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Monday, February 20, 2012

Koji Uehara blocked a trade to Toronto because “the weather is an issue”

It’s true… it never gets any hotter than 38 degrees!!!

T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com asked [Koji] Uehara why he vetoed a move to Toronto and the 36-year-old reliever replied:

The weather is an issue. I also know how hard it is to compete in that division.

Uehara is certainly right about the AL East being incredibly difficult, but the fact that he’s reportedly been pushing for a trade that would return him to Baltimore–where he played from 2009 to mid-2011–makes it clear that wouldn’t hold up a trade. Which leaves … well, the weather. I’ve been to Toronto in the summer and it was perfectly lovely with a retractable roof on the ballpark, so that seems a little flimsy to say the least, but the Blue Jays were one of six teams on his no-trade list.

The District Attorney Posted: February 20, 2012 at 02:04 PM | 85 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: athletics, blue jays, orioles, rangers, rumors

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   1. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 20, 2012 at 03:59 PM (#4064915)
Seems like a few players have expressed a desire not to play in Toronto. WTF? Its gotta be one of the most interesting, beautiful cities in the league. Just a negative image problem for Canada?
   2. RJ in TO Posted: February 20, 2012 at 04:03 PM (#4064918)
Seems like a few players have expressed a desire not to play in Toronto. WTF? Its gotta be one of the most interesting, beautiful cities in the league. Just a negative image problem for Canada?

There are perceived issues with taxes, weather, culture, travel (in having to clear customs on every road trip), and (most importantly) competitiveness.
   3. Lassus Posted: February 20, 2012 at 04:03 PM (#4064919)
Seems like a few players have expressed a desire not to play in Toronto. WTF? Its gotta be one of the most interesting, beautiful cities in the league. Just a negative image problem for Canada?

Nothing against my Blue Jays friends, but that playing surface is pretty gross.

And I live nearby. While I know nothing about the taxes, the weather issues are not just perceived. ;-) .
   4. LionoftheSenate (Brewers v A's World Series) Posted: February 20, 2012 at 04:11 PM (#4064926)
Seems like a few players have expressed a desire not to play in Toronto. WTF? Its gotta be one of the most interesting, beautiful cities in the league. Just a negative image problem for Canada?


Toronto is a world class city. It's probably similar to a more refined Chicago. Most people carry stereotypical views of cities they are not familiar with (although the Toronto weather is probably worse in spring than Balt).
   5. tshipman Posted: February 20, 2012 at 04:11 PM (#4064927)
Average temperature in March-April appears to be between 30 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Seems like a weather issue to me ...
   6. rr Posted: February 20, 2012 at 04:12 PM (#4064928)
Time for the Padres to go after this guy.
   7. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 20, 2012 at 04:18 PM (#4064938)
Most people carry stereotypical views of cities they are not familiar with.


And yet, Detroit still lands free agents.
   8. LionoftheSenate (Brewers v A's World Series) Posted: February 20, 2012 at 04:18 PM (#4064939)
Average temperature in March-April appears to be between 30 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Seems like a weather issue to me ...


Isn't spring training during March? Isn't spring training in Florida or Arizona?
   9. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: February 20, 2012 at 04:19 PM (#4064940)
I have only been to Toronto once for a few days (2005 SABR convention). Based on that very limited time it seemed like the kind of place that would be great to live. I got the sense that it could work as a walking city pretty well and the people really were incredibly friendly. It also seemed to be the type of diverse city you would expect from a truly international city.

The dome was closed for the game I went to on a Friday night and that was disappointing. I've seen two games in domes (Toronto and Tampa) and in both cases found the enclosed nature to really detract from the experience.
   10. Swedish Chef Posted: February 20, 2012 at 04:21 PM (#4064942)
Not to mention that the Blue Jays players rank behind minor league hockey players in the preferences of groupies.
   11. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: February 20, 2012 at 04:31 PM (#4064953)
There are perceived issues with taxes, weather, culture, travel (in having to clear customs on every road trip), and (most importantly) competitiveness.

