What is the Friendliest City in Canada to Live In by Jamie Gilcig – JAN 16, 2015 #FCICANADA

What is the Friendliest City in Canada to Live In by Jamie Gilcig – JAN 16, 2015 #FCICANADA

map canadaCORNWALL Ontario – What is the most friendly city in Canada?  I don’t mean to tourists, but to each other as residents?  What is the best place to live? What is the best place to raise a family or retire?  Or start a business?

I thought I’d found a pretty great place here in Cornwall Ontario, but sadly in spite of all the great reasons to live here there is an ugly monster of corruption that frankly is scary.    It’s changing, but when I moved to Cornwall I was forty.  I will be turning 51 in July.

As I’ve said the problems are never really the “Bad Guys & Girls” but the good people who for many reasons don’t have the courage to stand up to them or for what’s right.

Am I bashing Cornwall Ontario?  Not really.   We all have choices.  If people that live here want to run a closed shop and keep progress down that’s their collective choice just like nearby South Stormont decided to elect a shrieking lying, and most likely mentally disturbed official, and her slate of nodding monkeys.   That’s democracy and sometimes it’s not pretty.

Of course politics and silly people exist everywhere just like nice people do, but some places are better than others.

What am I looking for in a city to spend the next 5, 10, or 25 years?    I want a genuine friendly city where the culture is of caring more than corruption.   I am not a fan of traffic and big cities so that rules out places like Toronto.

I’m a refugee from Quebec and as I’m not proficiently bilingual and don’t have a French name it’d take a lot for me to ever return there.

I worked in what is now Iqaluit as a kid, but as I get older I dislike Winter and the cold more and more.   I know, I’m sounding like a cranky old man 🙂   I do think every young Canadian should spend time in the Arctic.  It builds character.

What do I like?  Some culture.  At least one movie house that shows films that aren’t just mainstream pabulum like here in Cornwall.    A good music scene doesn’t hurt.  A university or college is a must.   Diversity and acceptance.  I good mix of young and old.   Good transportation.  I was up for a job in Windsor this past Summer and it’s interesting how fast you can get to places from the Detroit Airport and how it is the most Southern city in Canada.

Cost of living is important as I’m not wealthy.   Calgary would be out as I probably could never own my own place.  Same for Vancouver.

BC is attractive.  Saskatchewan has an allure.  I love the idea of the East Coast and loved visiting Nova Scotia and PEI.   Newfoundland is the only province in the country I’ve never been to and the Yukon.

Good health care is important too.    I think I basically want the things that most of us want.

Depending on a few factors I’ll be travelling across Canada this Summer and Fall looking for the Most Friendly City in Canada and shooting a documentary about it.   I think it’ll be fun and educational.  Who knows, I may find out that the grass isn’t greener and that Cornwall Ontario itself is the Friendliest City in Canada?  Weirder things have happened.

We’ll be doing a series of stories about this adventure over the next year.  You can email me at jamie@cornwallfreenews.com if you have any questions or comments you don’t wish to post below, or if you want your city to be visited (tell me why) .

Seeing as we have viewers from all over Canada I’d like you folks to post what places you think rock and why?  You can post your comments below.

What is the friendliest City in Canada? Poll 1 Capitals

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What is the friendliest City in Canada? Poll 2 MAJOR CITIES

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What is the friendliest City in Canada? Poll 3 Medium Cities

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What is the friendliest City in Canada? Poll 4 Small Cities

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51 Responses to "What is the Friendliest City in Canada to Live In by Jamie Gilcig – JAN 16, 2015 #FCICANADA"

  1. Hugger1   January 16, 2015 at 4:59 PM

    It also depends on what you expect from your chosen city / town. When I moved to Cornwall 4+ years ago I knew about its reputation. I’ve accepted its faults and love it here. But I am one who has realized larger cities are not for me. You either learn to accept a city with all its warts and roses or move on.

  2. admin   January 16, 2015 at 5:00 PM

    That’s true hugger, but imagine travelling across country visiting cities and finding the one that most suits your likes and dislikes? That’s an odyssey.

