Toronto vs. Chicago: movies, musicals and Oprah edition

Toronto vs. Chicago: movies, musicals and Oprah edition

After hearing that Chicago is crazy jealous of Toronto’s annual Luminato festival—and the international tourists it attracts—we got to wondering how Hogtown really stacks up against its similarly sized cousin. We looked at everything from restaurants named Acadia to notable rich guys to talk show hosts extraordinaire (and a whole bunch of other admittedly arbitrary categories). Here’s how the two cities compare in matters cultural.

1. Comedians: Jim Carrey and Will Arnett vs. Stephen Colbert and Bill Murray
Toronto has a variety of amateur and professional improv troupes, but Chicago is the birthplace of The Second City. Some of Chicago’s famous comedians include Amy and David Sedaris, Stephen Colbert, Bill Murray, Jim and the late John Belushi, Frances McDormand, Robin Williams, Horatio Sanz, Jack Benny and Michael Ian Black. Basically, some of the funniest people in the world. Toronto’s famous clowns include Lorne Michaels, John Candy, Catherine O’Hara, Howie Mandel, Mike Myers, Will Arnett and Jim Carrey. Toronto is funny, but Chicago is definitely funnier. Winner: Chicago

2. Film industry: Chicago vs. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Toronto raked in $1.13 billion from film projects last year, proving that it’s a city where movie magic happens. Chicago was even filmed in Toronto back in 2002, with courtroom scenes taking place at Osgoode Hall. Sure, Transformers: Dark of the Moon and Contagion were shot in Chicago in 2011, but Toronto made big-time cash money the same year and it served as the backdrop for a movie about Chicago. (Yes, we know Ferris Bueller’s Day Off was shot in Chicago, but that was in 1986.) Winner: Toronto

3. Film festivals: TIFF vs. CIFF
As far as film festivals go, the Toronto International Film Festival is one of the biggest in the world. We didn’t even know Chicago had a film festival until we Googled it a few seconds ago. Winner: Toronto

4. Talk show hosts: Whatever Toronto has vs. Oprah
Famous Toronto talk show hosts have included Mike Bullard, Camilla Scott, Jonathan Torrens and Dini Petty. Chicago has the great and powerful O. Winner: Chicag-O

5. Music: Drake vs. Kanye
Historically speaking, Chicago is a musical city. It’s the birthplace of house music and Chicago blues and soul, and some of the greatest hip hop acts have their roots in the Windy City (like Kanye West, Common, Lupe Fiasco and Da Brat). Plus, there’s the aforementioned legendary musical that bears the city’s name. Nowadays, Toronto is feeling a music boom, with Drake, Austra and The Weeknd seeing huge success locally and internationally (though no city-centric musical to speak of). Winner: We’re going to call this one a tie

(Images: Toronto skyline by Leander Canaris; Chicago skyline by Bryce Edwards; Rob Ford by West Annex News; Rahm Emanuel by Juggernautco; Austra by Peter Tea; Kanye West by SOCIALisBETTER; Food truck by Jen Chan; Deep dish by Musicisentropy; Wrigley Field sign by Ron Cogswell)

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