a positive though.

There are also downsides to this IMO.

Personally even if the freedom is a good thing on the other hand I find it a bit unsatisfying on a societal level. It's one reason I moved to Quebec, which I find to be more of a typical society in this respect.

Another thing is that nature abhors a vacuum, and I don't always find that the absence of pressure to conform to the cultural tenets of the home country (Canada in this case) is the same as a total absence of pressure to conform. The pressure to conform can still be there, only the space is filled with American icons and imagery as opposed to Canadian ones. Try being a twentysomething male in the GTA and tell me there isn't pressure to pay attention to the Super Bowl or Hollywood blockbuster movies. It might not be as strong as if you were living in the States, but it's still there.

Actually there is more pressure for a twentysomething year old male in the GTA to pay attention to Hockey than the Superbowl... I'd say even more 'pressure' for the MLB and NBA because Toronto has these teams.. As for Hollywood blockbusters - to put into perspective AJ - they are movies.. You may even find that many in the GTA are as likely to watch a Bollywood movie as a Hollywood blockbuster. Its just not so clear cut...

Nature abhors a vacuum for sure, but a diverse city of communities probably has many vacuums filled by many different sources and eclectic images. With all that said, you speak of more traditional societies vs lets say more radical or experimental one's perhaps - I suppose as with anything there are pros and cons to both as long as one isn't judgmental and arrogant because they may favour or are simply used to or prefer one over the other..

Last edited by fusion2; 09-09-2015 at 12:22 AM..
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Old 09-09-2015, 07:09 AM
 
1,218 posts, read 2,129,818 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fusion2 View Post
Nature abhors a vacuum for sure, but a diverse city of communities probably has many vacuums filled by many different sources and eclectic images. With all that said, you speak of more traditional societies vs lets say more radical or experimental one's perhaps - I suppose as with anything there are pros and cons to both as long as one isn't judgmental and arrogant because they may favour or are simply used to or prefer one over the other..
This is a good point, differences are just that, differences. Toronto is not dominated by one particular culture but is an amalgamation of many cultures. Many cultures choose just do their own thing since they are relatively new and numerous, but established Anglo circles still run the show. End of the day, multiculturalism and the mainstream mindset of living life the way you choose is still very much a defining characteristic. It may not be terribly unique or resonate with everyone but it is what it is and there are many positive aspects to this, but some negative ones as well.

After living in the US, I know people can choose to live as they choose as well (and many do choose to stay in enclaves) but there was more pressure to be mainstream American, and in some ways it was easier for immigrants to integrate quicker, and many do. Quebec reminds more of Europe in the sense that there is a strong interest in preserving old traditions. Relatives of mine only drink wine and eat food 95% of the time from their region of France for example, and don't necessarily subscribe to the philosophy that newcomers should not adopt French ways. It's a very different way of thinking as they feel strongly about what they see as diluting their culture. Canada is part of the new world and is a very young country with a changing population that it handles differently, and probably more progressively that many European nations.

While I agree that more can be done to embrace unique Canadian content, we must remember that Canadians and Americans come from the same origins of people who inhabited the same land around the same time and grew up beside each other on the same block. An large overlap of interests and tastes is to be expected. We are essentially siblings from the same family, similar personality traits in many ways, but still have different ideas/thoughts in other areas. It is what it is, interesting or not so much to some.

Last edited by johnathanc; 09-09-2015 at 07:28 AM..
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Old 09-09-2015, 10:38 AM
 
Location: Canada
5,725 posts, read 6,588,842 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
I don't think it's just a positive though.

There are also downsides to this IMO.

Personally even if the freedom is a good thing on the other hand I find it a bit unsatisfying on a societal level. It's one reason I moved to Quebec, which I find to be more of a typical society in this respect.

Another thing is that nature abhors a vacuum, and I don't always find that the absence of pressure to conform to the cultural tenets of the home country (Canada in this case) is the same as a total absence of pressure to conform. The pressure to conform can still be there, only the space is filled with American icons and imagery as opposed to Canadian ones. Try being a twentysomething male in the GTA and tell me there isn't pressure to pay attention to the Super Bowl or Hollywood blockbuster movies. It might not be as strong as if you were living in the States, but it's still there.
Al-jazeera had an interesting article on that. What the world can learn from Canadian multiculturalism - Al Jazeera English
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