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Does Toronto have any uniquely annoying traits?

Posted by Derek Flack / April 6, 2012

Annoying Toronto"World class cities build subways, just sayin."

Among the many hair-tugging worthy tidbits of the subways vs. LRT debate in Toronto, the sentiment above — conveyed, as it were, in the most sophisticated manner — was the most personally annoying. This knee-knocking town doesn't need another reason to take a self-consciousness trip, much less one planted by its putative leader. But there it was, on the radio shows, comment threads, and in Toronto Sun columns.

World class cities don't worry about being world class cities. So, please, don't do that. And while we're at it, this other stuff might not be a fantastic idea, either. It's hard to know if what's listed below is unique to Toronto (the shyness on the dance floor has long been a troubled calling card) but it sure is annoying — and that should be enough.

Am I buggin' you? I don't mean to bug ya.



steve / April 6, 2012 at 09:30 am
the only comment that was unique to Toronto was the accent. ,
'Torono' instead of Toronto. The rest is just petty bickering, You will find those traits wherever you go,
Foghorn O'Kalashnikov / April 6, 2012 at 10:16 am
Yeah you find all the bad subway, sidewalk, small-town-guy-dissing-the-suburbs stuff in most cities I've lived in. The appalling driving IS a class apart here though.
Welshgrrl / April 6, 2012 at 10:24 am
The "world class" obsession is irritating and more than a little desperate. Why can't we enjoy Toronto for what it is (great food, art, theatre, music, parks etc), without this overwhelming need to compare ourselves to New York, London, Paris etc all the time? Its boring.
Jacob / April 6, 2012 at 10:38 am
I came from Oakville and work in Mississauga, so I'm allowed to diss the 905 as I see fit. :p
TDot / April 6, 2012 at 10:40 am
Biggest Toronto annoyance -- Torontonians constantly running down Toronto. The rest of the country does it -- we shouldn't.
Mike / April 6, 2012 at 11:08 am
Something I have not encountered anywhere else is but Toronto is that people don't line up for buses. Don't we all learn to do this in elementary school? I find this to be incredibly annoying and baffling.
World Class Blog Commenter replying to a comment from Mike / April 6, 2012 at 11:20 am
what the hell are you talking about?
Simon / April 6, 2012 at 11:26 am
I wouldn't say Torontonians have an obsession with being "world class" but I'd say the Toronto certainly media does. It's a big city and not everyone is obsessed with independent coffee shops (the abundance of Starbucks and Tim Hortons locations proves my point) nor are people afraid of leaving the downtown core.

These stereotypes are perpetuated by websites like BlogTO that focus on the culture which caters to a certain demographic in a city and it's to be expected (nothing wrong with it).

And the people who think that Torontonians are unique because they'll stop in random places to check their phones or act rude on subways need to visit the rest of the world.
a / April 6, 2012 at 11:28 am
you forgot the delusional leafs fans still paying $100+ to go see them lose
Mike replying to a comment from World Class Blog Commenter / April 6, 2012 at 11:50 am
I'm talking about the fact that people mill about in crowds waiting for the bus instead of lining up in a straight line.
David / April 6, 2012 at 11:51 am
"I wouldn't say Torontonians have an obsession with being "world class" but I'd say the Toronto certainly media does."

Definitely. This strive to be seen as a world-class city is something that's single-handedly perpetuated by our media. Most citizens wouldn't care if the media didn't push it in our faces constantly. It's the same thing with the supposed inferiority complex that Canadians have in regards to the USA. I've always found this to be a media trope that doesn't reflect the true psyche of the populace.
Roger / April 6, 2012 at 11:59 am
The disdain for e-bikes is particularly Torontonian.
Bette / April 6, 2012 at 11:59 am
From someone who is not originally from here but has now lived here for four years, traveled around world and lived in several places - this is all so true! Toronto is a very cold and rude place at first. There is a strange feeling of self righteousness in the air. Everyone takes themselves WAY too seriously here.
Stfu / April 6, 2012 at 12:22 pm
I'd say This very question/article Is exactly what is annoying about Toronto
Kyle B / April 6, 2012 at 12:29 pm
Bad drivers may be everywhere, and drivers who hate cyclists are also found everywhere, but Toronto is the only place I've seen where said bad drivers so vehemently accuse the cyclists of being everything that is wrong with the people on the road.

You read a news title like "Man In SUV Runs Down Cyclist In Road Rage Incident" and you don't even have to read the article to know it happened in Toronto.
Todd Toronto / April 6, 2012 at 01:24 pm
Torontonians say "guy" a lot instead of, say, "buddy", and call the TV remote a "converter."