There's a perceived issue with culture? I've found Toronto to be closer, culturally, to Chicago and New York than it is to Montreal and Ottawa. It's the least "foreign" foreign city there is.

Travel, taxes, competitiveness...yeah. I understand that.
   12. Craig in MN Posted: February 20, 2012 at 04:40 PM (#4064969)

There's a perceived issue with culture? I've found Toronto to be closer, culturally, to Chicago and New York than it is to Montreal and Ottawa. It's the least "foreign" foreign city there is.


I agree. On my visit there, I came away describing it as being like a miniature version of NYC, except everyone was genuinely nice. If I was forced to move to another city, Toronto would absolutely be my preferred destination. Uehara is nuts.
   13. tshipman Posted: February 20, 2012 at 04:48 PM (#4064975)
There's a perceived issue with culture? I've found Toronto to be closer, culturally, to Chicago and New York than it is to Montreal and Ottawa. It's the least "foreign" foreign city there is.


I think of Vancouver as the most American non-American city, actually. Vancouver is just like the US except cleaner.
   14. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 20, 2012 at 04:55 PM (#4064981)

I think of Vancouver as the most American non-American city, actually. Vancouver is just like the US except cleaner.


Especially the prostitutes.
   15. bobm Posted: February 20, 2012 at 04:57 PM (#4064983)
Maybe he read the Toronto Star thread that referenced the "White Jays" thread in the BBTF archives?
   16. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: February 20, 2012 at 05:04 PM (#4064989)
I love Toronto. I'd move there in a heartbeat. That said, Uehara is from Osaka Prefecture, which has a climate something like a rainier Raleigh, NC, but with fewer sub-freezing days. Maybe he's just a subtropics kind of guy. There are people who won't go further north than Charleston, SC unless it's July or August, and who wear a coat when it gets below 65. I think it's weird, but lots of people aren't happy unless it's hot out.

Also -- Texas has a great shot at the playoffs and Toronto doesn't. If I'm a 37-year-old who's made $13 million in MLB (and presumably a good amount in Japan before that), I'm going to veto trades that lessen my chances of getting a ring whenever I have the chance to.
   17. Good cripple hitter Posted: February 20, 2012 at 05:14 PM (#4064993)
Uehara is nuts


I'm Canadian, a Jays fan, and live in the suburbs of Toronto. All good things about Toronto aside, I don't blame anyone for having Toronto on their no-trade list. In Koji's case, he's 37 and just escaped Baltimore. Why is it crazy that he doesn't want to leave Texas to go to another AL East also-ran?

Also, Toronto's bullpen has a logjam of relievers at the top (Santos, Oliver, Cordero, Frasor, etc), so it's not like he'd have a good chance of being the closer. It's not like he has a good reason to accept being a middle reliever for a third or fourth place team in one of his last years as a pro.
   18. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: February 20, 2012 at 05:21 PM (#4065001)
Summer in Baltimore is atrocious.
   19. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 20, 2012 at 05:22 PM (#4065003)

I'm Canadian, a Jays fan, and live in the suburbs of Toronto. All good things about Toronto aside, I don't blame anyone for having Toronto on their no-trade list. In Koji's case, he's 37 and just escaped Baltimore. Why is it crazy that he doesn't want to leave Texas to go to another AL East also-ran?


Because he supposedly wants to go back to Baltimore.
   20. Good cripple hitter Posted: February 20, 2012 at 05:25 PM (#4065005)
Whoops. I really should've read the excerpt closer. Okay, this swings back into 'somewhat odd'.
   21. A Random 8-Year-Old Eskimo Posted: February 20, 2012 at 05:36 PM (#4065012)
Also, Toronto's bullpen has a logjam of relievers at the top (Santos, Oliver, Cordero, Frasor, etc), so it's not like he'd have a good chance of being the closer


Cordero was signed after Uehara veoted the trade. He was a Plan B. Uehara probably would have been the right-handed setup man, with Frasor slotting into the primary middle relief role.
   22. Tripon Posted: February 20, 2012 at 05:47 PM (#4065020)
If anything, the U.S. and Canada should waive visa issues between the two countries and allow easier migration between them. There is no reasons to fear our brothers to the north, we should conquer invite them once and for all.
   23. rlc Posted: February 20, 2012 at 05:51 PM (#4065023)
I think of Vancouver as the most American non-American city, actually.