  3. David Oldham   January 16, 2015 at 5:13 PM

    No contest Victoria B.C.

  4. admin   January 16, 2015 at 5:16 PM

    Elaborate please David 🙂

  5. Furtz   January 16, 2015 at 6:01 PM

    If you’re white, Christian (or maybe a low profile Jew), and conservative and don’t speak with a French accent, Brockville and area might be considered a friendly place.

  6. admin   January 16, 2015 at 6:09 PM

    Now Furtz I’ve met a few friendly people there although there was this one Real Estate agent (Sharon Jordan) that has pretty much turned me off Brock Vegas.

  7. Furtz   January 16, 2015 at 6:39 PM

    Brockville is the most nasty, backward, and incestuous town I’ve ever known. I guess it depends on what you mean by “friendly”. I loved living in Winnipeg but that was forty years ago. For me, the most friendly place to live is in the boonies.

  8. jerry   January 16, 2015 at 7:12 PM

    I used to travel all over ontario while working for the habitat restore. I was much younger then. I had to go to owen sound quite a few times. Every Time i went there, i found it harder to leave each time. The mountains, the streams(fisherman here) and the friendly people. Actually, all of bruce/grey county is beautiful. Owen sound can hardly be considered a city though. Very beautiful place, i may still move out that way one day.

  9. Jerry   January 16, 2015 at 7:15 PM

    After the kids are done of high school(4 more years) and if the wife can find something in her field of work that is. I love reminiscing about the blue mountains and streams though. Good times.

  10. Jane Doe   January 16, 2015 at 8:35 PM

    I love NL. Such a beautiful province and I guarantee you will never find a friendlier place.. I drove there in 2012 alone total of 6500 km and 23 hrs ferries. Best trip I have ever had in my life. Truly. Awesome people who will give you the shirt of their backs. I am returning this summer again to see the icebergs in Twillingate and to do Western Brook boat tour and a few other things. Newbies love to have a good time they have kitchen parties etc.. I could go on and on. I have been on a cruise. I have been to PEI. Like it but nothing compares to NL Scenery unbeatable also I also love Cape Breton

  11. jules   January 16, 2015 at 10:10 PM

    One more thing Jamie I am 64 years old since yesterday and I too mind the cold but we live in Canada. Saskatchewan, Alberta and B.C. are mighty expensive. N.L. became very expensive lately as well because they fell on oil and gas and the rents, cost of ownership went through the roof. Moncton is like Cornwall in price so you wouldn’t be too shocked. Ottawa is very expensive – I live in a small hovel of an apartment in the sky and the rent is expensive. No matter which area of Ottawa you live including Kanata, Orleans, etc. there is plenty of crime – no safe place.

  12. admin   January 17, 2015 at 5:01 AM

    Happy Birthday Jules!

  13. Pastor Tom Newton   January 17, 2015 at 8:08 AM

    Boy Furtz – your racism, bigotry is really showing today – down in the boonies. Must be the cow fertilizer in the coffee! About your speed Furtz? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nYhDvktiJo

  14. Furtz   January 17, 2015 at 9:51 AM

    Actually Newton, you’d like Brockville. It’s not exactly gay-friendly either.

  15. Hugger1   January 17, 2015 at 10:24 AM

    PTN….perhaps it’s how Furtz sees Brockville or has been treated there. Perception is reality, reality is perception.

  16. David Oldham   January 17, 2015 at 2:06 PM

    ADMIN I believe that Victoria B.C. ranks firmly in the top ten friendliest cities of the world. Having family in Oak Bay gave me the opportunity to tour the island and enjoy the culture and civility ( and stand at Mile 0 ) that is Victoria largely perhaps due to the strong British presence. An extremely diverse and inclusive area that represents the best that Canada has to offer on a significant number of levels. It the most southern part of Canada and the climate is spectacular to say the least.

  17. admin   January 17, 2015 at 4:44 PM

    David I’ve heard some great things about Victoria. I’ve also heard that it’s also senior heavy and very very expensive to live.

