TheStar.com – Editorial: Urban gamesmanship
Usually, rivalries between cities are a Big Thing for the smaller one and a rather inconsequential one for the bigger one. Between Montreal and Toronto, the Greater Toronto Area being larger than Metropolitan Montreal, it seems to be the reverse, to a certain extent.
This example is as telling as the others:
Let us spell it out for you, Montreal: We want the Games and we would put on a great Olympic spectacle.
This follows a few comments by Montreal mayor Gérald Tremblay that, given the success of the FINA games, putting Montreal’s candidacy for the 2016 Olympic Games might be worth a thought. Reaction from Toronto thus seems a bit strong for something that is much of a “pie in the sky” concept at this point.
One could say something similar about Ontario’s recent bid for the Shriner’s hospital. Or this article (also from the Toronto Star) trying to compare Toronto and Montreal.
This is not to say that there aren’t Montrealers who are envious of Toronto. But mainstream media in Montreal (at least in French) don’t seem to harp on the Mtl/TO rivalry so much. Or maybe it just depends on where you go for information.
On the other hand, the rivalry between Montreal and Quebec City seems to have taken a new style. Since hockey isn’t the stage for Quebec confrontations, most comments by Montrealers about Quebec City now have to do with the provincial capital being little diverse and rather intolerant. Apart from those occasions, discussions about Quebec City are quite rare in Montreal. On the other hand, some people in Quebec City seem to carry a grudge against Montreal which, they claim, dominates the scene too much. Not unusual a rivalry but certainly an asymmetric one, much like the one between, say, any big city in the Northeastern United States and New York City. William Labov had some interesting things to say about this.