Not annoying traits, per se. But unqieuly Toronto.
asadp / April 6, 2012 at 02:17 pm
"people who won't travel north of bloor or west of Dufferin." i hear people say their so Toronto and love the city, but move here and dont leave the crime ridden downtown core . the best parts of Toronto are no whee near queen or yonge st
Amy / April 6, 2012 at 02:38 pm
A lot of what annoys me about Torontonians likely falls under "Big City" annoyances - general rudeness, cutting off people in cars and while walking, spitting, littering, sidewalk hogging, blocking escalators to thru traffic, a multitude of cell phone use sins and a general obliviousness to others (my need to get from A to B is greater than yours etc)

One thing that stands out for me lately though is the absolute refusal of a lot of people to SLOW DOWN while walking when it's obvious you're going to try and make a turn in front of them. I know people are busy and have places to go, but the aggression is crazy. If it was two drivers it'd be disastrous.

And I agree with Bette that there's a pervasive air of self-righteousness; everyone looking out for themselves. Again, a big city thing, I think. I've only briefly visited other large cities like New York, London and L.A.; living there day to day would be different, but Toronto just has this aggressiveness I haven't really encountered anywhere else.
Aydin / April 6, 2012 at 03:01 pm
Terrible street food! Our hot dog carts are uniformly horrible. They're all the same - the dogs are hacked into bits, and burned to a crisp. There's no signature hot dog "snap" when you bit into them.

The carts have the same uninspired toppings - corn relish, coined dill pickles, that room temperature squeeze bottle of "mayonnaise".

And the worst part is that they've flooded the Toronto hot dog/sausage scene with a cheap, terrible product. So now people turn their noses up when the occasional hot dog joint tries to open up and charge ANY more than $3 for a hot dog! You read it all the time on this site.
"$4 for a good quality lunch? I'll go outside to the hot dog cart and save $1.50, thank you!"

Even looking past places like WVRST, who makes artisan style sausages daily, using interesting meats - we don't have any successful "Belle Province" style places in the city, where the main attraction is the simple, humble, well-prepared hot dog, with an array of things to have with it!
Steve Randen / April 6, 2012 at 03:20 pm
Toronto commuters are the absolute worst. Clogging the doorways in buses, streetcars and subway cars when they have no intention of getting out, refusing to move to the back, refusing to take off backpacks when it's crowded, standing on the left side of escalators, blocking everyone from walking up, coming to a full stop as soon as they enter a vehicle, causing a pileup behind them ... the list goes on. Drives me nucking futs.
Trɒnoʊ / April 6, 2012 at 04:26 pm
They whine a lot on blogs and twitter.
Monica / April 6, 2012 at 04:43 pm
My husband and I both have never seen driving like we see in Toronto - some of the worst and craziest ever. But it is interesting that most of the complaints (including mine about the driving) have to do with folks not understanding how to move their bodies or their vehicles in a way that considers how it affects everyone else around them: in the subways, on the sidewalks, in tight spaces or on the road.
the lemur / April 6, 2012 at 05:14 pm
Nothing unique in itself but some very telling combinations of irksome habits:

- tall poppy syndrome/ reverse elitism
- reflexively asking outsiders what they think of Toronto, as if fearing disapproval
- passive-aggressive driving
- lousy grasp of escalator/ stair etiquette, esp. towards people walking up stairs
George replying to a comment from asadp / April 6, 2012 at 06:55 pm
the best parts of Toronto are all on or around Queen St.
Greetings From 1920 replying to a comment from asadp / April 6, 2012 at 08:37 pm
"crime ridden downtown core"? haha.
Marlon / April 6, 2012 at 09:34 pm
People who complain about 'too polite' 'shy' or 'uptight' are ridiculous. How can you be too polite? It's called courteous or mindfulness. As someone stuck Sitting in front of a loud German couple on a streetcar as I write this. I think that the self awareness that most torontonians exhibit should be embraced and appreciated.
awsds replying to a comment from Greetings From 1920 / April 7, 2012 at 01:18 am
check Toronto crime stats downtown has been 1# crime are in the city since the 70s.
champy replying to a comment from awsds / April 7, 2012 at 02:53 am
Would you mind showing us those statistics you know of? I would like to see you back up your statement. I would be willing to bet on a per capita basis downtown Toronto is one of the safest places in the country and not nearly "crime ridden". Such an asinine statement.

