8th February 2013

Uprooting the Heart: Small Town Attitude…

I grew up in a small town with what I thought was a normal small town attitude. I wont name it, but those who know me will know which town it is.

It’s not too far from Toronto, though I am realizing that kilometers and distance mean hardly the same thing… and when talking small town attitude they’re pretty similar.

places ive lived
I have lived in the city of Toronto for almost six years now, and during this stretch I have lived in six different neighborhoods that us Torontonians would call Steeles, Scarbs, Cabbagetown, Moss Park, Regent Park, and Bloordale.

In all my time, in all these places, I have been a part of a neighborhood  a temporary home, and a place I could find my local spots to complete my abode.

Now, working at Essentia in the Beaches of Toronto (which I live nowhere near by the way), I find a home away from home, and a similar task of finding the little things over here that make the Beaches not only home for my workplace, but a little homelier for the eleven hour days I usually work.

I’ve always appreciated that once you get through the attitude that comes with a major city, you can find a little piece of home that makes you remember what’s so beautiful about infinity size buildings, and cramming into the TTC for couple hours each day.


Relevance? Well, I’ll start where it starts… I survived the holidays and made it up North to show my face at some family stuff, and to see some friends that I’ve been away from. When I recently heard that some of the big city attitude is in my humble small town I didn’t believe it. Back home there are only a few stores that cater to the echo boom generations. It’s hard to find everything from clothing to cocktails that’s age appropriate. I’ve been Hearing that same ole local spots that WE ALL go to, are now subject to a rule of ‘LIMITED TO THOSE WHO FIT IN’ ‘LIMITED TO THOSE WHO ARE NOT SUPPORTING COMPETITION’.

This is abso-f’ing-lutely baffling to me!

Imagine this: You’re out with your friends on a Saturday night, and you want to check out a bar that you’ve been to before, so  you get there, and order drinks. BUT, before you can get them you’re told: “I’m sorry you just don’t fit in, you should go” … there’s no sign.. there’s no code .. there’s just some crazy pretentious attitude that after 6 years, even I have not seen once in Toronto. When did the small town attitude change?small town bar vs city bar

I have been to dive bars where the locals groaned at me ordering a martini, and on the club street where the staff had to up and down me to decide whether or not I fit the dress code, but never have I been turned down simply because I was not ‘the interesting man’ ‘Jock’ ‘coolness unicorn loving dudester’…

What this really breaks down to, is the sheer fact that small towns are SMALL! Treating your entire hometown like a hypothetical high school makes little to no sense to most adults. I cant fathom being on the other side of a bar, or standing in a retail store, and telling someone that I wouldn’t like to take their money or business because they aren’t exactly like me.

Furthermore; as far as denying someone entry into a clothing store, because the person is wearing another store’s Logo.. It’s just crazy to cut away business and deny someone access to your products because they have had someone else’s. #jealous #psycho #YouCantComeToMyBirthday  ???

Locally owned retailers are taking the low road against each other, bars ban customers based on coolness (not alcohol consumption levels) and worst of all these are acquaintances, friends, and family of everyone I know.
Modest ole Home base has caught a bug….an attitude bug!


I learned a long time ago that appearance meant nothing. I learned this lesson over, and over, and over, and will likely learn it again at some point again. I find it reassuring and comforting in my second home, to be a part of a place that takes pride in this lesson, and I’ve never felt rejected by the City, no matter where my stomping grounds have been.
I always know that I can raise a family and retire in my dear sweet Hometown, but for now, I love me my Big City. We know that business is business, and discriminating against money is foolish, but more than anything… discriminating against people makes you a downright !@#$%. Home is where the HEART is, not the roots.

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