  18. jules   January 17, 2015 at 5:07 PM

    Brockville is a nice place and is very small and old money. Like Furtz said in his description is true according to a woman on our site who lived there and said that among other things. We knew of a man and his wife who lived there for some time and are now in Florida since they like the beach. When they came back to Ottawa three years ago for a visit they were mighty disappointed because it was no longer what they remember it to be just like ourselves. Every town and city has its good and bad points and you have to live there to know it if it is for you or not.

  19. Hugger1   January 17, 2015 at 6:15 PM

    Jules said “Every town and city has its good and bad points and you have to live there to know it if it is for you or not.” Jeez, we agree. Cornwall is not alone in its wackiness.

  20. Furtz   January 17, 2015 at 6:29 PM

    Don’t get me wrong. There are some good and decent people living in and around Brockville. But overall, it’s the most racist and bigoted place I’ve ever experienced. Visible minority people do move there but they don’t stay long. The local hoity-toity are seriously conservative, Christian, and white, and they are very protective of their turf.

  21. Pastor Tom Newton   January 17, 2015 at 6:45 PM

    “Actually Newton, you’d like Brockville. It’s not exactly gay-friendly either” Neither is Cornwall! It was just not my loving reproof of such perversion, but, as Cornwall is a retirement resort, many seniors did not like all this perversion either, and the support for such has never been there.

    Heb 13:4 “Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled, but fornicators and adulterers God will judge”.

  22. Furtz   January 17, 2015 at 6:45 PM

    Hugger, I happen to be white, heterosexual, and of British (mostly) ancestry, so I’ve never had to endure overt bigotry. But that doesn’t mean that I haven’t observed others being subjected to it.

  23. admin   January 17, 2015 at 7:11 PM

    Just a reminder to all to please discuss and even debate an issue or point, but please do not attack each other personally.


  24. Hugger1   January 17, 2015 at 7:33 PM

    Bigotry comes in many forms. I’m also a white male. I’ve never been subject to outright discrimination. But the federal government does, at times, have a rather unique way of wording competition posters.

  25. Hugger1   January 17, 2015 at 7:44 PM

    I don’t know who Admin’s comment was directed at. If it was in response to something I said I can say I was not offended.

  26. jules   January 17, 2015 at 7:55 PM

    My husband has experienced bigotry and is not black but brown in complexion and it was done in both Cornwall and Ottawa to be honest with all of you. If my husband went to Brockville then yes he would experience bigotry for sure without a doubt. One lady on a forum that I went to was black living in Toronto and she lived in both Brockville and Kingston and told us about it. I mentioned about our experience in Cornwall where we rented but Jamie didn’t post it. We endured a great deal and we were the most quiet tenants and didn’t bother with anyone. There is no way that I would ever go back to Cornwall ever again. That was the very worst experience that we ever had to endure.

  27. admin   January 17, 2015 at 11:17 PM

    Hugger I’m not a visible minority, but I have heard and scene a lot of racism in Cornwall. Some of it the people perpetuating it don’t even realize.

    How many guys are called “Frenchie” in Cornwall. How many times have you heard “Jew me down” in common banter, and not just from old men.

    It’s not cross burning, but I can tell you that some of what I’ve endured via the Boycott has to do with my being Jewish and I can tell you that for the most part instead of the community being upset about CCVS principal Patricia Brown essentially not having the swastikas in her school washrooms removed for nearly a month in spite of being asked very nicely by a professional adult, that in fact I’ve taken back lash for exposing it.

    We live in a town where Gilles Latour gets honored at the Team Cornwall AGM after he’s been charged with fraud a gazillion times for about a million dollars this year and where a Police Chief stands up for a convicted fraud artist in Neil Shah at a parole hearing while a Cornwall family who lost their life savings and home sat and watched.

    Like I said during the election, we need to change our culture.

    We also have three editors of local media outlets that sit in silence regarding my police charges knowing that the production order states that I never made the phone calls I was charged with and have lived in near house arrest for nearly one year now over.

    They were all fast to jump on South Stormont over their silly rumblings of not allowing “certain” cameras to cover council, yet remain silent on a horrible crime against an editor when one day it could be them charged falsely as I have been.

