24  Jan
Exhibit Eh…

Of late, a frequently aired television commercial has me yet again shaking my head at the hopelessly pathetic hold we as Canadians have on our identity and national treasures. According to spokespersons Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa, TD Bank is “America’s most convenient bank.” Well shit the bed! When did the Toronto Dominion Bank of Canada become America’s most convenient bank?

Seriously folks.

I fully realize that Tim Hortons locations have sprung-up all over the Northern United States for several years now, but I don’t see Americans lining up in droves to claim Tim Hortons as their own. They are happy to enjoy its delicious sundries en masse, however they will always make the distinction between Dunkin’ Donuts and its Canadian counterpart south of the 49th parallel. Perhaps that is because Tim Hortons, while existing as a Canadian institution in many regards, is what it is, for all intents and purposes: A coffee and donut shop, nothing more.

Conversely, The Toronto-Dominion Bank is the second largest bank in Canada by market capitalization and deposits, and the sixth-largest bank in the whole of North America. Should this extremely lucrative enterprise not be a source of national pride? After all, this institution has operated by its own means since 1855, a whopping 155 years in a country that is only 143 years old! Sadly, I see TD Bank becoming “America’s most convenient bank” for the same reason that Baseball is “America’s Pastime”, despite having its confirmed origin in Beachville, Ontario. Let‘s also not forget Basketball, being an American juggernaut despite being invented by a Canadian Doctor named James A. Naismith. In fact, The Basketball Hall of Fame, which has enshrined the likes of Michael Jordan as recently as last year is formally known as The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame!

I will be the first to admit that I appreciate, and in many ways admire our neighbours to the south. In fact I have a great deal of family and friends there. Regardless, let’s do our best to not allow all great things Canadian to be exported without duty paid, so to speak. Believe it or not, Wayne Gretzky was not born wearing a Los Angeles Kings, St. Louis Blues or New York Rangers uniform. He marvelled fans on a global scale long before he ever travelled south of Windsor. He skated on the Nith River, and his parents, as well as much of his family still call Brantford, Ontario home.

Speaking of Brantford, while in Boston, Massachusetts recently, I saw a plaque marking the site where Alexander Graham Bell supposedly first perfected his famed invention, the telephone. Oddly enough, Brantford has for ages been known as “The Telephone City”, while any and all reliable sources also cite Brantford, Ontario, Canada as being the birthplace of the telephone. Perhaps the fact that Bell happened to be in Boston at the time his patent was being challenged by American Elisha Gray renders this purely Canadian invention an American idea after all?

Permit me to tell you what America, in all its glory has given the world: Bourbon Whisky, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, The Marlboro Man and M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E. Overall, I jest on this point, but seriously, it is food for thought…

In short, a great deal of good has come out of Canada, eh?

 

Posted by August Donnelly, filed under . Date: January 24, 2010, 9:03 pm |

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