Sunday, January 3, 2016

Think outside the GTA box!

A little pet peeve I have which was resurrected once again at RIS (Reviving the Islamic Spirit) is, people from GTA (Greater Toronto Area) who are not aware of any cities outside their area! Where are you from they ask, which city are you coming from etc is the question and each time when I tell them their eyes glaze over. I try to help them by telling them how far south it is compared to Toronto and even that it is near the border which leads them to say oh, you live in United States! SubhanAllah can someone please buy a map for the people of the GTA? Or introduce them to Google Maps or get them a GPS or an atlas...anything! When I lived up north and I traveled to the GTA and told them where I was from, they would always say oh, north of Barrie? That was always their absolute cutoff. As for being south of the GTA, well you better not live any further than Kitchener and if you are super lucky then they might know London (Ontario of course!). Beyond that is no man's land, a veritable hinterland. Some of them know Windsor though because if they want to get to the States (where I don't live..sigh) then they have crossed the border there. I think all people in the GTA should be forced to take a geography course of at least Ontario, if not the rest of Canada. For sure I guess they know Ottawa (it is the capital of Canada after all and also right here in Ontario) and Montreal and Vancouver. Not much else exists though. What can we do for our lost sisters and brothers in the GTA? Oh and did I also mention that they think big cities are towns? Yes, you live in a mega city but that doesn't mean that smaller cities in comparison to you, are towns. I guess a town would be a village to them. I dare anyone from the GTA who is reading this or perhaps your friend who knows less than you ahem to take out a map of Ontario and gaze down BELOW Kitchener-Waterloo and then gaze ABOVE Barrie and discover new cities! For those really brave souls, you can also plan a trip somewhere new, outside the GTA box! I dare you!

2 comments:

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  2. As-Salaamu 'alaikum,

    Something I've noticed a lot when dealing with Canadians is that they will mention places like London, Kingston, Windsor etc and not mention that they mean the ones in Ontario. I live near to Kingston which is part of London, the big city in England (although it has only been so since the 1960s; before that it was a town in its own right). When most people worldwide hear the name London on its own, they think of the capital of the UK which is a city of 8 million; when Canadians say "London" they mean the small city in Ontario. It's a particular problem with Canada because its place names are often straight off the peg from England; you don't get that much in other English-speaking countries (Wellington, NZ is *much* bigger than the town of the same name in England, which most people in England have never heard of). Now, Windsor, Ontario is bigger than the one in England (although the latter is much more famous, because of its castle), but there's no excuse talking about "London" on its own to mean the one in Ontario, unless you're really sure only locals are reading.

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