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David McMillan Pens a Love Letter to Toronto

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You know, I was firmly in this guy's corner.  His support for Montreal chefs, the outrage at the backwards dealings of the government and Joël Robuchon, his almost single-handed determination in revitalizing his little nook of Pointe St Charles....and the list goes on.  

Now his so-called "Love Letter to Toronto" comes out and to me at least he comes off as yet another 1980's era anglo (like myself!) who refuses to acknowledge the successes this city has seen over the last decade or so.  Let's call him a horse with blinders on.  He doubled down in an interview with CBC as well.   

I'll be completely honest; I DO think Toronto is the great Canadian food city for a number of reasons.  He is 100% right in that.  I have no problem with that at all.  What I take insult in is how he goes about extolling Toronto's virtues while going out of his way to slag Montreal.  I feel statements like this are completely unjustified, have no bearing on the health of our restaurant industry and simply validate the ill-founded and completely false preconceptions of Montreal by the Rest of Canada.  

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I feel we may have lost the title in Montreal, due perhaps to the great exodus of corporations moving out to the greener pastures of Toronto

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There haven't been many new restaurants. As far as competition, there hasn't been much growth

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I'd say these days it's a hard city to live in. There's definitely corruption, definitely crumbling infrastructure, definitely lots of mismanagement of public funds, but not really incredible growth over the years.

 

Maybe I feel a bit too passionate about this since McMillan is a kind of hero to me; a guy who defended his city, his ideals and his neighborhood with every breath.  I'm shocked since it seems so out of character; not to love another city's food scene since I'm in agreement with that part. Rather he did so while making broad and contrived statements about this city.    

Also to say that there haven't been many new restaurants that offer competition over the last few years is incredibly snobbish and shortsighted.  I'm hoping the guys from newcomers like Hvor, Tiradito,  Agrikol, Candide, Le Fantome, Foxy, Hoogan and Beaufort, Le Mousso,  Provisions, Montreal Plaza and so many others bring this guy behind the woodshed and give him a stern talking to about the realities of this city outside his two-resto fiefdom.  

/ end rant  :shiftyeyes:

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I'll be accused as an angry anti-Montreal anglo (which i'm not) - but he makes many very good points.

The Montreal vs. Toronto debate is now over. Toronto is winning in all aspects other than cheap living accommodations. When talent, power and opportunity all intersect in a certain location, the results speak for themselves. 

End of my rant.

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Where in that article is he making the points you're alluding to? This has truly become a joke at this point. 

Anyways, isnt this old news? http://www.lapresse.ca/vivre/gourmand/restaurants/201704/20/01-5090091-gastronomie-montreal-detrone-par-toronto.php

Who is this guy to be a reference in terms of policy and economic analysis?

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1 hour ago, fmfranck said:

Where in that article is he making the points you're alluding to? This has truly become a joke at this point. 

Anyways, isnt this old news? http://www.lapresse.ca/vivre/gourmand/restaurants/201704/20/01-5090091-gastronomie-montreal-detrone-par-toronto.php

Who is this guy to be a reference in terms of policy and economic analysis?

 

Gonna be honest, its not a joke. McMillan is becoming what most angry anglo are in Montreal, sad over the mediocre state of things in our fair city.

I want to be honest, there's a major attitude difference between Toronto and Montreal. People in Toronto believe in their city, have a vision of their city become an international beacon. There's a sense of unity within the population about the potential of Toronto. 

In Montreal we are divided along linguistic, religious and political lines. We believe that everybody is a crook, and that a certain segment of the population is trying to overtake the ruling majority. 

There's no ambassador in our city. There's counter-balance to the Toronto media force in Montreal. We literally get pushed to the side.

I'm offering this anecdote having having dealt with two major Montreal companies with a workforce divided between the two cities (and i'm not even referring to Air Can). There's a major and notable difference between the outlook and attitude between both cities. 

This is why anglo/allo Montrealer watch what's going on in Toronto with amazement - whereas perhaps a portion of the franco media isn't concerned with Toronto, and isn't necessarily watching our city get steamrolled by the beast down the 401.

http://www.tvanouvelles.ca/2017/05/01/les-quebecois-se-demandent-si-lupac-peut-faire-son-travail

just an example

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Political cynicism is a global phenomenon. Come on man! People have to stop attributing everything to Montréal exceptionalism. Haven't you read about the elections in the USA or France. It's all about outsiders, draining the swamp, yada, yada, yada.  As for Toronto's unconditional love with their city... People in Toronto aren't THAT in love with their city from what I've seen. It's how it seems from the outside looking in, but a lot of people bad mouth the city, it's traffic, it's ridiculous cost of living, etc. Sure, people's ego soon use Toronto's financial dominance as a source of pride, but that is hardly the reason why people feel truly happy within a city.

