January 24, 2010

10 Reasons why Torontonians are Rude

CANADA - The following is a list of 10 reasons why Torontonians are considered the rudest city in Canada. The sad part is Toronto may deserve this reputation and that there is frankly "no good reason" for their rudeness. I'd argue we definitely deserve the nickname "Hogtown".

#1. Torontonians won't give you the Time of Day - Seriously. What reason is there to ignore someone who asks you for the time? I've asked people for the time in various places around the world, but Toronto is the ONLY place where people refuse to answer and ignore you.

#2. Torontonians won't stop to give you Directions - This is partially true. Some will, some won't. The people who do are either genuinely nice, or they weren't born and raised in Toronto. Based on personal experience the people born outside of Toronto are more likely to stop and give directions. And its not just directions. Stopping a Torontonian for any kind of question is notoriously difficult comparatively. (On a personal note, people stop and ask me directions regularly and I always help them as best I can, but perhaps that is because I don't look like a Torontonian yet still look like I know where I am going.)

#3. Torontonians think they own the Sidewalk - Ever been walking in one direction and someone coming the other way refuses to step off to the side, even though you're carrying something heavy or breakable, pushing a baby carriage, elderly walking with a cane, etc? Chances are likely the *expletive* that won't move is a Torontonian.

#4. Torontonians cut in Line - Ever been waiting in the lineup at Tim Hortons and some *expletive* ahead of you lets in all their friends? Suddenly the lineup has doubled in size. Letting friends cut in line is something you did in grade school, it was meant to stop once you reached adulthood. It should be noted some people don't think cutting in line is rude, and that is part of the problem.

#5. Torontonians rarely Apologize - If someone steps on your heels, accidentally bumps you, slows everyone down, etc. and they does not apologize for their action or inaction chances are likely they're a Torontonian. Its like they avoid talking to people period, even when something is their fault. If they actually spill something on you they would apologize, especially if you're big and mean looking, but otherwise they seem to avoid talking to strangers entirely.

#6. Torontonians are horribly Rude Drivers - This is more of a North American thing wherein both Americans and Canadians have a tendency to be in a rush, cutting people off, not signaling, rude to other drivers and all the effects of Road Rage. I'd argue Torontonians are particularly bad when it comes to Road Rage, but thankfully we don't all carry guns like Americans. Perhaps worse of all we "think" we are good at driving when in truth there is only one country in the world which has quote unquote "good drivers": Finland, and we're nowhere near their skill. (Finland's driving school program takes years to complete and includes driving techniques usually taught to rally race car drivers.) Another factor of this is ignoring pedestrians, something which explains why 11 people have been struck and killed so far this January.

#7. Torontonians ignore the Homeless - Again only partially true, but in general most Torontonians walk by, stare straight ahead and refuse to even acknowledge their existence. Does it really take that much effort to smile a little and give them an empty handed gesture which shows you have nothing to give them?

#8. Torontonians are Rude to Cyclists - This can be well-demonstrated by former MPP Michael Bryant deliberately hitting cyclist Darcy Sheppard, father of three, and later running him over and killing him with his car. It was all caught on surveillance tape. As a cyclist myself I've seen how rude Torontonian drivers are when it comes to cyclists and its beyond the norm compared to having cycled in other cities globally. In Toronto this rudeness extends to endangering the lives of cyclists and even an outright hatred of them.

#9. Torontonians live in a Bubble - According to various sources Torontonians are "self-absorbed, pretentious, arrogant, concerned only with money and don't care about what happens in the rest of Canada". We're "escalator nazis" who are always in a hurry to get somewhere and we think we're better than the other people standing next to us on the subway platform. In essence Torontonians think they are superior to other Canadians and even other Torontonians.

#10. Torontonians will ignore a pregnant woman looking for a seat on the subway or bus, even though there are signs saying you must give your seat to pregnant women and the elderly - This one needs no explanation. One time I saw a pregnant woman faint on the subway because nobody offered to give her a seat.

