Let's All Hate Toronto Albert Nerenberg & Rob Spence

Let's All Hate Toronto Albert Nerenberg & Rob Spence
The Trailervision folks who delivered us Stupidity and the more contemplative Escape To Canada turn their gaze on that quintessential Canadian pastime: hating Toronto. Mr. Toronto (eye-patched co-director Rob Spence) embarks on a coast-to-coast tour to promote "the centre of the universe” by waving a banner that reads "Toronto Appreciation Day.”

Mr. Toronto starts in Halifax, where Maritimers spit on the banner. Then he travels to Montreal where a band "serenades” T.O. with nasty epithets. Next, our hero skips the Prairies (because "every Torontonian does”) to land in Edmonton, where Mr. Toronto risks his life by wearing a faux Gretzky Leafs jersey during the Oilers’ 2006 Stanley Cup run. And finally, he lands in Vancouver, which just might be the most virulent anti-Toronto city in the confederacy.

In each place, Mr. Toronto appears on talk shows and shouts the glories of Hogtown on the streets. He endures — even encourages — the wrath of the natives, though when he asks them if they’d want to move to Toronto, surprisingly most say yes.

You either embrace this shtick or dismiss it. Let’s All Hate Toronto works because the laughs rest in truth. All the reasons that Canadians cite for hating Toronto are true: the banks and media are here; Torontonians are uptight, self-absorbed, money-obsessed workaholics; and the Leafs suck.

The film hits home later on when it delves into Toronto’s shortcomings, particularly the "Toronto Is Hell” segment where it cuts to a bunch of commuters huddled at a bus stop as snow swirls around them. The film also reveals that Toronto is insecure (true), with its identity still evolving. Like other major cities (New York, London), Toronto attracts the envy of the country but also Canada’s most ambitious who flaunt their success, should they achieve it.

It’s amazing that no one produced this film earlier. And who finally had the courage to direct it? Why, two fellows originally from Montreal and Winnipeg, of course. (Elevator)