Dear Urban Diplomat: is arriving late to parties just part of Toronto culture?

Dear Urban Diplomat: is arriving late to parties just part of Toronto culture?

Dear Urban Diplomat
(Image: Khairil Zhafri) 

Dear Urban Diplomat,
I moved to Toronto from Tokyo about a year ago. Maybe it’s just a difference in cultures, but no one shows up for my parties on time. Where I’m from, if an invitation says 8 p.m., you show up at 8 p.m. Here, some guests arrive an hour late and don’t even apologize. Often, I am too annoyed to enjoy myself. Any tips for hand­ling this situation next time?
—Times Have Changed, CABBAGETOWN

Fashionable tardiness is often pushed to extremes in Toronto. Maybe we’d sooner risk being rude than arrive first. Or maybe we’re all stuck in traffic. Whatever the reason, you can start by clarifying your invitations. If it’s a come-and-go party, encourage people to drop by any time after 6. That way, people will start rolling in around 8. If it’s a dinner party, build in a buffer: cocktails at 6, dinner at 7. People always show up for food. If they don’t, there’s always Plan B: rent a bouncy castle.

Send your questions to the Urban Diplomat at urbandiplomat@torontolife.com