Let's All Hate Toronto Robert Spence and Albert Nerenberg

Let's All Hate Toronto Robert Spence and Albert Nerenberg
All Canadians are united in their disdain for America but a more slippery issue lies in their concurrent loathing for Toronto. Is the national hate-on for the Big Smoke as much about habit and jealousy as it is legitimate grievance or does the largest city in Canada indeed have no soul, no heart and no reason for anyone to live there? Hogtown transplant Albert Nerenberg decided to get to the bottom of this by enlisting eye-patched "Mr. Toronto” Robert Spence to cross the country, stage impromptu "Toronto Appreciation Days” and see what kind of reactions they get. Unsurprisingly, the response is overwhelmingly hostile, with Montreal and Vancouver competing to see who can hate the city the most, but Spence and Nerenberg soldier on in the name of nation building and cheap jokes. The whole thing is glaringly unscientific, with the desire to be funny sometimes besting the desire to make a serious point. But the film does unearth some pretty interesting facts. On the one hand, the filmmakers discover that the stereotypes about T-dot contradict each other and that the national resentment is inchoate and ill defined. On the other, they reveal that Toronto itself has no personal identity and hates itself even more than the rest of the country. It also explores the many economic reasons why Toronto found its dominant position and thus projected its ugly image to the rest of the nation. Though the pair are totally unsuited for drawing conclusions from these revelations (and offer a coda that’s very unsatisfying), this ten-year Toronto veteran found their film provocative enough to rethink his over-hyped but strangely tolerable adopted home. Extras include eight extended interviews and a needless clip of Spence acting silly. (Elevator)