Everyone seems to think that Calgary is awesome—and Toronto is not

Everyone seems to think that Calgary is awesome—and Toronto is not

The centre of the universe seems to have shifted westward recently, with a spate of notables, articles and polls suggesting that Calgary, not Toronto, is the place to be. This latest round in the endless game of city comparisons took off when Prime Minister Stephen Harper, rigged up in a ranch hand outfit at the Calgary Stampede, proclaimed Calgary “the greatest city in Canada”—a bit of a dis to Toronto, since he grew up here. And, despite the myriad reasons to love Toronto, Harper’s not the only one championing Cowtown over Hogtown:

Yahoo News pulled together a list of ways that Calgary trumps Toronto, which includes average commute times, the median income for families and the unemployment rate. Calgary even averages a few centimetres less snowfall a year. Bah.

• The National Post turned the “greatest city” question over to the masses via a poll on Facebook. Calgary inched out over Toronto again. However, we’re a little skeptical over the ranking that puts Dildo, Newfoundland ahead of the nation’s capital.

• An Angus Reid public opinion poll released on Friday suggested that Calgarians, at least, really like Calgary. Citizens of Cowtown reported having the best quality of life out of Canada’s four largest cities, with 87 per cent of residents saying they are satisfied. Toronto was third (behind Vancouver) with about 80 per cent saying they had it best.

• Liberal MP Justin Trudeau was the latest to contrast Rob Ford with Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi, observing that “you’ve got a redneck cowboy who’s the mayor of Toronto and you have a progressive young urban, urbane immigrant mayor of Calgary.” We know. Sigh.

Canada’s best city? Stephen Harper says Calgary [National Post]
Is Calgary becoming the new Toronto? [Yahoo News]
Stephen Harper says it’s Calgary, but which do you think is Canada’s greatest city? [Facebook]
Which city’s residents report having the best quality of life? [Globe and Mail]
Liberal leader optimistic about Calgary Centre riding [Calgary Herald]

(Images: Naheed Nenshi, 5of7; Rob Ford, Christopher Drost)