This battle started, innocently enough, with a Canadian Business article about the problem with measuring demographics. Toronto is now larger than Chicago, but that’s sort of arbitrary because city limits are themselves arbitrary. Slow news day, right?
However, d*ck measuring contests are as big a deal south of the border as they are here, so the Chicago Sun-Time’s best columnist (we’re not being snarky; he’s actually pretty great, and we recommend his book Hatless Jack) has responded with a broadside, attacking Toronto’s dullness and championing Chicago’s character:
“… I won’t start waxing on the generic, anodyne nature of life in Toronto. Its nondescript skyline whose only noteworthy element is a TV antenna. Its generic monuments; the Monument to Multiculturalism in front of the Fairmont Hotel comes to mind.
“So congratulations, Toronto, on the extra people. Let us know when you can make a decent pizza, or build a building that bears a second glance. Or when somebody writes a song about Toronto. Or shoots a movie in Toronto that actually takes place in Toronto. We’ll be here, waiting, humming “Chicago”.”
Who couldn’t resist responding to that? William Wolfe-Wylie of canada.com has risen to the occasion with a humblebrag, writing:
“But don’t worry, Chicago. It’s hard slipping from fourth place to fifth place. Torontonians have always been big fans of Chicago, and we want you to know that we’ve learned a lot from you over the years, which has helped us to grow. Take a look at our current city council: We’re even starting to challenge you on that whole “windy city” thing.”
Meanwhile, Yahoo’s Matthew Coutts has responded with some ol’ fashioned gloating:
“It is a city that was once nearly destroyed by a barn fire. How very provincial. The idea that it has slipped behind a Canadian city must be very threatening for its self-aggrandized vision as a integral part of the North American landscape.
But rest your weary head, Chicago. We have always respected you. You are necessary. You work hard, you mean well, you suffer harsh winters. You are Winnipeg. Every country needs a Winnipeg.”
Meanwhile, New York hasn’t taken any notice, which is good for Toronto and Chicago’s respective inferiority complexes. But it could be worse: we could be Detroit.