I've read that Vancouver has the highest proportion of Asian residents of any city outside Asia.

-

As for Uehara, one of the impeti for moving him into the bullpen in Baltimore was his tendency to wilt in the heat as he got to the middle innings of his starts. If the weather's effect on his pitching is what concerns him, he should be begging for a trade to Toronto, which surely has the most predictably moderate game-time conditions of any stadium in the majors, right up there with SoCal.

If he's talking about the weather he has to live in between games, well, that's different.
   24. LionoftheSenate (Brewers v A's World Series) Posted: February 20, 2012 at 05:52 PM (#4065026)
If anything, the U.S. and Canada should waive visa issues between the two countries and allow easier migration between them. There is no reasons to fear our brothers to the north, we should conquer invite them once and for all.


The reason we make it difficult is because Canada allegedly makes it very easy to immigrate or visit Canada. This fact is important because terrorists have been known to use Canada as an entry point into the US.
   25. Good cripple hitter Posted: February 20, 2012 at 05:52 PM (#4065027)
Cordero was signed after Uehara veoted the trade. He was a Plan B. Uehara probably would have been the right-handed setup man, with Frasor slotting into the primary middle relief role.


That's right, I totally forgot the proper timeline for those series of moves. I still don't blame him for not wanting to come to Toronto, but I'm running out of excuses.
   26. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 20, 2012 at 05:52 PM (#4065028)

If anything, the U.S. and Canada should waive visa issues between the two countries and allow easier migration between them. There is no reasons to fear our brothers to the north, we should conquer invite them once and for all.


There was momentum for such a proposal, but the outbreak of Bieber Fever killed any appetite for cooperation.
   27. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: February 20, 2012 at 06:13 PM (#4065046)
The dome


It's a ####### DOME, dude. "The weather"? My ass.
   28. SteveM. Posted: February 20, 2012 at 06:16 PM (#4065052)
Summer in Baltimore is atrocious.


I lived two years in Mississippi and six in Alabama. Everyplace has mild humidity compared to the deep South.
   29. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: February 20, 2012 at 06:57 PM (#4065082)
It's a ####### DOME, dude. "The weather"? My ass.


If the weather in Toronto is so ####### great, then why do they need a ####### dome?
   30. Random Transaction Generator Posted: February 20, 2012 at 07:05 PM (#4065090)
If the weather in Toronto is so ####### great, then why do they need a ####### dome?

Because we don't like rainouts.

Ever.

This fact is important because terrorists have been known to use Canada as an entry point into the US.

Really? Which ones?
I mean documented cases, not scare quotes from politicians.
   31. tshipman Posted: February 20, 2012 at 07:08 PM (#4065092)
Really? Which ones?
I mean documented cases, not scare quotes from politicians.


Bryan Adams, Alanis Morisette, Justin Bieber, Geddy Lee, etc.
   32. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: February 20, 2012 at 07:15 PM (#4065097)
Because we don't like rainouts.


Or sarcasm, I guess.
   33. rlc Posted: February 20, 2012 at 07:15 PM (#4065098)
Really? Which ones?
I mean documented cases, not scare quotes from politicians.


Ahmed Ressam is one. I don't know if there are any others.
   34. Ron J Posted: February 20, 2012 at 07:16 PM (#4065099)
#3 Issues about taxes are generally more perceived than real. One of the key reason that Paul Beeston was important when the Jays were a very good team is that he was able to reassure players (or to be more precise, their agents) on the tax front. There are applicable tax treaties. Roger Clemens for instance paid taxes at the rate of a Texas resident.

But this may be an issue specifically for Japanese players. Don't know. Maybe being taxed as a resident of Japan is not a positive for him. Maybe there is no treaty between Canada and Japan.

As for winter, it's generally pretty mild by the standards of Canada. Buffalo gets most of the snow you'd think would be destined for Toronto (I think it's a very old treaty. Maybe something left over from the War of 1812). But mild by the standards of Canada is pretty damned cold by the standards of the rest of the world. And sometimes it's just flat cold -- particularly when the wind is just so. I've rearely been colder than I was a few years back when I went to the Bills game in Toronto.

