How to Spot a Canadian

Tracking down Canadians one toque at a time.

About this Site...

Canadians are a tricky people to distinguish. They are often able to blend into a society and appear to be American, British, French or any other number of nationalities. This site will provide you with some tips and tricks to help you recognize a Canadian no matter where you are.


This site is for entertainment purposes only. "How to Spot a Canadian" is filled with humour, satire, hyperbole, parody and sarcasm. All statements here should be taken with a grain of salt or a bottle of maple syrup, whatever the case may be.

They are either from Toronto or they hate Toronto

Canadians have a love-hate relationship with Toronto.

On one hand, Toronto is Canada's most populated city and home to most of Canada's largest financial institutions and international corporations.

On the other hand, Toronto is Canada's most populated city and home to most of Canada's largest financial institutions and international corporations.

The same things Torontonians love about Toronto are hated by the rest of Canada. It's big, it's loud, it's uncaring. It tries to be New York. It's full of itself. It thinks it's the centre of the universe. And, for those who aren't aware, large financial institutions and international corporations aren't exactly popular these days.

There was even a film made about this phenomenon.

There is really no middle ground here. If you ever meet someone who says they are from Calgary but they love Toronto there are only two options: 1) That person is lying to you, or 2) That person is not Canadian.

Cities like Calgary, Vancouver, Montreal and Halifax have admiration across the country. A real Canadian is quick to say "Oh I love Montreal! There's so much culture there!" or "Calgary is so beautiful." These things will never be said about Toronto. In fact, if you mention Toronto to a Canadian who does not live there you should expect spitting and swearing in response. It's that bad. Seriously.

In fact, sometimes you'll find a Canadian who is from Toronto and also hates it. They will typically be found saying things like "I'd love to move to Montreal, but I don't speak French" or "If I didn't have family here I'd move to Vancouver so fast." These people aren't lying. The hatred of Toronto is so ingrained into the Canadian psyche that even some Torontonians experience it.

So, if you ever meet a Canadian who doesn't hate Toronto, run. They're lying. The only people that like Toronto are some Torontonians and self-absorbed Los Angeles film producers. And that's only because the film producers have never been there in the winter.


  1. W loves TO said...

    Yeah, it's just envy, though, deep down.

  2. said...

    I think that ^ is part of the reason they hate us. =)

    Thanks so much for reading and taking the time to comment. I hope you enjoy the site.

  3. non-toronto said...

    Toronto is the media center and financial center for all of canada. Think about that.. Almost all media is reported through the lens and experience of reporters and producers who live in toronto...That is definately going to make the rest of the country feel like they don't matter or exist relative to the self-promoting toronto.
    Toronto is a city that thinks it is just a hair beneath new york. In reality, toronto is a provincial city that happens to be the largest city in a small country. it is more similar to boston than new york. Imagine boston with the attitude of new york, that would be too arrogant for most people..well, that is toronto.

  4. said...

    I can definitely see why Toronto is disliked.

    Thanks for reading and commenting.

  5. Anonymous said...

    It's a love hate thing for most of us Torontonians.
    I love getting away from this place but when that plane touches back down it's a sigh of relief... Only twice have I actually been snubbed for saying I'm from Toronto, once in Calgary and once in Montreal.
    I find most people don't really care if your from Toronto unless you live just outside of the city. Then there is real hatred and disgust. Not for you as a person but you will inevitably get, 'I can't stand that place it's so big the taxes are high blah blah blah and that's why we moved' What ever.

    The rest of the country, barring the odd Anglophone hater in Quebec seems to not really care if your from Toronto. Everywhere I go in this country I only find nice people. However if you act like some Tdot snob then sure you'll get the Torhate on your ass, but then you deserve it.

    F from Tranna

  6. said...

    I definitely feel the disgust right outside the city.

  7. Alberta Oil Sands Investor Abroad said...

    I was born near Toronto and lived there for six months. I can't stand the place! It's so dismal. Yet Torontonians do live in another "egosphere" from other Canadians. They need to get to Vancouver, Montreal, New York or even Seattle to see what a cool city is like.

  8. Brendan said...

    maybe it's us Torontonians/Vancouverites yeah I moved to Toronto at age 1 but I don't think anyone actually likes Calgary or Alberta for that matter and us Torontonians loathe Ottawa and the Sens the only team in the NHL that gets booed at home games

  9. Anonymous said...

    I grew up in a town an hour outside of Toronto and hated Torontonians and their attitudes. Of course now I am a Torontonian and love it and have come to the realization that those that hate us and our amazing city are living sheltered lives and really need to broaden their perspective :)
    Another thought about Toronto - it's not a large city - quite the opposite. The PATH (underground shopping meca) is like Times Square - you're always running into someone you know. Although that might be because you're just lost.

  10. Anonymous said...

    "Cities like Calgary, Vancouver, Montreal and Halifax have admiration across the country. A real Canadian is quick to say 'Oh I love Montreal! There's so much culture there!' or 'Calgary is so beautiful.' "
    Unless you're in Edmonton. Edmonton and Calgary have a...let's say...bad relationship. Mostly due to hockey.

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  12. Anonymous said...

    I've lived in Toronto for many, many years now, and I think it's a great city. Although I'm sometimes really, really frustrated with City Council and municipal government, but otherwise, why do so many people hate us? We don't think we're the centre of the Universe, we're not snobby, arrogant, and selfish like you people say we are. In the end, honestly, I think all the hate just comes from jealousy. We're Toronto, we're known on an international level unlike most other Canadian cities, and we're known for being polite. Like it or leave it.

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