Toronto Mythbusters

Toronto Mythbusters

Getty Images

Just about all the myths surrounding Toronto are about the city itself. Known around the world as a friendly, neat and clean city, the question remains, "Is any of it really true?" This is a case for Toronto mythbusters!

1. Toronto the Clean

Is Toronto one of the cleanest cities in the world? Or is this an urban myth? It depends on where you come from. If you arrive from a very big city, then you may find Toronto neat and orderly, with its mostly straight streets and wealthy neighborhoods. However, if you are arriving from anywhere else, you may find things less than stellar. The Toronto garbage strike in 2009, which lasted an incredible six weeks in the blazing summer heat, shattered two myths about Toronto at the same time: one, that it is really clean, and two, that things mostly work. For that stinky period, neither held true, and it changed how many viewed this sprawling city of more than 5.5 million people.

2. Toronto the Cold

Will you freeze if you visit outside the summer months? Well, maybe! It is no Toronto urban legend that Canada is cold in the wintertime, even in southern Canada where Toronto is located. But there is warmth, too. And the snow melts, terraces open up and outdoor concerts begin. Head to Yonge-Dundas Square, a copycat of New York City's Times Square or London's Oxford Circus – or at least it tries to be – where you will find concerts, lectures, film festivals and gatherings of all sorts. Yes, those happen in the summer, but there are always shopping malls and movie theaters for those chilly days and nights.

Yonge-Dundas Square
2 Carlton St, Ste 620
Toronto, ON M5B 1J3 Canada

3. Toronto the Good

Toronto has a worldwide reputation of being nice and safe. But is it? The obvious has to be stated here: compared to American cities, Toronto is exceptionally safe. And compared to other Canadian cities, it is also among the safest per capita. Having said that, in recent years there have been increasing incidents of gang and gun violence, and there are parts of town where you would not want to walk alone at night, Jane and Finch being one of them. So is it Toronto the Good? It really depends on where you go and how much fun you want to have. See a live show at Lee's Palace and report back to us.

Lee's Palace/The Dance Cave
529 Boor St
W Toronto, Canada
Times and prices vary

4. Everyone Hates Toronto

If you think "everyone hates Toronto" is a grandiose and unkind statement, you would only be half right. There is such a strong anti-Toronto feeling in Canada that they made a movie about it called, unsurprisingly, Let's All Hate Toronto. The reason for this national hatred is because Toronto is the financial capital of Canada, so the 26 million Canadians who do not live there feel the city attracts greedy money-grabbers. It also has a reputation for being cold and bleak, and we don't mean the weather. But the truth is that Toronto is also the cultural capital of Canada. It has the best concerts, the best exhibitions – the best of just about everything because it has the population and the money to support them. So, does everyone hate Toronto? It's probably not just a Toronto urban myth, but not for the right reasons.

5. Toronto Closes Early

The classic joke about Toronto is that you have to drink quickly because at any minute, the bartender will grab your glass and close the bar. It's true that Toronto bars close earlier than its archrival and nemesis, Montreal, but how many times are you sitting around a bar at 1AM or 2AM thinking "Oh, I really need another two hours to finish this drink." So, it is true that Toronto has a bedtime? Yes. But does it affect the quality of the nightlife? No. Another complaint dispelled by the Toronto mythbusters.

6. Toronto is Grey and Dull

Toronto has a reputation of being a dark, grey place, mostly due to the number of businesspeople that wander the streets of downtown in bland suits, or sit on public transit like robots. This wave of grey/dark colors does permeate the city during certain hours and in certain neighborhoods, but Toronto is a multicultural, multi-ethnic, diverse city with large populations of people who wouldn't be caught dead in a dark suit. Head to Chinatown, Liberty Village, Queen Street East or parts of Ossington. You'll see plenty of interesting things that are not the least bit grey.
Read Full Story

From Our Partners