In 1938, the Toronto Globe and Mail ran a regular feature called The Inquiring Reporter, in which they asked random people a question.
The July 23 1938 edition asked people what impressed them about Toronto:
And, as a counterpoint, the July 25 1938 edition asked them what they disliked about Toronto:
Readers seemed to like and dislike the same features:
- One respondent from Saskatchewan thought that it was cooler here in summer, whereas one respondent from Alberta thought that the weather was warmer than back home.
- One person liked the “very handsome buildings”, whereas another complained that there were so many large buildings that were a dirty grey colour, and a third complained that many buildings on main streets were grubby-looking and small.
- Both people who liked and disliked Toronto had trouble getting around the city.
I felt saddest for the former resident of Copper Cliff, Ontario, near Sudbury (and now part of it), who pointed out, “Around our part of the country there are few trees, and flowers don’t grow well.” At one time, thanks to mining, the Sudbury area had 20,000 hectares of barren land in which no vegetation grew, and 80,000 hectares of semi-barren land. Toronto, even at its grimiest, would have seemed like a garden paradise by comparison.