naheed nenshi toronto

Calgary mayor throws shade at Toronto while talking about social distancing

Like Toronto, the City of Calgary is slowly beginning to lift some of its pandemic lockdown measures.

Albertans can now legally drink in bars, eat at restaurants and even get their hair cut — all things Ontarians can't yet do but really, really want to. And yet, our jealousy remains in check. 

The same cannot be said for Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, who let out his inner mean girl on Tuesday with a barbed comment about Canada's largest city and its inhabitants.

Nenshi, who seemed like a pretty nice guy before all of this, insulted Toronto during a press conference while speaking about the importance of maintaining physical space in public parks.

"I just want to say to Calgarians, a sentence that Calgarians don't need any reminding of: Don't be like Toronto," said The 48-year-old Harvard grad yesterday.

"We have a beautiful city that is full of green spaces. There are great opportunities to get together in your own neighbourhood in non-traditional spaces."

Nenshi was obviously referring to last weekend's (admittedly embarrasing) Trinity Bellwoods Park-chella situation, where an estimated 10,000 young Torontonians flocked to a popular west-end park to get drunk, pee on stuff and socialize without wearing masks or maintaining the requisite six-feet apart from those they do not live with. 

Both City of Toronto Mayor John Tory and Ontario Premier Doug Ford publicly decried the behvaiour of those at Bellwoods on Saturday and, by Sunday, the park was relatively dead under an increased police presence. 

Nenshi nonetheless used what became a national news story to throw shade on Toronto — where, by the way, he was freaking born.

The few Torontonians who follow news of Calgary weren't impressed, and they amplified Nenshi's disrespectful statement through social media.

"Calgary thinks it's better than Toronto. It's in Alberta. Nuff said," joked one Twitter user.

"With all lack of respect," wrote another, addressing Nenshi directly on Twitter, "you do not have over 3.5 million people living on top of each other in your city."

People who enjoyed Nenshi's remark, both in Calgary and all over Canada, chimed in with their own shots at Toronto.

"You know what Calgary mayor @nenshi just said? 'Don't be like Toronto'," wrote one on Twitter. "Come on, Toronto. If you think you are the centre of the universe, act like it — and act like adults."

"I hate to ruin this pithy headline," wrote another, "but Don't Be Like Toronto is Calgary's unofficial motto."

Trust me, Calgary: it shows.

Lead photo by

Justin Mob


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