Montréal isnt the only city that is divided along cultural-linguistic-religious lines. Try Bruxelles, Alexandria, Barcelona, Istanbul, Glasgow. Are these cities not wonderful because they arent uniform? The anglo narrative is soooo tiring. We get it, the anglo "model" is the best, "politically, judicially, artistically, businessly,...". Lord Durham said it then. The Canada : The story of us documentary is still saying it right now. Canada has always sought to unify under the awesomeness of anglo culture. Our constitution is based on it, our multiethnic society is based on it. Any resistance to that idea is just hard headed bad faith apparently. 

I get the message. But I dismiss, as I've always done, the empty rhetoric. Sure, Montréal is more "intense". And you know what? I wouldn't have it any other way. 
 

"Even now, as someone who has lived in Toronto for almost two decades, I cannot shake the Quebec out of me. Both professionally and socially, I notice that my human bonds grow fastest and strongest with other members of the Quebec diaspora. Those multiply nested countercultures seem to give us a unique outlook on life—a combination of self-awareness, clannishness, polyglotism, and cosmopolitan posturing that often leaves us chatting alone, amongst ourselves in the kitchen, at parties in Toronto and Vancouver. The jokes we tell and the questions we ask may be in English. But the backstory comes with French subtitles."

https://thewalrus.ca/guilty-memories-from-an-anglo-montreal-childhood/

"Laissons Toronto devenir Milan, Montréal restera toujours Rome."
 
Modifié par fmfranck

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Je ne comprend pas toutes ces comparaisons qui reviennent continuellement essayer de démontrer que Toronto est meilleure que Montréal. Ç'est comme si on voulait dire aux montréalais qu'ils ont fait le mauvais choix en devenant une ville francophone bilingue.

Les choix d'ici sont totalement différents de ceux de Toronto. Cette dernière est la métropole d'un pays anglophone à près de 80%. Le français représente 2% dans une mer d' Anglo en Amérique du Nord.

Toronto est une autre ville dans l'univers anglophone nord americain et à bien des égards est une ville américaine. Cette ville est un choix logique de nos voisins du sud pour leur expansion au nord, avec toute la richesse qui en resulte. Le TIFF, par exemple, est un festival américain au Canada.

Si Montreal avait choisi de demeurer une ville gérée exclusivement par les anglos, nous aurions perdu notre identité, et baissé les bras devant l'omniprésence Anglo. Notre société n'aurait pas d'âme. Nous aurions une ville copiée sur la version Anglo américaine sans l'être tout à fait. Nous serions une sorte de vestige.

Montréal, aujourd'hui, continue à se battre pour faire sa place en Amérique et dans le monde. Le défi est énorme. Il n'y a rien d'automatique ici. C'est pour cette raison qu'on vit continuellement des remises en question, qu'on cherche à changer des choses. Toronto, en plus de jouir d'être dans la province de la capitale du pays, représente mieux que toute autre ville du pays la population Anglo canadienne.

Montreal peut compter sur sa différence linguistique et culturelle et à partir de là bâtir une société qui n'est pas à l'image du reste du continent nord américain. Et quoiqu'en dise certains, Montréal, y obtient un succès certain. Nous savons qu'on ne sera jamais la capitale financière du  pays. Mais le monde nous place dans les meilleures villes. Nous n'aurons jamais le pouvoir politique de Toronto parce que notre langue première est secondaire au Canada.

Il y a toujours plusieurs façons de voir les choses. Pour certains, Montréal a perdu contre Toronto puisqu'elle n'a pas fait le choix Anglo canadien qui s'apparente de plus en plus à celui de nos voisins du sud. Une majorité de canadien ne veulent pas s'inspirer du rêve américain ou "bigger is better" ou les riches deviennent de plus en plus riches et les pauvres de plus en plus pauvres. 

Montreal jouit d'une dimension humaine ou les idées et les visions sont débattues pour ouvrir la voie à un futur généreux et identitaire pour tous. À Montréal on a pas de leader? Je suis d'accord on en a plusieurs. Chaque secteur d'activité économique, scientifique, culturel, politique etc a ses leaders qui œuvrent sur la scène internationale. Montréal est de plus en plus active dans le monde.