All in all, I can't say as I blame him for wanting to miss out on the cold months.
   35. jyjjy Posted: February 20, 2012 at 07:19 PM (#4065101)
Bryan Adams, Alanis Morisette, Justin Bieber, Geddy Lee, etc.

You misspelled Nickelback.
   36. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 20, 2012 at 07:23 PM (#4065104)
If anything, the U.S. and Canada should waive visa issues between the two countries and allow easier migration between them. There is no reasons to fear our brothers to the north, we should conquer invite them once and for all.


You have this exactly backwards. The border crossing into Canada isn't difficult for Canadians. The border crossing is annoying for Americans going into Canada. Basically, Canadian customs treats Americans the way you'd assume US customs treats Mexicans. They are *really* tetchy about Canadian jobs being done by Americans, in my experience.
   37. Tripon Posted: February 20, 2012 at 07:26 PM (#4065107)
Canada is the cause for Nickleback? This means war.
   38. Ron J Posted: February 20, 2012 at 07:28 PM (#4065109)
#24 You're not the first American to assert this. John McCain and the current Secretary of DHS are among many who've made the assertion.

There's actually one case of a terrorist attempting to enter the US from Canada (Ahmed Ressam -- the Millenium Bomber), and he was caught at the border (before any of the new security measures were put in place.

The fears that Canada is easier for terrorists to get into than the US doesn't match up well with reality.

   39. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 20, 2012 at 07:30 PM (#4065111)
I've found Toronto to be closer, culturally, to Chicago and New York than it is to Montreal and Ottawa.


Toronto, culturally, is a cleaner Chicago. It's just the northern side of the Great Lakes Megalopolis. Montreal is its own sort of thing, by far the closest thing you'll find to a European city on the North American continent. Outside of Montreal, a regions culture lines up more vertically, by time zones, than by nation. Toronto is like Chicago, and a little like New York and Detroit. Winnepeg is something between Minneapolis and Pierre. Calgary is basically Billings or Bozeman with a little Denver thrown in. Vancouver is Seattle North.
   40. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 20, 2012 at 07:31 PM (#4065113)
The fears that Canada is easier for terrorists to get into than the US doesn't match up well with reality.


Well, Canada might be easier to get into, but then the terrorists are like \"#### man, I have free healthcare and a decent job? #### this blowing myself up bullshit."
   41. Ron J Posted: February 20, 2012 at 07:35 PM (#4065114)
#33 I'd mentioned Ressam in a post after yours. Thing is he was caught by a customs agent before all of the new measures were put in place.

And while he did opt for Canada there's no real reason to think he'd have had any problems emigrating to the US in the first place. He opted for Montreal because of the language issue not for ease of immigration.

And did the bomb making in Canada because it's so hard to get explosive materials in the US.
   42. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: February 20, 2012 at 07:39 PM (#4065117)
There's actually one case of a terrorist attempting to enter the US from Canada (Ahmed Ressam -- the Millenium Bomber), and he was caught at the border (before any of the new security measures were put in place.

The fears that Canada is easier for terrorists to get into than the US doesn't match up well with reality.


That's assuming they wouldn't start trying more if we relaxed the border restrictions.

#36, I've driven across the New York-Canada border a few times in the last couple of years, and never had any problems. I mean, there was a bit of a wait one time, but we weren't hassled at all.
   43. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 20, 2012 at 07:43 PM (#4065119)
#3 Issues about taxes are generally more perceived than real.


And the top state income tax rates are New York and California, which have obviously given the sports teams in those state a decided disadvantage in signing free agents.
   44. FrankM Posted: February 20, 2012 at 07:54 PM (#4065124)
I've rearely been colder than I was a few years back when I went to the Bills game in Toronto.

Hey aren't you from Ottawa, or am I wrong about that? Ottawa is #@!!% cold.

   45. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 20, 2012 at 07:58 PM (#4065127)
I've rearely been colder than I was a few years back when I went to the Bills game in Toronto.


