Are Torontonians rude?
Is it the consequence of living in the big city
What is making us so indifferent to people around us?
By Kris Scheuer
I am a born and bred Toronto resident who’s called this beloved city home for all my 40 years.
But really people, are we getting ruder?
I am not perfect, by all means, but I TRY to be considerate of others. And I find examples of people in this city who seem so very oblivious to others who share this same public space.
Case in point, and this is something I witness almost daily, littering. I see people tossing items from their hands in such a blatant way that it goes beyond not being able to find a trash can. It’s as if people are making a statement, “I don’t care about the city, environment or anyone around me.”
On Friday afternoon I was on a lunch break and was on the southwest corner of Yonge and Dundas on my way to city hall south.
As I approached the mall, I saw two 20-something women walking towards me when one tossed a water bottle towards the Eaton’s Centre (now Sears).
I thought maybe she was aiming for a garbage can, but missed. As the plastic bottle hit the side of the H&M clothing store, I saw that no there was no garbage can. She never intended for it to end up anywhere but the street. And she did not even offer a backward glance to see where her discarded item landed.
It was not just the littering, which is a pet peeve of mine, that stuck with me. Let’s face it, lots of people litter. The city spends $20 million each year of our tax dollars sweeping it up and emptying street garbage cans.
No it was the attitude that went along with her trashy actions. It was a big slap in the face to everyone around her. She was saying she was more important than the others she was sharing her space with.
And so what if she whipped a water bottle into the air at a busy intersection, with people watching, on a public sidewalk?
But my annoyance is not just about littering.
The reason I mention this one example is it is representative of all the actions I see daily. We push our way onto streetcars, through doors, eat corn on the cob on the Dufferin bus, floss our teeth on the subway, spit on the floor of the streetcar, clip toes nails on Spadina, and so on.
Can someone explain, has our city gone mad?
Or am I the only one disturbed when my fellow residents have such disrespect for the people we share this city with?