Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Culture: "That's My Toronto" Reality

The performers in Heritage Toronto's "Great Toronto Roast" posed on-stage after the performance at the Carlu in Toronto, Ontario on 13-October-2009

TORONTO, ONTARIO - Tonight was Heritage Toronto's annual awards and lecture night, held at the Carlu in downtown Toronto, Ontario. Instead of a lecture, to mark the 175th anniversary of the city of Toronto, it was decided to "roast and toast" the city. The event turned out to be quite entertaining, with some news made (Mayor David Miller announcing the intention to create a city museum in Old City Hall and Special Achievement Award winner Steven A. Otto donating $250,000 to the Friends of Fort York). More coverage will be forthcoming on this blog in the coming days.

The "Great Toronto Roast" itself was divided into six vignettes. One of the six speakers and performers was comedian Freddy Proia. His underlying theme was "that's my Toronto," telling stories and what we hope are made up comedy bits from growing up in Scarborough and living across the city, each ending with the line "that's my Toronto." Some of the bits were especially funny, such the GPS navigator that changes its mannerisms based on the ethnicity of the neighbourhood that it is passing through, or his tale of breaking a table at a restaurant on the Danforth.

Freddy Proia preformed at the "Great Toronto Roast" at the Carlu in Toronto, Ontario on 13-October-2009

One of his bits compared having dinner at sunset in the "360" restaurant high on the CN Tower with a beggar using a Tim Horton's cup to beg for money at Yonge-Dundas Square. "That's my Toronto," he stated. Only minutes later, the event ended, and the multitudes dressed in suits and reasonably expensive dresses headed for the exits of the Carlu. After a ride down seven stories in an elevator and an escalator ride down one more level toward the subway, I found myself in a different world. The dress shoes had given way to beaten-up sneakers, and the very Tim Horton's cups described in Proia's act were pointed at me by two people who looked like they hadn't showered in some time.

That's my Toronto, indeed. There was no denying it.

1 comment:

goggs_on_lava said...

Indeed a fantastic evening, showcasing Toronto's heritage, character and personality. Tsung's film "TIME" was a masterpiece. The Roast and Toast was the most fun with funny man and performer Freddy Proia getting a rather stiff crowd loosened up and laughing. I noticed he had to stop several times for applause breaks. Several of his stories remind me of many of my own growing up in Toronto. While everyone's Toronto is going to be different, there is a little bit of everyone's Toronto in My Toronto.

Great job Mr. Proia! Thanks making a wonderful evening such a memorable one.