Lemme tell you a bit about my town. First and foremost, we wish we were New York.
I love Toronto. There are so very many things about this city that are truly awesome - but the basic fundamental character of the city is basically the massive inferiority complex it has at not being New York. That and also being in denial about our rampant jealousy.
Anyways, this aspect of the city manifests itself in our perpetual quest for "world class status". An insatiable hunger Toronto has at being recognized on the global stage as one of the kool kidz, like New York or Paris or New York or Tokyo or New York or maybe even New York.
Another interesting factoid about Toronto, she has never hosted any of the major global shindigs. This year marks the fourth time the Olympics were held in Canada and makes Vancouver the second Canadian city to have had both an Olympics and an Expo. Never hosted a World Cup of anything nor a Commonwealth Games (although we do get the Pan-Am games in 2015). Toronto hasn't even had a Boy Scouts Jamboree like Niagara-on-the-Lake did in '55.
To be fair, we are the home of the World RPS Championship.
So that's probably the reason we ended up hosting G20. It was our opportunity to grab the global spotlight after the planners noticed that Huntsville wasn't exactly an appropriate location.
That's right, we were chomping at the bit for an opportunity to cordon off a substantial section of our downtown core for a week and revel in the protests and riots that were bound to ensue. All for a chance at being "world class", nevermind that we were the second choice, after a town with a population of less than 20K and known for being the gateway to cottage country for people who live and work in Toronto.
That's right, the financial district of downtown Toronto was basically closed for business for the week leading up to the summit. Sure some places stayed open, but it was a far cry from the usual activity in the area, even for summer. Our first "world class" event and we get something that managed to damage the local economy not counting the costs for hosting the event like the billion dollars in security nor the costs of clean-up afterwards.
Although we now have had tear gas used in the city for the first time ever. I guess that's a sort of progress. Can we sit at the big city table now?