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June 29, 2010

Neighbourly and Politeness in Toronto

CANADA - It doesn't really matter where you live in the world, politeness is always something worthwhile. Being rude to people is likely to get you killed in some parts of the world, or at least cause problems.

In Canada the city voted to be the most polite and friendly is Halifax.

In contrast Toronto is considered the rudest. "Hogtown" is known for road raging motorists, upset bicyclists, impatient people on the escalator (Please move to the right if you just want to stand there.), and then there is the neighbourly feuds.

It used to be that being a good neighbour was considered a wise thing to do. You don't piss off your neighbours... they know where you live.

Getting into a feud with your neighbour about parking spaces, the fence, the property line, their dog which keeps barking, your noisy kids, the loud parties, etc... these can also be disastrous to your bottom line and your sense of well-being.

Imagine for example waking up to the smell of your car on fire. Which neighbour did it? If you have an ongoing feud with one particular neighbour it would be an obvious guess, but if you've been pissing off the whole neighbourhood it could be anyone.

Furthermore there's no guarantee the neighbour in question actually did it. It could have easily been a local teenager who overheard you were behaving like an asshole and they decided to teach you a lesson.

The whole point I am making here is that people should be polite and neighbourly as much as they can. Becoming antagonistic is only going to fuel further troubles.

Lets take the example of the apartment building management at 565 Sherbourne Chopping Off Bikes from their bike racks because they don't belong to the building's residents, which is strange because the bike rack isn't in front of their building, its in front of the Shoppers Drug Mart. Worse, a local by-law requires they have 60 bicycle parking spots (there's only about 25-30) beside the Shoppers Drug Mart.

Chopping off people's bikes and effectively stealing them from people in the neighbourhood isn't very nice, or neighbourly. There isn't even a sign warning people that the bike rack belongs to 565 Sherbourne and not the pharmacy. In response to complaints from local cyclists the building manager of the apartment building says she is going to remove the bicycle racks entirely (thus violating the city by-law).

Thus instead of being neighbourly she is provoking a feud with local cyclists (it should be noted that cyclists take people chopping their bicycles off and stealing very seriously). Tit for tat.

"People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones."

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