A while back, I wrote about whether coming from competitive dating markets actually prepares men to be in a better place once they move to a world class city or a better market. While conventional wisdom would say that the answer is yes and I also used to feel the same way, I realized overtime that I was being naive.
Over the years, I have had the chance to know quite a few people from Toronto as they do seem to have a knack for ending up in NYC. A few years ago, I even went to the birthplace of PUA itself, the land where pickup artists swarm to malls. The situation that brought me there is that a girl I was dating at the time, named Heather, was visiting her family and her sister was coming with her.
Heather’s sister, Anne, was every bit as beautiful as her. While Heather was a tall cute brunette, Anne was more of a natural blonde. Both girls had volleyball player bodies with slim waists and I had met Heather when out at a bar in East Village a few months ago. We arrive in Canada, me with both Heather and Anne, and are at the airport waiting for our Uber.
“Hey, are you guys from California?” asks this one older Indian guy in a suit near us.
“Nope,” I respond, as Heather and Anne ignore him.
“So I notice you are wearing this white cardigan, it looks good on you, are you modeling?” asks the guy, looking at Anne.
“Uh thanks, uh no, hehe,” replies Anne, smiling and then looking away.
“I mean you could so model if you wanted to,” says the guy.
“Thank you, hey so Heather, apparently this spot is good,” replies Anne.
“Oh Heather, like Heather Graham, that is a beautiful name,” says the guy as I look on in amusement.
“Oh thank you, yeah let’s go over there Anne,” says Heather. Heather taps me and whispers in my ear to check my phone, I check it. The text reads saying the guy is creepy as hell and they feel uncomfortable, tell me to handle him.
“So is that your wife?” asks the guy.
“Yeah she is my girlfriend, her sister is here with her fiancé who is making his way here soon too,” I respond.
“Oh ha, well you’re a lucky guy,” he says.
“Thanks,” I respond, ignoring him.
The guy seemed to be walking around at the airport random approaching people, odd. We did get our Uber and headed to Heather’s family. I had the chance to meet a pleasant group of people who had just moved recently to Canada due to business related matters and a situation concerning an extended family member, they were not going to be there for long. Pretty sure you guys do not want to read about the dinner and family talk, as you read the rest of this story, you will realize why it was a blip.
For the following day, the plan was that Heather, Anne, and I go grocery shopping so we did. Apparently in Toronto, instead of a Walmart or Trader Joes, they have a Loblaws. We went in and about ten minutes in as Anne was examine the produce aisle, some guy in backwards hat comes up to her and starts chatting her up.
“You’re looking cute, are you from Texas?” asks the guy.
“Uh no,” says Anne, trying to just buy the produce.
“Oh okay you look more like a California girl,” the guy responds.
“No, hey I am in a rush,” says Anne, making eye contact with me and a weird face to let me know she is annoyed.
“Oh I won’t be long, have to slow down and enjoy life babe,” says the guy.
“I have to run,” says Anne, feeling nervous as she tried to go more towards me and the guy follows her trying to chat.
“Hey man, we good?” I ask.
“Whoa, what’s your problem bro?” asks the guy.
“No problem, we good though?” I ask.
“I mean bro, I don’t even know you,” says the guy.
“And she doesn’t know you,” I respond, as Anne leans on me in fear.
“What pussy, you wanna take it outside?” asks the guy.
“Sure if you like, let’s go,” I respond, calmly.
“I’ll fucking break your fucking face faggot, let’s go, LETS GO!” shouts the guy, he was a lanky looking skateboard kid with his hair in bangs.
“Sure you will,” I say, walking slowly outside.
“Fucking faggot I’ll break you!” shouts the guy.
“Uh huh, exit is right there, let’s go,” I say.
“Robby, cut it the fuck out dude,” says one of the workers.
“I’ll take all of you pussies on, fucking faggots,” responds the kid.
The worker diffused the situation fast, apparently the kid is some weird guy who has a habit of coming to the store and doing this often. I immediately learned that the Canadians being nice stereotype does not apply to Toronto, that’s for sure. The worker escorted Robby out as he flipped off everyone in the store, shouting at me as I smiled and then doing the slit throat signal. I laughed at it all even though my street smarts should have said it is likely the kid carries either a knife or is coming with a group to make him feel like this, either that or he is mentally ill.
“I almost do not want to go outside,” said Anne.
“Nah, if he tries something, I am trained,” I respond.
“You can’t afford to get into a fight or get in trouble here,” responds Heather.
