The Toronto Street Festival is a popular and fun way to celebrate diversity in the city. And it’s tearing us apart! Photo via flickr.
The results of a Metro News investigation into Toronto street festivals released today may shock you: too many people are having fun. Seriously, we don’t know what Torontonians are thinking. It’s almost like people that live here want to have a good time on the weekends and enjoy their lives, but frankly that’s not the kind of thing this city is built for. Who do you think you are, Toronto? Go home and sit quietly. Wipe that smile off your face.
“From Greek food to jazz, rib-fests and salsa, Toronto offers a host of vibrant summer festivals, but it is possible that they’re too popular for their own good?” asks Metro News, bravely. According to their analysis, if there are lots of people out enjoying themselves at a festival there are dangerous physical risks: “Salsa dancers brave sweaty crowds and the risk of getting stabbed in the foot with a stiletto on a regular basis.” Stilettos shouldn’t even be allowed in the city anyways, they’re just too flashy. They draw too much attention.
The article moves on to justify its criticism of popular functions under the basis that “some people say large crowds diminish the charm of some of Toronto’s summer outdoor offerings.” It seems that having well-attended, economically-successful festivals puts us at risk of losing the cutesy, small town vibe that we’ve worked so hard to maintain.
Plus, some street performers are complaining that they’re not getting enough space to spread out: having crowds somehow hinders their ability to gain an audience. Salsa party organizer Gustovo Patzan says that dancers can “forget about doing the flips and tricks that work on the international stage. ‘Don’t expect to show off, because there’s not a lot of room.’“
Noted. The same message could apply to our city, which apparently shouldn’t be encouraging lucrative events in fear that we’ll assert ourselves as an enjoyable, popular place to live, leading us to flourish on the international stage. We’re not sure why we’re being berated for supporting local functions or aiming for high attendance rates. Last time I checked, Toronto was topping the charts as a leading city and cultural capital in international polls on a regular basis. We’re in no position to be downgrading our urban growth nor should we be embarrassed for taking advantage of fun ways to spend our summer time off.
So which is it, Toronto? Are we a big world city, or are we a modest town that’s intimidated by having too many people standing together on one street? After attempting to guilt us for ruining the city by attending too many events, Metro moves on to run details of the upcoming Beaches Jazz Festival, Salsa on St. Clair and Pilaros Taste of the Danforth. We’re just surprised that they’re actually letting people know that these festivals exist, instead of offering alternate suggestions to stay home and close the curtains and not look anybody in the eye. Toronto, know your place.