Please, by all means, prove to us that downtown Toronto is crime ridden.
Live replying to a comment from champy / April 7, 2012 at 07:32 am
There are absolutely no statistics to support that. If we could lose finch and sheppard we would cut our murder rate in half. Deamalgamate and suddenly we are at less than a third of our murder rate. If you have seen any of asads previous posting you would see that he is not well.
Chris / April 7, 2012 at 08:14 am
How many of these rude Torontonians and bad drivers are from the 905? Since I've moved downtown the 5pm warpath to home has disappeared. I've become more laid back and willing to stop and give directions or help somebody out. I still see the 905ers with their head down and fast paced walk to the GO Train, thinking about how they are going to sprint to the car once they have reached their destination.
Live replying to a comment from Chris / April 7, 2012 at 11:00 am
Big home miserable commute. Some people just need more space I guess. They trade two hours a day for a bigger house for their buck and resent us for not doing the same.

Oh yeah, and the most annoying thing about Toronto by far is the us vs them stuff...
Ola / April 7, 2012 at 05:47 pm
people on a subway - is it really so hard to understand that keeping your feet on the seats and standing in a doorway is not a good idea?!
cyclists who are confused as to whether they should ride on the street or on the sidewalk, so they just alternate between both
Suicide_Boi replying to a comment from TDot / April 8, 2012 at 10:01 am
Give us a city with some decent in it and we won't run it down so much.

What a crappy town.
Caitie / April 10, 2012 at 11:42 am
Having also lived in Montreal and New York City, I can assure you that Montreal subway riders have FAR FAR worse manners than Torontonians (or New Yorkers, for that matter).

Yes, things could be better but at least MOST people let people off before getting on, follow the "walk - left, stand-right" rule and don't stand in front of the doors when they aren't getting off. There are exceptions to the rule but, in Montreal, it's the rule.

We could certainly be more friendly though.
Torono / April 13, 2012 at 12:27 am
I think they have an identity crisis. They're in denial. They complain about everything instead of enjoying themselves and their lives. I could go on and on about Toronto. I too have lived/traveled to other cities, i try not to compare, but the one thing that you notice when you come back is how conservative Toronto is. They're Liberal towards immigration, but conservative towards everything else( which i find hilarious) Everybody is in a rush, they give lousy directions and have no knowledge of their own city outside of a few blocks downtown. The friendliest people i find are from "the beaches" Must be those beaches lol all in all though, people take themselves too seriously, and then they complain about stress and how life hard is, maybe it's because they don't actually have any fun? They live a scheduled life. Wouldn't live there if my life depended on it.
sween / April 16, 2012 at 11:54 am
Too many giant monsters attacks.

Wait. Sorry.

Not *enough* giant monster attacks.
M. / April 17, 2012 at 09:04 pm
That was a nice collection of tweets there. No really, I see a lot of opinions from diverse people.
Hello / May 7, 2013 at 05:30 am
Toronto is choke full of rude and passive aggressive people.

It is by far the rudest place I have the misfortune of living in.

But as Canadians, most do not realize this and instead think the exact opposite, suffering g under the self illusion of grandeur thinking that they are the nicest and most polite of all people on this planet called Earth.

It is complete bizarre ... How a bunch of extremely rude and passive aggressive people can deceive themselves into thinking that they are the nicest people in the world.
Europe / May 7, 2013 at 07:30 am
Two things are particularly annoying: the war on bikes and how negative people in and around Toronto are about the city, as can be seen above.

Living abroad I can tell you that Toronto is exceedingly polite in comparison to many places in Europe. People make way for others on the sidewalk, hold doors, say 'excuse me', apologize, etc., at least most of the time. You won't find that in my city!

People with a negative view of Toronto need to get away so they can see the city from a new perspective and appreciate all of its positive traits. And if they still hate it, then no need to move back!
the lemur replying to a comment from Hello / May 7, 2013 at 09:19 am
It's the combination of rudeness and passive-aggressiveness that is distinctive. People in other places - many other places, in fact - are much ruder than here, but it's overt rudeness to your face in a don't-waste-my-time kind of way. Torontonians are rarely rude that way. They're rude in a non-verbal, oblivious way: silently trying to cut in line, not letting people merge on the highway, standing still when they get off the escalator, blocking subway doors, stepping off the curb with their backs to traffic and above all, silently judging others' bad behaviour and never calling them on it.
Zbs / September 25, 2013 at 06:19 am
Toronto is a very passive aggressive and rude city.

Never seen any place quite like it else where.

Also, quite backwards and provincial, very slum-like.
the lemur replying to a comment from Zbs / September 25, 2013 at 08:57 am
As I was saying, rude in a passive-aggressive way. But the underlying rudeness is nothing compared to many other cities.

And if you think Toronto truly is 'backward', 'provincial' or 'slum-like', you haven't been to many cities and you certainly haven't seen a real slum.
Other Cities: Montreal