Heather was right and a part of me was kind of shaken at the idea of this guy coming at me with an infected needle or something. Yet, I thought I have to be the man here, I’ll deal with it as it comes. We get the groceries and go only to find that the kid is getting into a shoving match in the parking lot with two girls and a guy. I smirk and get the groceries before getting into the car with the girls.
We had dinner and then the next day, decide to go out into town. I went to one of the local malls to find groups of guys just standing around pointing out girls. As we explored the place, we overheard a group of people near us commenting on how creepy the guys were as one awkward looking Asian dude approached these two blondes, only to get blown out. We decide to head out only for this short black guy to approach us and try to high-five Anne, only to get ignored.
“Damn, nobody wanna give a black man a high five alright,” he says, we kept walking with a straight face. Moments later, an awkward looking guy with glasses and a backward hat approached us.
“Well you two are keeping him company,” he said, as we ignored him.
“Here we have Ms. California and there we have Ms. Arizona,” says the guy.
“At least he didn’t call me Ms. Florida,” says Anne, as we smiled.
“Oh you too classy to be Florida girl,” says the guy.
“And he blows it,” responds Anne.
We had been transported to a new world and I could have easily seen myself being one of those guys if I had grown up there. On one hand, I applauded the courage but these guys lacked any sort of social knowledge to know when a girl is not interested. I also noticed it in the behavior of the staff and people in the city, they just seemed to be very cold. Even as a New Yorker, I had noticed that people were nicer and more down to earth in retail and other day to day aspects of life. The baristas would chat with you and people would talk to you, not so much in Toronto.
“Dude, get the fuck away, go, now!” shouted a woman who kind of looked like Steve from Schitt’s Creek.
“Damn,” said the guy, you could see the hurt in his face.
“Do not even try to kiss me, I do not fucking know you, eww!” shouted the woman.
“Well hey, let’s go on a date first and then do it,” says the guy, chasing after her.
“Dude did not fucking hear me, I am not interested, go away!” shouted the woman, angry and pissed off as she stormed away from him. The three of us kind of laughed and tried to make our way out only for some guy who looked like Jamie Kennedy to approach us.
“Hey is this your boyfriend?” he asked Anne.
“No, my fiancé is at home waiting for me and I need to get to him,” she responded.
“Damn, well you two make a cute couple though,” he said, looking at us.
“Thanks,” Heather responded.
“So how did your fiancé get lucky enough to meet a woman like you?” asked the guy, looking at Anne.
“No dude, not today,” she responded.
“He’s loaded huh,” the guy said.
“Heather!” said Anne, leaning on Heather as we all walked faster.
“Keep em right for me playa,” said the guy, pointing at me as I looked away and kept walking.
I mean I get that guys want to practice but man, what the hell did I just endure with these two women. I cannot imagine any woman keeping her sanity and being warm after going through a mall like that. In a way, I did notice a coldness and iciness to the women in the city that I have not noticed anywhere else. Me being with Heather and Anne kind of led to a lot of conversations and the women letting their guards down, something I believe would not happen if I was by myself.
As we approached the parking lot to go home, we noticed a girl trying to flee a group of two guys who had approached her. The girl was a blonde with a ponytail who was walking fast and the guys were walking towards her. At some point, the guys stopped and looked at each other only to laugh. We kept walking only to run into the girl as she was in a parking lot waiting for a ride.
“This city, full of a lot of eager men!” says the girl, looking at Anne.
“Yeah, we’re from the US, it is really bad here and we’ve not even been here a week,” said Anne.
“Oh have they tried to do any magic tricks on you yet?” asked the girl.
“I wish they could disappear, that be a hell of a trick,” replied the cheeky Anne as the girl laughed.
“So what gives? Why are men here so eager?” asked Heather.
“Oh it’s a bunch of stuff, the cold keeps people isolated to each other but also it has to do with some of these dating coach classes teaching me to hit on random women,” said the girl, before going on.
“I mean you kind of feel for them too, Toronto is very image focused and at the same time, you have people that just really want to make it work and be bold. Everyone here is just so into being the coolest they can be that guys who get left out get desperate and play numbers game,” said the girl.
“I am guessing the bars and clubs here must be fun,” replied Anne, as the girl gave her a blank-faced look.
“Don’t go to the bars and clubs here,” responded the girl.
We learned later as she was leaving that her name was Claire and she seemed pretty chill. I kind of admired here for having the empathy she had for men, it is as if a more smooth guy who was not as desperate could have easily picked her up and won her heart. We only had a day left in Toronto and even before talking to Claire, had mostly decided not to go out into the city at all. I almost wanted to go to the clubs and bars to see how bad it would be so I proposed the idea to Heather.
