Toronto is a black hole

I’ve been searching for a metaphor for Toronto and the ROC (Rest O Canada) for a while now. It seems like every Canadian ends up here at some point in his or her life. Furthermore, people in Toronto have an extremely myopic view of the other parts of the country.

For example, the Massey journalism fellows this year are almost all born and raised and work in Toronto. Now, I’m assuming that there are applications from across the country for the fellowships, which may not be true. But shouldn’t we look to have fellows from outside Toronto/Ottawa (which seem to be pretty much the same place)?

Here’s my theory: Toronto is a black hole. Like a black hole, it has an irresistible gravitational pull on people looking to advance their careers and yet remain in Canada’s excellent public health system: lawyers, business types, academics, media, entertainment. It’s all to be found here. Once inside the hole, everything on the outside is either invisible or in stasis. Nothing changes outside the black hole. And entering the hole is an infinite process that takes forever, and squeezes the life out of you.

Part of my reasoning is the ridiculous categorization of Canada west of Lake of the Woods — ”Western Canada”. Even back in the 1850s this was false. There was the Northwest Territory, which encompassed everything west of southern Ontario and the coastal colonies in B.C. — New Westminster and Victoria. But people in Toronto know only “the West”. I propose to call coastal B.C., which is fundamentally different than the interior of the province and the Prairies, Pacific Canada. These type of nomenclature differences play a big part in traversing the black hole singularity boundary.

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Published in: on November 9, 2006 at 4:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

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