Toronto, like an eclipsed, earlier version of New York, is being re-written, remapped, reimagined. [...] Toronto: a mini–New York; an anti–New York; a younger, more global, more tolerant New York.
It's not the first time the two cities have been compared. Peter Ustinov once said that "Toronto is like New York run by the Swiss."
Unfortunately, we've had some bad years since then. John Barber of The Globe and Mail wrote recently that Toronto is now more "like Cleveland run by the Canadians." Years of rule by an uptight Italian-Canadian-Catholic police chief has left my area of the city a pale shadow of its former self. (I flew to Spain for some goddamned backroom action! Hello!) Marge Simpson may have uttered the best recent description of Toronto: "It's so clean and bland... I'm home!"
But Tepper's article made me appreciate my city again. Just as the Turner/Whistler/Monet exhibit I took in last year at the Art Gallery of Ontario did. As does the fact that tonight, I finished my Christmas shopping in 30 minutes without setting foot in a shopping mall.
Check this out: Tepper mentions the Murmur project. What you might not have read about Toronto in a novel by Atwood, Ondaatje, or Irving, you can discover by walking around with a cell phone and listening to the narrative recordings.
Of course, Jason will likely post a bitchy comment about how Canadian literature is an oxymoron. Ignore him.