They kept telling me it was a mild winter. I told them to come to Georgia where the gods don't so clearly hate them.
   46. Mike Emeigh Posted: February 20, 2012 at 08:07 PM (#4065129)
Maybe there is no treaty between Canada and Japan.


There is one. There are also usually clauses in such treaties that specifically govern how the counties may tax athletes (and other entertainers). The US-Canada tax treaty exempts athletes on teams that regularly schedule games in both the US and Canada from tax in the other state - so Canadian baseball players aren't subject to US taxes, and vice versa. In the case of the Japan-Canada tax treaty, Article 17 specifies that Canada can tax the income of a Japanese-resident athlete for services performed in Canada (unless the services are performed as part of a cultural exchange) - so it's entirely possible that Uehara could have tax issues playing in Toronto that a US athlete wouldn't have.

WRT terrorists - during the heyday of the Soviet Union the KGB would send operatives to Canada, have them get Canadian citizenship, and then have them emigrate to the US - John Barron wrote about one such instance in one of his books or articles, don't remember which.

-- MWE
   47. rlc Posted: February 20, 2012 at 08:08 PM (#4065130)
#33 I'd mentioned Ressam in a post after yours. Thing is he was caught by a customs agent before all of the new measures were put in place.

Yes, although the customs agents thought he was smuggling drugs and nearly blew up the Port Angeles waterfront by taking his jar of homemade nitroglycerine and shaking it.
   48. Silencio Posted: February 20, 2012 at 08:09 PM (#4065131)
LOL at Calgary being basically Billings. It has 10x the population.
   49. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 20, 2012 at 08:12 PM (#4065134)
LOL at Calgary being basically Billings. It has 10x the population.


So a bigger Billings, or, "Billings or Bozeman with a little Denver thrown in."
   50. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: February 20, 2012 at 08:15 PM (#4065136)

I lived two years in Mississippi and six in Alabama. Everyplace has mild humidity compared to the deep South.


One of many reasons those places should never get a baseball team.
   51. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: February 20, 2012 at 08:18 PM (#4065137)
I told them to come to Georgia where the gods don't so clearly hate them.


So why'd he put so many dumbs down there?
   52. Lassus Posted: February 20, 2012 at 08:19 PM (#4065139)
So a bigger Billings, or, "Billings or Bozeman with a little Denver thrown in."

Calgary is nearly twice the size of Denver. I know fractions is a little beyond Georgia's pay grade, but don't you travel or something?
   53. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 20, 2012 at 08:20 PM (#4065142)
Calgary is nearly twice the size of Denver. I know fractions is a little beyond Georgia's pay grade, but don't you travel or something?


You're forgetting to discount for the "everyone huddled together for basic warmth" factor. Also, Canadian population statistics are worth only like, .675 of an American population statistic.
   54. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 20, 2012 at 08:21 PM (#4065143)
So why'd he put so many dumbs down there?


Pure spite. God's a bitter ############.
   55. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: February 20, 2012 at 08:22 PM (#4065145)
Toronto is like Chicago, and a little like New York and Detroit.


Toronto did an excellent job portraying Brooklyn in Moonstruck.
   56. Shazbot Posted: February 20, 2012 at 08:22 PM (#4065146)
I told them to come to Georgia where the gods don't so clearly hate them.


Except during the summer. I cannot figure out how that place was inhabited before the invention of air conditioning.
   57. madvillain Posted: February 20, 2012 at 08:27 PM (#4065148)
Calgary is nearly twice the size of Denver. I know fractions is a little beyond Georgia's pay grade, but don't you travel or something?


Actually, if you count the metro area, and you should, Denver is over twice as big as Calgary 1.3 million to 2.7 million. I'm not going to bother to look up the relative population density of either city as frankly I don't care enough.

Just wanted to point out saying "Galgary is twice as big as Denver" is highly misleading.
   58. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 20, 2012 at 08:29 PM (#4065150)
Actually, if you count the metro area, and you should, Denver is over twice as big as Calgary 1.3 million to 2.7 million. I'm not going to bother to look up the relative population density of either city as frankly I don't care enough.


