That’s so Toronto

By: Nathan Martin

Depending on where you are in the world, something as simple as a greeting can either be considered protocol, or entirely off-side. For instance, if you were to take a leisurely stroll down the streets of St. John’s, Nfld., you might hear such salutations as, “Where ya to b’y?” followed by a response of equal enthusiasm and slang. Walk down that same street and give that same person a “New York” hello, equipped with an F-bomb or two, and see what a man looks like when he sees a ghost.

Co-founder of the social publishing platform, Jeffrey Howard says that no matter what aspect of life one is talking about, in Toronto, fashion is always involved.

“There seems to be almost a pretentious model of conduct when it comes to any sort of etiquette in Toronto,” he says. “Image is everything. How you conduct yourself personally is almost as important as how you conduct your business.”

Howard, a Queen’s University grad, says that whether you are a “fan” of this sort of thing or not, in order to be successful, you have to buy in.

“Depending on where you are in the world there are simply different business customs that a person needs to buy into. In Toronto, this requires an interest in fashion and material things. The watch you wear or the style you are pulling off in a meeting with a potential young investor can be crucial to a first impression.”


What does business have to do with fashion? Everything.

As important as fashion is in business, know your audience. A group of 45-year-old men won’t exactly be thrilled with your presentation if you’re experimenting with pastel colours in your suit combinations. Conversely, a young and energetic group may appreciate a little flare in your wardrobe.


If you meet an interesting person, be prepared to hear their pitch for a movie idea, clothing line, or some special company that they invented that is going to change the world like Mark Zuckerburg.

Toronto folks don’t need Facebook display photos.

This is where you want to plug the next big event at your bar. This is good for two reasons: it makes it seem as if you’re a super fun person, and convincing people to go to your bar is the only way to stomach working every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. “$2 Tequila Bonanza!!”


When getting on a bus or subway, there is no etiquette. Period.

If you constantly find yourself in a standing roll on the bus or subway, you’re going to want to work on a good lean that incorporates a wide stance. Looking unstable on a bus isn’t going to get you anywhere in this world.

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