“You guys wanna go to the clubs and bars anyways to see how much of a shitshow we would run into?” I asked.
“Yeah, let’s fucking do it,” replied Anne.
“Oh come on, NO!” responded Heather.
“Heather,” responded Anne.
“Anne, no, we know how bad it is,” said Heather.
“We can laugh at it all,” responded Anne.
“You really wanna party in Toronto when we will be in NYC in a couple of days?” asked Heather.
“I mean, it will help us appreciate how good NYC is,” I responded.
“You stay out of this,” responded Heather.
After some debate and banter, we initially agreed with Heather. The following day, we noticed that shit was getting boring and Heather was having an argument with her mom. To escape it all, Heather decided that it was time to change her mind and see the shitshow which was Toronto nightlife. We went out, not even dressed all that well.
Toronto, Toronto, Toronto….
We went out and before even entering any kind of a bar and club, already had a group of guys approach both Heather and Anne only to be ignored. One guy grabbed Anne’s hand and tried to pull her with him only for Anne to slap it away and run towards us. Anne wanted to leave because of how creeped out she was with it all.
“I mean at least in LA and Miami the guys are hot, these guys look like clowns,” said Anne.
Then we went to the most active bar to have a couple drinks, they were playing a Raptors game. Some older Indian guy approached us and tried to take selfies, poor thing was fat and wearing a suit at a bar where the dress code seemed casual sports fan. We played nice and get into his selfie stories before going back to watching the game. The guy tried to hit on Anne and Heather, only to be ignored and then storm out the bar saying “fucking bitches”, classy!
An hour passed and we went to a local nightclub with a long enough line. In front of us was a group of Indians with two Indian girls arguing, dressed to the nines. Behind us, a group of Asians were all excited for the party. Along the way, a bunch of random guys tried to hit on every girl in line only to be rejected. I cannot believe these guys think this shit works.
We saw an altercation where a couple of roided up guys tried to grab this cute blonde’s sunglasses and make out with her, only to have her redhead friend grab them back and shout at them. The guys were clearly desperate and on something, one walked in our direction and said to me “women are just whores, right man?”. I looked in shock but knew that the guy was drunk and looking for a fight so I nodded and smiled.
Not long after, we see a couple where the guy is shouting at two men who were clearly trying to get with his girlfriend. One of the guys grabs the girlfriend’s ass and smiles, trying to run away, so creepy. The line moves and not long after, we see an altercation where one of the guy grinds on a girl who is a third wing to a couple with the girl shouting back.
“Okay, Heather, I wanna go home,” says Anne.
“Yeah, we’re going home,” says Heather.
I think I had seen enough and on another trip, would find my way into a Toronto nightclub but that was not the night. As we wait for our Uber, I notice that a group of guys were following us. In some sort of odd way, they try to high five Heather and Anne only to be ignored. Anne feels a slap on her ass from one of the guys as she was trying to pass by, I heard the smack too.
“That’s harassment dude, ewww! What’s wrong with this fucking city!” shouts Anne.
“Back the fuck away dude, seriously!” shouted Heather.
“CUNTS!” shouts the guy, with his friends. I grab Heather and Anne, knowing these dudes were on something. A part of me wanted to hurl an insult or get into a fight then and there but it would have been dumb.
We were able to safely get our Uber fast and get home after that night, Heather and Anne complaining about how bad the city was. A part of me thought that the guys there had just given up and decided enough was enough. You had a group of men who realized how bad their predicament was and played with nothing to lose, even if it meant getting into trouble. I had not even entered any nightclub in the city but already saw how bad the thirst way, safely getting out of there.
The whole ordeal seemed to carry over on to guys I met from Toronto in other cities too, they had this thirst but lacked the polish. While you notice that Miami guys for example come off as more smooth while having the boldness, Toronto guys are just spam approachers with no regard for social situations. I call it an almost awkward kind of Caveman game, maybe a nice Canadian Caveman that says sorry after approaching you.
You kind of feel for these guys as Claire had told us, they sometimes really have no choice. It seems like the culture in Toronto is such that all a guy can do is repeatedly approach women and hope he strikes gold. Maybe we have a chicken and egg debate here, are these guys like this because of how the women of Toronto are or is them being like this making the women of Toronto so cold?
In all of my years of traveling across North America though, I had never seen a city with thirstier men than Toronto. After some time, I could not help but refer to Toronto as Thirsty Toronto.