06.25.2011 06:59 AM

I hate people when they’re not polite

“For a so-called advanced civilization – where we speed around in high-tech cars below skyscraping architectural marvels – people can be awfully uncivilized. And according to a Toronto etiquette expert, its only getting worse.”

I’m on my way to give a speech to a few trade unions, but the above story had me laughing out loud. Among other things, how do “experts” measure this stuff? “Day 15: Am in week two of scientific study of rude Torontonians in the wild. Just this morning, the team observed a banker loudly slurping a latte at bus stop in Leaside. Have captured and sedated the specimen. Could be a breakthrough.”

Anyway, my “expert” analysis is that (a) you can get a student loan for just about anything, these days and (b) the friendliest (and therefore most courteous) folks are in the Atlantic provinces. Least friendly place I’ve lived? Vancourver, by a long shot.

There, I have now impolitely set off an Internet stink bomb. What’s your view, O ye civilized wk.com readers?


  1. Cow says:

    I’ve actually found downtown Toronto to be the friendliest place I’ve lived or visited in Canada. There is more community here than anywhere I’ve been; one year into living here, I’m part of a neighbourhood and a community, as opposed to just living somewhere.

    The Atlantic provinces are very friendly on the surface, but it seems to end at the surface.

    Absolutely agreed that Vancouver is the least friendly place I’ve lived, by a long shot.

  2. Brammer says:

    I would like to have sedated the idiot on his cell phone at the Gabriel concert last week…

  3. “Torontonians more and more rude: etiquette expert”

    300 lbs of fun just doesn’t go as far as it used to.

  4. HonestB says:

    Torontonians are very friendly people, I’ve never understood why they have a reputation otherwise. Propably because the city is so crowded there’s bound to be some unwanted interactions going about your day. But I’ve always been pretty impressed anytime I’ve visited Toronto. People can tell if you don’t know where you’re going on the Subway and point you in the right direction, that sort of thing.

    Winnipeg is the most friendly city I’ve lived in. You go to summer festivals and it’s really people from all walks of life, of all ages hanging out together.

  5. Patrick Hamilton says:

    Sorry Mr. Kinsella, Ive never had a bone to pick with you, but Vancouver as the most unfriendliest place?…..as someone who lives just outside of Vancouver, and has lived in Vancouver proper, I find the exact opposite is true….I love Toronto, and all its attractions, but “friendly” it is not….Now I will admit my opinion has been formed over three visits, and perhaps if I lived there my opinion might change….but I doubt it.

  6. Darren K says:

    I just completed a 27 year sentence in Vancouver last September. I departed for a batch of reasons, but when people ask me do I miss Vancouver, the answer is no.

    27 years ago it was a different place. The huge number of cultures that have moved to Vancouver in the past 3 decades has broken the city into “niches”, and you barely know your neighbours unless they look like you! Everyone stays with their own “people”. People are afraid of the different cultures, and traditions and people. The governments have not improved the infrastructure – read roads and transportation from sometime before I arrived in Vancouver (1984) to now. It’s stressful to get around Vancouver (traffic is worse than Toronto, as Vancouver has rush hour from 5:30am until midnight – 7 days a week. That stress shows in people’s faces, and their attitudes toward each other.

    Like many others, I was not surprised by the recent Stanley Cup Riot. I was there for the one in 1994. The riot would have happened win or loose. It wasn’t about the game. It was about the people.

    Upon moving to Kingston, a city I grew up in and have always called home, I get smiled at on the street or at the mall. People who I don’t know or haven’t met, but have seen me on the street wave when they drive by. People say please and thank you, and random conversations happen all the time – between perfect strangers! I like were I live now.

    Vancouver is not a friendly place. There is no community.

    • Patrick Hamilton says:

      In a sense Darren, I would agree with you, that Vancouver has changed over the course of 25 years, and as you state, not for the better…the biggest changes came with Expo 86, imho….As you know, a great number of Vancouvers residents are now immigrants from Asia(approx 40%), and of course culturally they are going to be different from you and I, but I have to tell you, I can walk in Vancouvers Chinatown as a “gwei-lo” and feel much more warmth than TO, or any number of Ontario communities for that matter. My issue is that, in many cases, in order to be friends, Ontarians first have to know “who are your people”…I feel there is still a remnant of the British class system that remains in Ontario that isnt quite as prevalent on the left coast…..

  7. Mark Morabito says:

    I have a residence in Vancouver (where I am now) and one at King and Spadina (where I was last week) and split my time between the two during the year. Vancouver is by far the more the friendlier place with a much more easy going attitude. I love both places and can list great things about each, but in my view if you compare any major west coast north american city with any east coast north american city you will get the same result on the friendliness index; the east coast loses hands down every time. They win in other areas not discussed on this thread.

  8. Elliot says:

    Just because Vancouverites were unfriendly to you doesn’t make us unfriendly. May be good taste.

  9. allegra fortissima says:

    Victoria is the least friendly and most boring place in my opinion. Vancouver had great neighbourhoods, like the Westend and Kitsilano, until several years ago, when speculators took over and “renovictions” kicked in. Nevertheless, I love Vancouver’s multiculturalism – you meet people from all over the world and make great friends.
    The friendliest Canadians I met in Calgary, where I spent a beautiful summer. Everybody was absolutely nice. Not much truth in the “cow town” and “redneck” image…
    I’ve never been to Quebec, but the French Canadians I met in other parts of the country etaient tres tres polis et courtois.

    Bonne journee a tous!

    • Patrick Hamilton says:

      Victoria….a city of the newly wed, or nearly dead…..Well said Allegra, and I agree with you about Calgary……and I have had nothing but courtesy shown to me by French Canadians, even though my French is tres mauvais…..

  10. Sean says:

    I was recently quite surprised / impressed at how “visitor friendly” New York City was. Can’t wait to go back.

    If you want rude, go to any convenience store. Watch for that dummy who just won $5 on a lottery ticket and holds everyone up in line as he spends his winnings on more scratch and win games. Those guys should be hanged without trial.

  11. TDotRome says:

    I wouldn’t call Vancouver the unfriendliest place. I was there for six weeks last year. Since I had an ankle injury, I was forced to use a cane a lot. Most everyone was courteous, held doors open & the like. The bus drivers always called for people to clear the disabled seating for me. And, I made great new friends.

    However, when they find out you’re from Toronto, nobody smiles and says, “welcome, I hope you enjoy your time here.” And, I know lots of people with horror stories. Particularly in a working situation. They can’t stand being subordinate to Toronto. (Don’t come train us! We’ll figure it out on our own!)

    And, lots of sarcastic “you love it don’t you? When are you moving?”………someone likes your city and you still hate them…..huh???

    It seems that when the few instances of rude happen, they are harshest in Vancouver. Especially, if you’re from Toronto.

    Agreed about the Atlantic provinces. Those folks will bring you in to their house and serve you dinner!

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