Canada’s Greatest City

Canadian Prime Minister Little Stevie Harper said the other day at the Calgary Stampede that Calgary is the best city in the country.

In 1990, on a whim, I quit a good job in Ottawa, my wife got a transfer from the post office, we hauled our two kids out of school and away from their friends, and moved to Calgary. Just for the heck of it.

Calgary, situated in a large wheat field, is where one can enjoy summer snow, winter thaw, and winter torture. I can recall one winter waiting with my son for a rapid transit train, and the electronic sign told us it was minus 69 with the wind chill. The wind blows off the prairies like a truly bitchy Mother Nature, and there are very few swimming pools because the mountains, an hour and a half away, cool the evenings down considerably.

Traffic on the Deerfoot, Crowfoot, and other trails during rush hour just sucks. In fact, it can be absolute bullshit. The city needs to revamp the way it has traffic flowing. And when the freezing rain hits the freeways, it’s like watching giant bumper cars bounce around.

We left our car in our driveway one time when we were leaving for overseas, and came back to find hundreds of dents in the roof from golf-ball size hail. It’s a place where I took one lousy job after another, including door-to-door milkman, and several semi-driver gigs. And two years after moving there, I went through an excruciating divorce that just about killed me.

However, Calgary can be a fine place. It’s only a few hours of leisurely drive to get to Banff. Or Edmonton if you’re so inclined. You’re probably not inclined but anyway.

The Bow River runs through town, which is a nice touch, especially since the city sits on the prairies and it’s nice to see water. It has NHL hockey and CFL football, and the incredible Mac’s Midget Tournament over Christmas. It used to have Triple A baseball, the Cannons, which I really loved going to. Flames defenceman Ric Nattress, who also played for the Habs in the early ’80s, and family sat behind us one time at a Cannons game.

Calgary has an excellent Chinatown, and lots of people wear cowboy hats.

I just don’t feel I agree with Little Stevie. I sure missed Ottawa, still do, and Vancouver has a lot of things going for it that you’ve probably read in brochures or seen in some crazy Canadian-made movie showing tons of street scenes. Montreal is fantastic except Darth says there’s too many potholes. And I seem to recall some sort of politcial unrest there too.

Toronto is where Li’l Stevie grew up. He probably got laid for the first time there. Smoked his first cigarette and joint there. Received his first wedgie. How come he doesn’t pick Toronto as Canada’s best city?

At least Toronto has the Hockey Hall of Fame, and Orillia is only a couple of hours away. Yorkville Avenue in the core of Toronto was once as cool a street as any in the country, maybe the coolest, but the Man and ladies with furs took over and it’s like Rodeo Drive now.

There’s a lot of great cities in this country. Maybe the one with the least mosquitos should be judged the best. Or the coldest beer. Or the best weather. Or the most beautiful women. And if having the most beautiful women decides the question, then yes, Montreal is the grestest city in the country.


6 thoughts on “Canada’s Greatest City”

  1. Mr. Harper should be flattered that you call him Little Stevie. That would put him in the same company as Little Stevie Wonder and Little Stevie Vaughn as SRV was called before you knew of him. Little Steven of the Bosses band, there is even a band called the Little Stevies…… Calgary is so not cool. I vote for St. Johns NFL as the greatest city in Ca…………I’m not sure which city has the best looking women, I might say Quebec City. … All I know is if god was a woman, things would not be so fuk-ked up

  2. Notwithstanding the last election, for the most part Toronto doesn’t like Harper, neither do Montreal and Vancouver. And he has to be nice to Calgary, they elect him to parliament from where he along with his Canadian Alliance and National Citizens Coalition buddies can plot the downfall of the country.

    Hobo, you can add Little Stevie Winwood to your list.

  3. I lived in Calgary for about 6 months when I was a kid. I kind of liked it but I was really too young to probably really “see it”. I know Banff was close and I remember going there and being totally amazed by the place. I still am to this day.

    Montreal does have some stunning women (to put it lightly). One job perk that I have in the summer is that I need to water the flowers on the roof.

    Well, when I do, I can look right down to the other building. Right there is a swimming pool that belongs to two condo buildings. All I can say is…yeah. There is this blonde who goes there to tan that is so stunning that your eyeballs want to melt. It doesn’t help that she wears a bikini that makes the one from “Yellow Polka Dot Bikini” look like a large pair of farmer’s overalls.

    Problem with this city is rudeness, potholes, constant construction, horrible medical care, and more political yahoos than you can shake a stick at.

    Three things we do have going for us though are the gals and the Habs and Smoked Meat. The Montreal Pool Room is a great place to get a steamie as well.

  4. I have lived in about 10 or 11 cities in Canada and 5 or 6 in the States,
    My fave in Canada…Kamloops all the way.
    My best U.S. city is Arcadia Ca. right beside Santa Anita race track.
    I’m french canadian and have never lived in Montreal, i’ve been there
    lived 45min. away. Probably cause they didn’t have a race track.
    I gotta say that Kamloops is just about the perfect little city.
    Hope to go back some day.

  5. Marc, thanks for this. ‘ve been to Kamloops many times and what really jumps out is how hot their summers are. But it’s in a nice location, it’s a nice size, and it’s a good place for sure. But do they have the most beautiful women? I think the Quebec ladies have this wrapped up. Particulary because of the way they dress. It’s the European fashion that they wear, ahead of everyone else. I also like Redding, Calfornia. A nice size, nice weather, a great sports bar, Bleachers, and only three hours from San francisco.

  6. Darth, you never mind the girl-watching and make sure those flowers are watered properly. What you should do is spray these ladies with water and make them jump up and bounce around!

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