This is the "people huddled together for warmth" argument.
   59. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 20, 2012 at 08:30 PM (#4065152)
Except during the summer. I cannot figure out how that place was inhabited before the invention of air conditioning.


Brutal exploitation of Africans.

Well, you asked.
   60. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 20, 2012 at 08:32 PM (#4065155)
Hey! The Rural Alberta Advantage just spun up on the iPhone. Totally synchronicity! Wait. Now we're on to Frightened Rabbit. There's nothing synchronistic about Glasgow at all.
   61. Ron J Posted: February 20, 2012 at 08:34 PM (#4065156)
#44 Yeah, I'm from Ottawa. I know how to dress for a cold day so going out when there's a wind chill of -20 isn't that big of a deal. However I wasn't dressed for a middle of winter Ottawa day, I was dressed for November in Toronto. I'd checked the forecast and missed just how nasty the wind was. And the wind was wet -- just on the verge of rain (yeah it wasn't even cold enough for snow)

I've been out in colder temperatures plenty of times. But I can't recall being so cold for so long. Not a problem once we were in the stadium, but the walk to the subway and from the subway to the stadium were just nasty.
   62. Something Other Posted: February 20, 2012 at 08:41 PM (#4065161)
I remember Toronto as having beautiful summer weather, and plenty of underground walking. It also had amazingly good fast food in the subway. One place sold excellent sandwiches, of the kind you'd get at a gourmet deli.

Winter there? No thanks. But spring and summer would be a pleasure.
   63. Matthew E Posted: February 20, 2012 at 09:32 PM (#4065188)
I've lived in Toronto and Ottawa and some other places. Toronto winters are relatively wimpy as winters go. I mean, they are real winters, but you get a lot of thaws and warm days so the snow accumulation normally isn't much. Ottawa can certainly be much colder and the snow tends to stick around the whole time. But any normal human should be able to cope with a Toronto winter. Not that any ballplayers tend to live there year-round anyway.
   64. Cooper Nielson Posted: February 20, 2012 at 09:58 PM (#4065204)
I lived two years in Mississippi and six in Alabama. Everyplace has mild humidity compared to the deep South.

Dude, I live in Vietnam. We scoff at your deep South humidity.

But I did live in Toronto for two years (2001-2002) and thought it was fantastic. I would happily move back there if offered a job. (Work permits, if I recall, were a bit difficult to get.)

Also, Canadian population statistics are worth only like, .675 of an American population statistic.

I wonder if it's time to retire these jokes. The Canadian dollar has been right around par with the U.S. dollar for about 5 years now.
   65. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 20, 2012 at 10:16 PM (#4065212)

I wonder if it's time to retire these jokes. The Canadian dollar has been right around par with the U.S. dollar for about 5 years now.


There's a Canadian dollar??? I thought you Canucks were all still on the bartering system, or maybe used the British sterling or something.
   66. RJ in TO Posted: February 20, 2012 at 10:18 PM (#4065218)
I wonder if it's time to retire these jokes.

#### no. We love those jokes. Especially when they're made by Americans visiting Canada, who haven't yet figured out that the exchange rate has shifted so much.
   67. Ron J Posted: February 20, 2012 at 10:39 PM (#4065225)
There's a Canadian dollar??? I thought you Canucks were all still on the bartering system, or maybe used the British sterling or something.


I'll let you in on a little secret. Those pretty Canadian dollars are actually an elaborate practical joke we play on American tourists.

Being a pure socialist nation we don't actually use money. We just take (only) what we need.

Trust me, try it the next time you're in Canada.
   68. Rough Carrigan Posted: February 20, 2012 at 11:00 PM (#4065235)
Being a pure socialist nation we don't actually use money. We just take (only) what we need.



Apparently you haven't needed the Stanley Cup in 19 years. Thanks pal!
   69. Howie Menckel Posted: February 20, 2012 at 11:00 PM (#4065237)

"It's the least "foreign" foreign city there is."

Agreed re Toronto. It was probably my 7th time there that I walked into a bar with a colleague, bought two drinks with a $20 American - and was startled to see that colorful money as change again. I felt that "at home."

