Toronto Has Always Been Thus


As so often happens, I discovered this wonderful little tidbit while reading about something entirely different.

Morison, J.L. British Supremacy & Canadian Self-Government, 1839-1854. Glasgow: James MacLehose and Sons, 1919.

As part of his social history of Upper Canada around the time of Rebellion of 1837, Canadian historian J.L. Morison wrote this passage in 1919 by quoting from testimony taken in 1836.

Even back then, Torontonians demonstrated their characteristic — and more importantly, undeserved and unwarranted — arrogance and self-obsession.

Toronto is like a fourth- or fifth-rate provincial town with the pretensions of a capital city.

If anything, this lends credibility to Hartz’s Thesis on Fragment Societies: the city’s first Loyalist inhabitants who settled there en masse in the 1780s and 1790s brought with them from the 13 Colonies a mirror image of American Exceptionalism and Counter-Manifest Destiny — all the self-importance but with none of the real power. Torontonians even use the pronunciation of their city as a shibboleth and mark of distinction.

Toronto — and I say it /təˈɹɒntoʊ/ — has always been thus.

Similar Posts:

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Humour & Satire. Bookmark the permalink.

I invite reasonable questions and comments; all others will be prorogued or dissolved.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s