Le modèle montrealais est unique en Amérique du Nord. Certains ne comprennent pas ça ou ne veulent pas le comprendre. Notre différence fait toute notre force. Certains pays se cherchent en ce moment. Le rêve et la richesse sont devenus leur cauchemar, Montréal se questionne sans cesse. Ici on s'auto-critique, on évalue les options, on fait des choix, les nôtres. Et c'est tant mieux comme ça. 

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I always believed it was the reverse for years ... Toronto desperately wants what Montreal has .... 1 example is the old charm ... they created this sad section called the distillery district that wants so desperately to resemble Montreal's old Montreal , but is no where close...

Also they want F1 and have in the past shown interest ... and simply want the culture that they cannot have, because of the French roots ... oh well

I don't think the 2 cities should compete like this....  they should balance each other ... Toronto is what it is and I like this and Montreal is what it is and I like this too

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I'm also tired of the angry anglo "let's be Toronto" rhetoric, Jesus. Montreal is by far the most unique and different place on the continent, and I say that proudly. I've lived in other cities and it's all the same, bigger = better, 100% Americanised and no culture. I'm glad we're not like Toronto, sure, they're a powerful city but my god it's essentially an American city with 0 identity, everything looks the same, materialistic, etc. I'll never understand why anglos continue to bash this city and not see the good in it, it's retarded and every time they try to back up a claim, they do so by referring to the 60's and 70's. Linguistic division, sure it happens but it's not as bad as back in the days and millennials are bilingual, they don't hate anglos and most anglos don't hate francos. One more point about millennials, since I am one as well, we care about unity and learning about cultures and languages, we have 200+ ethnicities in the city and we are proud of that. I also love how in this city I can go from speaking my mother tongue (Italian) to English to French, although broken and shitty, but in the same area and sometimes in the same convo, you don't see that anywhere else. One other aspect about Montreal that I love is how we enjoy life here, you don't see that anywhere else! elsewhere it's work, work and work more, while over here it's encouraged to enjoy life. So yeah, I could go on but I won't, what we have here is unique and some people should stop wanting to be like Toronto, cause that city is far from perfect, like really really far from it. They can be the financial centre of the country, while Montreal is the cultural, artsy/hipster capital, a leader in A.I, tech, a global leader in political science/law/U.N, etc.. and I am so proud that I am from here.

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gomtl: "Si Montreal avait choisi de demeurer une ville gérée exclusivement par les anglos, nous aurions perdu notre identité, et baissé les bras devant l'omniprésence Anglo."

Agree with above. Furthermore, even if Montreal had remained Anglo dominated, the industrial / financial center would have still shifted west, as it happened in the US.

Gradually, Francophones took ownership of the space vacated by departing angryphones. Since Bill 101 (1977), francophone Quebecers (both bilingual AND unilingual ones) went from bottom feeders (in terms of salaries) to about top spots in their hometown (and province).  Quebec's economy also improved compared to its Canadian peers. => And all that while still maintaining a great / fun / safe city! <=

Évidemment, restons ouvert face aux critiques et on doit en tirer le maximum de leçons. Mais il faut détruire sans retenus la désinformation / le Québec bashing gratuit ou non fondé. Particulièrement les fake infos qui viennent du ROC, car ce sont les sources qu’utilisent nos voisins du sud.

Modifié par YUL
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As an "older millennial" bilingual anglophone who chooses to live, work and raise a family in Montreal, this topic touches a nerve. I can't stand the "angryphone this - francophone that" rhetoric because it introduces emotions into what should be a discussion based on facts. It can also get peoples' back up against the wall - which doesn't lead to a productive outcome.

Here is my point of view, a point of view from someone who could easily move away (especially to Toronto, where a lot of my childhood friends now reside):

- Just like any city, Montréal has it's pros and cons
- Montréal competes on a national and international stage for everything from talent to HQs to new investment. We need to be better than the competition to win
- Montréal is unique in North America: It is the crossroads of Europe and North America. This is our heritage and we should embrace it
- The ability of most people to communicate or understand 2 of the world's major languages is a tool that I believe should be harnessed 

I think that everyone posting on this forum wants the best for our city. Whether someone is singing the virtues of a development or finding fault with our tax code the end goal is the same. I would ask that we stop the name calling and the angry responses that serve nothing more than to perpetuate stale stereotypes. Everyone has an opinion on what is best for Montréal and each is legitimate.

I for one, am proud to live and work here. Je suis un fier montéalais.

Je suis convaincu qu'en travaillant ensemble nous pourrons faire rayonner notre ville.

 

Modifié par Gotti
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