Now I want to point out I don't hate Toronto. In fact I love Toronto. But I also think Toronto could be improved dramatically if we all practiced being nicer to each other and not so self-absorbed and paranoid when it comes to talking to strangers. Some Torontonians seem to think if you stop to give someone directions you might get shot. Ridiculous. Toronto's crime rate and murder rate are both BELOW the national average and statistically you're 100 times more likely to be shot by a family member, friend or co-worker. Almost never by a stranger. Torontonians are so obsessed with their personal comfort and their personal time they don't want to waste time helping strangers. Pathetic. Torontonians should be ashamed of themselves.

By making this list I hope Torontonians will read it and remember it the next time they decide to ignore someone, cut in line or traffic, forget to apologize and nearly kill a cyclist. Its no wonder people call Toronto "Hogtown".

And it goes for non-Torontonians too. There is no reason other people can't benefit from this list and become nicer people. We don't all have to behave like obnoxious Americans (just kidding, I love you guys too).

The silly thing is in our rush to get places there is always delays anyway. The proverbial 2 seconds it takes to be nice to other people is 2 seconds LESS you will be waiting in traffic or some lineup. If you're so worried about it walk a little faster to make up the 2 seconds you lost.

"When you're rude people will remember it for eternity." - Charles Moffat.


  1. I love Toronto too ... and hate Torontonians.

    The only problem with Toronto ... is Torontonians.


    No seriously, I love the buildings and parks of Toronto -- it's the 2.3 million jerks who infest it we can do without. It’s too bad we couldn’t send them all off somewhere (say, Iqaluit) and start over.

    Toronto’s people deserve no credit. The city’s nabobs have spent 200 years raping and pillaging the rest of Canada’s 3.9 million square miles of resource riches, just to create the "good life" in Toronto. Everything and I mean everything Toronto has is thanks to the hinterland.

    It's called the "staple theory" and you should learn about it.

    We're a banana republic. We're a lot like Peru or Ecuador or Bolivia -- 1 gigantic city supported by a vast hinterland of resource wealth.

    And that’s why Canadians love to hate the "big smoke" -- it is fat and soft and spoiled, they pay for it.

  2. Not all of that is true! Sure there are a lot of people that are goddamn rude a**holes but I was born, raised and still live in Toronto. I'm a TRUE Torontonian, if someone asks for directions I help, asks for the time, a smoke or spare change I do my best to help. And along with my friends and family as well. My Mother bough a homeless man a nice hot meal in a restaurant when it was freezing cold out. Whenever I ask someone in Toronto for the time or directios or what ever they always help, I've never had someone turn down helping me. You just talked to the wrong people I guess or something, cause NOTHING of what you said have I ever had a problem with. =/

  3. There's always exceptions. Some people are rude, some are not. Toronto is certainly remembered for the rude ones.

  4. I was born, raised, went through school in Toronto and got my Doctorate from UofT. I then went to work in Boston, the UK and now live and work in St. John's. By far Torontonians are the rudest, most impatient, falsely "friendly" people I have ever live amongst. Their compassion for material status and the almightly dollar has exceeded their humanity. I never knew what being Canadian is until I moved to Newfoundland, and it certainly is not Toronto.

  5. Toronto is really "tough in terms" of meeting people, doing business and making it a so called wonderful place to even live. Most people are very arrogant -none the less rude. Had reached my breaking point. Ten years of dealing with such unproficient people can take really can take a toll on you. In fact, none of my suppliers come from Toronto nor will I do business with them unless they pay a premium. Torontonian's will kiss your rear when you do them favors. However,
    when the time should come to your way, it just won't simply happen. Truly a city of "Middle Men People" who just like to stand in the way of people. I'm relocating myself and company.-Back to the west coast I go.

