Compare & Contrast
Every issue we’ll compare Fort McMurray to another town or city in Canada. The facts will be quirky, off the wall, and quite interesting, just like YMM-ers!
How does YMM stack up against: TORONTO
Let’s start with mayors. Melissa Blake vs. Rob Ford. Ok, let’s not; it’s just too uneven a match. On every possible level YMM wins. That is all.
Moving on. One of the two cities is a vibrant multicultural community, the economic linchpin of Canada, unfairly portrayed in the media and misunderstood by everyone… and the other is Toronto.
The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo – of which Fort McMurray is the heart, soul, lungs and entire nervous system – is the second largest municipality in Alberta. Toronto is the fifth largest city in North America behind Mexico City, New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago. The area of all five of those urban agglomerations, 22,228 km2, would fit into the RMWB about three times and still leave room for Medicine Hat.
The Toronto Stock Exchange is the third largest in North America and the seventh largest in the world based on capitalization. Take out the Oil Sands factor and it would drop to fifth and ninth.
Toronto is 76.5 meters above sea level, Fort McMurray, 370.
Toronto’s Lester Pearson Airport is the busiest in Canada and the fourth busiest in North America. Fort McMurray’s airport is the busiest per capita in North America.
Toronto was founded in 1793 by the British (as the settlement of York) and renamed Toronto in 1834.
The first European explorer, Peter Pond, came to the region soon to be known as Fort McMurray in search of furs in 1778, and in 1790, the explorer Alexander MacKenzie made the first recorded description of the oil sands.
The closest Bill Cosby got to Toronto in 2013? 90 miles away at Niagara Falls. To Fort McMurray? He was right here six months ago.
180 million customers live and work within a day’s drive of Toronto, including 125 million Americans or roughly 40 per cent of the U.S. population. And when they drive, who do they need? Fort McMurray.
Toronto is on the same line of latitude as the French Riviera, without the joie de vivre. Fort McMurray is on the same line as Dundee, and in this instance easily wins the joie de vivre comparison.
Even though it’s one of the official languages of Canada, French is only the twelfth most spoken language in Toronto. In Fort McMurray it makes the top ten behind English, Cantonese, Tagalog and four different Newfoundland accents that may as well be languages all on their own.
On a clear day, from the top of the CN Tower, you can see the USA. On a clear day, from the top of the Municipal building, you can see Showgirls.
So it’s a hard comparison, with honours about even. If you factor in quality of life and salaries then Fort McMurray comes out slightly ahead. But we’re a clear winner once you compare mayors.