Vancouver is even more awesome, imo, but it felt like another country - in a good way. Yes, major Asian population due to its location. I've found it even more cosmopolitan than Toronto, and that is saying a LOT.

My experience in frequent visits to both (pre-9/11) was that any American could go to Canada without papers. All they might have to worry about (then) was getting back IN.

Used to be a breeze, by the way, to drive from Buffalo to Toronto or Seattle to Vancouver. You didn't even have to get out of your car - just hand over the papers, smile, and be on your way. Mid-day, no lines at all.

Once met a Nets fan from Jersey, though, who got detained for hours in the 1990s because his claimed "business purpose" for visiting was to go to a Nets-Grizzlies game. The border patrol considered this to be preposterous.

True story.

   70. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: February 20, 2012 at 11:44 PM (#4065256)
My experience in frequent visits to both (pre-9/11) was that any American could go to Canada without papers. All they might have to worry about (then) was getting back IN.


I went back and forth a bunch of times with just a driver's license, and I really only felt I needed that when I was flying. A friend of mine once went from Boston to Montreal and back using a seven year old picture of herself in a high school yearbook as "ID". This was pre-2001, of course.
   71. jyjjy Posted: February 20, 2012 at 11:56 PM (#4065264)
I only visited Canadia once pre-9/11(driving from Ithaca to Niagara) and no ID of any sort was required, just a verbal affirmation from everyone in the car that they were US citizens.
   72. John Northey Posted: February 21, 2012 at 12:39 AM (#4065278)
Well, if anyone wants to get from Canada to the US (or vice versa) without seeing a border guard it isn't that hard if you check a map and are willing to use a canoe or your feet. Just check any place with a park on each side, or where there are long stretches of low population or where there are native reserves on each side. I know of no shortage of ways to cross without being caught if I really wanted to. Do you really think terrorists don't know the same thing? Cigarette smugglers have done it for years (from the US to Canada whenever our taxes get too high).

Also, as a right wing Canadian radio personality once said on Fox News - at least we don't train terrorists how to fly planes (9-11 pilots were trained in Florida).
   73. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: February 21, 2012 at 01:09 AM (#4065286)
Dude, I live in Vietnam. We scoff at your deep South humidity.

I am a notoriously sweaty man, but ever since I spent a week in August in Cambodia, the heat and humidity everywhere else doesn't bother me very much. I was sweating through my clothes at 5:30 a.m. Ugh.
   74. Tuque Posted: February 21, 2012 at 01:30 AM (#4065289)
I've been to Toronto. It was nice. They have surprisingly exotic women there. (Who knew?)
   75. Juan V Posted: February 21, 2012 at 04:57 AM (#4065320)
I'd like to thank this thread for reminding me of the awful heat and humidity of an otherwise awesome week visiting Singapore.
   76. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: February 21, 2012 at 05:35 AM (#4065322)
Bryan Adams, Alanis Morisette, Justin Bieber, Geddy Lee, etc.

You misspelled Nickelback.

You both misspelt Celine Dion, or as I like to call her 'The Banshee of Pop'... *shudder*
   77. Greg K Posted: February 21, 2012 at 06:46 AM (#4065328)
I've lived in Toronto and Ottawa and some other places. Toronto winters are relatively wimpy as winters go. I mean, they are real winters, but you get a lot of thaws and warm days so the snow accumulation normally isn't much. Ottawa can certainly be much colder and the snow tends to stick around the whole time. But any normal human should be able to cope with a Toronto winter. Not that any ballplayers tend to live there year-round anyway.

The worst thing about Toronto winters is the repeated thaws. It turns into a giant slush bucket.

The worst thing about Saskatchewan winters is that it's -30 for 6 months straight...but hey, at least your feet never get wet! (that you can feel anyway)

I think I'd take the Toronto winter, but they both have their bummers.

And I blame Americans for the crappy Canadian musicians who make it big. We've got plenty of good ones (unlike the TV and movie industry, the domestic Canadian music industry actually exists). But Sloan, the Tragically Hip, or Joel Plaskett* never seem to draw any crowds south of the border.