    I think Pastor Martin Niemoller stated it best;

    First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Socialist.
    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Jew.
    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

    There is a lot that the “good people” of this town should be ashamed of themselves for. The question is what will they do about it.

  28. Marc L   January 18, 2015 at 12:15 AM

    What will the people do about it Jamie?
    The only thing the people ever did in this city is protect the accused and lock up and shutdown the people who expose the crimes and corruption.Because the good people will not stand up and say enough is enough.Because they no they will pay the price if they dare to speak.

  29. admin   January 18, 2015 at 7:50 AM

    Marc while we’ve paid a huge price we have shown that you can stand up to the bad guys and in fact get rid of some of them. Imagine if more people worked together and supported each other as much as the bad guys do? Things would change and faster than you think.

  30. Hugger1   January 18, 2015 at 9:37 AM

    Get rid of some of them is part of the problem. We have to get rid of ALL of them, not some of them.

  31. David Oldham   January 18, 2015 at 10:25 AM

    Furtz you make Brockville sound like a community. Ottawa used to be a community of unity as well, I grew up and was largely educated there. Now you have the Italian areas, Chinese areas, the Somalian district, French communities, Jewish areas, etc,etc. Small microcosms of humanity and no true “Canadian identity” or single purpose. Rather each group has its own unique agenda to move forward which does not foster unity although it does recognize differences. Diversity does not promote unity, it red flags our differences and not our commonality of purpose. France determined this to be true long ago which is why multiculturalism was struck down in favour of a system of unity. France, love it or leave it if you do not embrace it. Each country should have its own distinctive flavour which gives rise to where you might like to live to better facilitate your own purpose. People should not relocate with the purpose in mind of having a foreign society mold itself anew to suit the needs of those immigrating.

    My opinion is that Canada has spent so much time, money and effort trying to be everything to all that in the process we have compromised who we were. I for one am a seventh generation Canadian who now feels alien in my own country. I likely will keep my citizenship although that is not written in stone. I continue to live in Canada, but I do not so much consider myself Canadian, rather a part time resident. Change is not always for the best.

  32. David Oldham   January 18, 2015 at 11:26 AM

    Admin like yourself I am not a “visible minority” but I have become to feel like a minority in my own country of origin.

    Victoria does have a large retirement sector after all its location offers beauty, climate, refinement and ready access to pacific rim countries. Whale watching, privacy and the list goes on. Living on any island tends to come with a price and generally cater to those that can afford to pay. Like anything in life you get out of something what you put into it or you strive for what you aspire to have.

  33. Hugger1   January 18, 2015 at 2:11 PM

    Admi said: “Just a reminder to all to please discuss and even debate an issue or point, but please do not attack each other.” I whole heartedly agree with this. It gets tiresome, at times, defending myself and my views. I feel I am not alone in this place.

  34. Hugger1   January 18, 2015 at 2:16 PM

    David Oldham said: Admin like yourself I am not a “visible minority” but I have become to feel like a minority in my own country of origin. That’s the joy of “living” in Canada. It wants to be the one all be all to every culture. And this is nt a good thing at times. It seems everyone who immigrates to Canada wants us to follow their culture / rules and not the Canadian way of life. Want examples? Christmas, need I go on?

  35. Furtz   January 18, 2015 at 2:32 PM

    Hugger, Christmas? It starts the day after Halloween and goes on two months!

  36. Hugger1   January 18, 2015 at 2:37 PM

    Christmas was but one example. It’s the continual downgrading of “Canadian” that gets me.

  37. Furtz   January 18, 2015 at 3:26 PM

    Not sure what you mean Hugger. Are you referring to the degradation of our democracy and Canadian institutions that our current federal government is engaged in?

  38. Hugger1   January 18, 2015 at 3:47 PM

    Furtz….nope. I’m referring to Canadian citizens becoming afterthoughts in their ow country.

  39. Furtz   January 18, 2015 at 4:02 PM

    Not being smart-ass Hugger but I’m still unclear as to what you mean. What I find disturbing is how citizens are now considered to be just “tax payers” or “consumers” by our political rulers.