  6. Absolutely my experience! I think the people who say they were born and raised in TO but have never had a problem have become accustomed to that sort of behaviour. I move to
    NYC from Toronto and what a contrast in attitudes! Every statement you made is very true. There is a lot of organized crime in and around the city and I believe that plays a big role in shaping the culture. A lot of people are getting a lot of residual profit from the operations of these criminal organizations, so they don't need to provide customer service to the rest of us chumps. Torontonians witness these other people who one way or another do business with criminals making fast easy money do anything they can to complete. The clowns who are making the money are too often uneducated, pot smoking, dipsh!ts- it can make honest hard workers resentful....or idiots who try to emulate the crime profiteers by starting a gang- to add to the 25+ Toronto already has........

  7. This is so not true.
    What a horrible thing to say about us.

  8. The things you had listed are done mostly by NON-native born and raised Torontonians. Careful. Unfortunately with a place like Toronto, you have to really investigate and find out whether or not someone is native-born and bred or even long-time residents (anytime from before the late 1980s). These are most likely real Torontonians who exemplify true Toronto mode and conduct and the peak of the city back then. When I say "Toronto" it could mean true downtowners but also those born and bred from the original "Metropolitan Toronto". Not those who are from the cities and regions outside Toronto.

    1. Sounds to me like you are trying to create a very narrow definition of what counts as a "Torontonian". How about we define it as anyone who lives in the GTA and calls themselves a Torontonian... That allows people to self-identify as Torontonian and we don't get into silly discussions about who is and who is not a real Torontonian.

  9. Vancouverities are a lot more rude and nasty than torontonians, trust me, I live in Vancouver and everyone is so rude and very likely to mistreat newcomers

  10. In a nutshell, from my own experience I have experienced quite a few nasty bigoted people in Toronto, and even still I would caution anyone to assume that this is the majority ( met also good quality intelligent people some of whom became my friends!!) . In this life alot of things depend on probability, time and place, unfortunately in any big city , incl NYC, London etc you will meet negatives to some degree or the other, some people are just lucky enough never to experience that and are on autopilot.... what matters more is not to waste any or too much energy/time on engaging with low lives wherever you are !!!. Quite a few people in Toronto need an attitude makeover, as I see every day ( during my daily commute to work ect ) there are people who are stand offish or passive aggressive in public with little or no decency and respect for others and their space ( I cannot tell you how often I get bumped into in transit rarely does anyone apologize!! I don't bother to get mad anymore lol). No wonder the city is also difficult in terms of men meeting women in public, there is very little mutual expression of interest out here in the open, if you have ever been to NYC ( in spite of it being much more competitive $ focused, outspoken) for better or worse New Yorkers are expressive, they will ( unlike many Torontonians) take a risk also and meet a stranger if they like your vibe ( don't expect to become friends for life, its all about the moment lol) and you will know more about where you are at with them then with Toronto. Sure Toronto is cleaner, not crime ridden but anyone ( not just me!) who traveled and lived / worked abroad for some time can attest to this and will understand this. If you have never, then I don't blame you well then Toronto will appear to you to be the epitomy of civilization. BTW I have never experienced a place where because you ought to be " politically correct" (bullshit btw !!) you cannot point out what is fundamentally wrong here ( i..e people cutting toe-fingernails on transit, people speaking so loud that everyone part takes or my all time classic TO favourite people having a talent in avoiding bathing or / not using deodorant when out in public so everyone can enjoy their nasty body odour )

  11. Wow Bunch of Sluty,Stupid,Fully Cold,Rude,Assholes and Ignorant People are ''The Canadians Eih?!?''

  12. I agree with this to an extend. I don't want to generalize every single person in Toronto as bad. I've met quite a few sweet people here. I do agree with the road rage. I live in the Scarborough area, they just don't know how to stop when there's a red light which is very dangerous. I've encountered very judgmental people as well here too who feel so entitled in negatively judging your appearance even in Cedarbrae mall one of the store owners did that. Talk about bad for business... I've been living here for well over a year.


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