*to name a few that I enjoy.

   78. Greg K Posted: February 21, 2012 at 06:59 AM (#4065329)
Well, Canada might be easier to get into, but then the terrorists are like \"#### man, I have free healthcare and a decent job? #### this blowing myself up ########."

To be fair Canadian terrorists prefer blowing other things up, like cars or mailboxes. And murdering elected officials.

On he plus side it inspired one of the more bad ass political one liners of the past few decades.
   79. WhoWantsTeixeiraDessert Posted: February 21, 2012 at 08:29 AM (#4065338)
Sloan is one of my favorite bands, but it's pretty funny when they play around DC and expect the crowd to sing bits of songs and know their schtick as well as they obviously do in Canada.
   80. Matthew E Posted: February 21, 2012 at 08:50 AM (#4065342)
The worst thing about Toronto winters is the repeated thaws. It turns into a giant slush bucket.


I prefer that to the ice you get in Ottawa, such that from January to March you can hardly take a step outside without your feet shooting out from under you. Honestly. When I moved here I decided I wasn't going to complain about the weather, because I think it's really obnoxious to move to a new place of your own free will and then start badmouthing it and saying it was better where you came from. And I'm coping with the extra snow and the extra cold and the extra length of winter just fine. But I can't be having with this ice at all.
   81. Lassus Posted: February 21, 2012 at 09:02 AM (#4065346)
Dude, I live in Vietnam. We scoff at your deep South humidity.

Jealous. Positively love Vietnam. Long-term plan is to retire there.
   82. mathesond Posted: February 21, 2012 at 09:18 AM (#4065355)
Sloan is one of my favorite bands, but it's pretty funny when they play around DC and expect the crowd to sing bits of songs and know their schtick as well as they obviously do in Canada.

I saw them in Chicago in 2004, it was the first time I had seen them since I lived in Halifax 10 years earlier. The crowd seemed to know what to do, though
   83. Bourbon Samurai Posted: February 21, 2012 at 10:28 AM (#4065411)
Dude, I live in Vietnam. We scoff at your deep South humidity.

I am a notoriously sweaty man, but ever since I spent a week in August in Cambodia, the heat and humidity everywhere else doesn't bother me very much. I was sweating through my clothes at 5:30 a.m. Ugh.


I think July/August Cambodia about takes the cake for the worst humidity I've ever experienced. Sadly, it's only a little worse than D.C.
   84. Hysterical & Useless Posted: February 21, 2012 at 01:30 PM (#4065561)
Canada gave us Neil Young. That makes up for any number of Celines or Justins.

Aside from serving as stand-ins for various US cities, the Canadian film-tv industry does occasionally produce something good. "Slings & Arrows" is a pretty entertaining short series (believe it's three 6-episode "seasons") about a theatrical troupe. And we just started watching "Intelligence," a policier set in Vancouver. Not "The Wire," but pretty good.

Mrs Useless & I went to Canada on our honeymoon, long pre-9/11. We took one of our cats with us (she LOVED riding in the car). The border agent told us we really should have gotten papers for the cat (health regs), but then let us go. Visited Toronto for a couple of days, had a really good time. Went back one weekend a couple of years ago for the film festival. Great time, saw some good movies, lots of good walking, and the weather (mid-September) was beautiful. Wonderful town. If I couldn't live in NY, Toronto would be my 2nd choice in North America.
   85. phredbird Posted: February 21, 2012 at 03:38 PM (#4065692)
I lived two years in Mississippi and six in Alabama. Everyplace has mild humidity compared to the deep South.


Dude, I live in Vietnam. We scoff at your deep South humidity.

I am a notoriously sweaty man, but ever since I spent a week in August in Cambodia, the heat and humidity everywhere else doesn't bother me very much. I was sweating through my clothes at 5:30 a.m. Ugh.


there is no worse heat/humidity matchup than new orleans in the summer. i've lived in nigeria, been to SE asia. there's just nothing like it. most of the city is at or below sea level, and gets no breeze from anywhere. its one of the reasons i am glad i moved to CA.

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