  40. jules   January 18, 2015 at 6:31 PM

    Furtz you hit the nail on the head because it is more than just religion but even in the different levels of government they go in and they occupy positions and then you the Canadian citizen who was born and raised here become second and even third class citizens. Like my Lebanese husband has said since many years “you Canadians have sold your country out from under you” and how very true that is.

  41. Furtz   January 18, 2015 at 7:56 PM

    Not sure what you mean by “second and even third class citizens”, Jules. So far, my life in Canada has been pretty much first class. Never made a lot of money, but always had lots to eat and a warm house to live in. Never had to endure any war or invasion or anything like that. It doesn’t get any better.

  42. Hugger1   January 18, 2015 at 8:37 PM

    Furtz….other religions / traditions taking the place of traditional Canadian values.

  43. Furtz   January 18, 2015 at 9:30 PM

    Are you serious Hugger? I hope not. Are you saying that Canada should only allow certain religions and “values” that you happen to approve of? Why should your particular culture or religion prevail? Is it because your ancestors arrived here first?
    And what the hell are “traditional Canadian values”?

  44. Pastor Tom Newton   January 19, 2015 at 7:25 AM

    Everyone knows what “traditional Canadian values” are? And it is not based on hockey and eating beaver tails.

    It all depends on the time period we are talk about. Before Christianity was introduced it was paganism – heathenism! After Christianity, yes in this post Christian nation – back to paganism – heathenism.

    Psa 9:17 “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God”.

  45. Hugger1   January 19, 2015 at 9:48 AM

    Yes, I am serious. It seems we go out of the way to bend for immigrants and Canadians that were born here are forgotten in the wind. A good example is Christmas. We can’t say “Merry Christmas”, “Christmas Tree”, etc. How many schools, in particular, RC, have eliminated the Christmas concert/ show so it can be all inclusive of all religions?

  46. Furtz   January 19, 2015 at 10:52 AM

    Who says we can’t say “merry Christmas” or Christmas tree”? My grand daughter’s (public) school puts on a jolly-good Christmas concert every year. True that most people are getting away from the religious nonsense, but that’s just an indication that society is evolving. Time was when you couldn’t get decent employment in Canada unless you attended a Christian church. You want to get back to those days, Hugger?

  47. Hugger1   January 19, 2015 at 12:35 PM

    Yank, yank, eh Furtz. (as in yanking my chain) Oh, jeez. Try saying those words around someone from another religion that doesn’t celebrate Christmas and is staunch about it. Some of them get might upset. Evolving? But is it for the better? Not IMHO. The more things change the more they stay the same.

  48. Furtz   January 19, 2015 at 2:17 PM

    Not yanking at all Hugger. Just not agreeing. I’d say society is evolving for the better in general. I’m old enough to remember when “Christians only” and “Jews need not apply” were common phrases used in classified newspaper ads. That was a Canadian “tradition” up to the early sixties. I also recall going to campgrounds and beaches as a kid that had entrance signs saying “Christians only”. You want to bring back those days?
    As for Christians celebrating Christmas or Easter or anything else, I’ve yet to hear anybody objecting to it.

  49. Hugger1   January 19, 2015 at 3:01 PM

    Hopefully society is evolving to a better place. I”m not old enough to remember when “Christians only” and “Jews need not apply” were common phrases used in classified newspaper ads. Did I ever suggest bringing that back? NO! But I do know that when I worked for the federal gov’t it was common place to have competition posters worded so the typical white male could not apply. They were very careful with their wording, hoping to attract visible minorities / handicapped candidates.

    As for celebrating Christmas, etc take a look around a lot of places, companies / stores, etc will avoid using “Christmas”, etc in their stores and / or advertising. They don’t want to upset the other religions that don’t celebrate at the same time.

  50. Steve   August 15, 2016 at 9:14 AM

    It’s an old article, but I couldn’t resist. We have been to Brockville a lot over the years. I’ve been to a lot of places for work. With that, I can honestly say that Brockville is one of the most ignorant places I’ve ever been. Not everyone is, but a lot. I talked to a realtor (can’t remember name) from there as well, and let’s just say she made it easy to leave without looking back.

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