Media

Rosie DiManno Dumps on Hamilton, Again

By Adrian Duyzer
Published June 22, 2009

Rosie DiManno has a thin skin. For all her tough talk, all it took was a few emails from hotheaded hockey fans that were upset she called Hamilton a "dump" for her to fly off the handle, managing to insult an ethnic group (the Romani people), a country (the Czech Republic), and of course, our community, all in a single column.

In the curiously titled Fans of Hamilton dump on Rosie DiManno (it really should be called Rosie DiManno Dumps on Hamilton, Again), DiManno calls the city a "ruin", an attractive immigration destination for "gypsies", and a "bush-league dump":

When I called your city a "dump," I meant it would be a worthy place for Toronto to send our garbage during the looming public-sector workers' strike.

I mean, who'd notice, thereabouts? And dumps are woven into Hamilton's historical fabric - Canada's first archeological excavation of a trash fill site undertaken within the boundaries of your fine Greater Slag Area in 1991. Such treasures that were discovered! I do believe some of it is still being sold in the plethora of thrift shops that line your hip, happening downtown (mind the puke puddles) along with the doughnut shops - one for every 5,721 residents, a national record, so claimed. So suck on that.

[...]

Hamilton is a contemporaneous ruin. But still attractive to immigrants, apparently - some 3,000 Roma (note to Hamiltonians: that's gypsies, not people from Rome) settling in the region over the last couple of years, after arriving at Pearson airport and seeking asylum. Clearly, Hamilton is heaven compared to a ramshackle gypsy village in the Czech Republic.

I'm sure that most of my fellow Hamiltonians find this irritating, to say the least. It's tempting to respond in kind with an article blasting DiManno and perhaps the city she lives in, too, but that'd be taking the low road, and there's really no point in that (and I encourage you to refrain from that in the comments to this blog post).

The truth is, of course, that Toronto is a great city with a good image. Torontonians are sometimes characterized as arrogant, a characterization assisted by DiManno's column, but the image of the city is primarily that of its skyline. It is seen as a place of commerce, with big buildings and a big city feel.

Of course, that is not the whole picture. If Canadian media started using photos of high-rise apartment buildings in the Jane and Finch neighbourhood whenever a file photo of TO was needed, or perhaps an aerial shot of a sprawling suburb with endless rows of identical townhouses, perhaps this image would change.

But what would be the point of that narrow, unrepresentative focus? And yet, this is generally what happens whenever Hamilton is mentioned. A city that is no longer reliant on steel mills is rarely pictured without them, even though many Hamiltonians go weeks if not months without even seeing them.

The truth is that you only need to come here to put the lie to this distorted image of our city. When I stand on my front porch, admiring the profusion of blooms in the gardens of my well-kept neighbourhood, the characterization of my home as a "dump" could hardly be more absurd.

Speaking of gardens, as I was tending mine yesterday, a couple were touring my neighbour's house, which is on sale. They looked like they'd be good neighbours, so in the hopes of encouraging them to buy the place, I started chatting with them. It turned out they were from Toronto, like so many others from that city looking to purchase property here.

The woman complimented me on the garden I was busy weeding. "I think it's warmer here that in Toronto," she said. "Really?" I responded. "Sure," she said. "You don't see gardens like this in Toronto, except maybe downtown."

Of course, it has nothing to do with the temperature, which I don't suppose is any different. It's the people. We care about our neighbourhoods.

Torontonians do, too, of course. Which is a real shame, since they are soon going to look and smell a lot like, well, a dump, since Toronto's garbage collectors just went on strike.

Adrian Duyzer is an entrepreneur, business owner, and Associate Editor of Raise the Hammer. He lives in downtown Hamilton with his family. On Twitter: adriandz

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted June 22, 2009 at 10:46:21

As I wrote last Wednesday morning, "Rosie DiManno: epic troll who managed to land a newspaper column."

http://twitter.com/RyanMcGreal/status/22...

Yet DiManno's first column insulted Hamilton almost as an afterthought. It was her personal reply to a Hamilton writer, published in the Spectator, that generated the firestorm of outrage.

Her second column, on the other hand, was truly a masterwork of deliberate trolling. She clearly took time and care to cram as much offensiveness as possible into a fairly short piece so as to generate an even more impressive outpouring of the righteous fury on which she has based her writing career.

She has raised provocation to an art form.

Reading the newer column, you can almost see her wringing her hands with glee as she hones each turn of phrase - "Oh, baby, this is really gonna drive 'em apeshit! Hmm, I better throw in a slag about our sister paper so I can show off my editorial freedom. I wonder if I can convince my editor to give me a bonus for each halfway-serious death threat."

The thing is, she's just doing the job she's paid to do: provoke outrage and generate letters to the editor that feed into the news/readership/feedback cycle on which newspapers depend for their ongoing revenue. It's AM talk radio in print form.

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By jason (registered) | Posted June 22, 2009 at 10:47:17

haha. Maybe Rosie should step outside the Star's office and take a whiff. She can be forgiven for her overuse of the word 'dump' lately considering the building smell in Hogtown.

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By Capitalist (anonymous) | Posted June 22, 2009 at 10:58:42

If Rosie had been insulting gays she would have been fired. But it is always okay to dump on Hamilton I guess.

It is people like Rosie why I do not purchase any TorStar products.

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By ithinkitsthepate (anonymous) | Posted June 22, 2009 at 11:02:43

Why don't we ask any city in BC what they think of Toronto?

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By grassroots are the way forward (registered) | Posted June 22, 2009 at 12:57:10

After reading Hallmarks, I had to go into the star and see what all the kerfuffle was all about.

The majority of her articles are about attacking somebody or group of people, but one can see that certain people in our population, she has been told hands off, that was very clear during the bombing on Gaza.

I mean if one truly a journalist, then one would think they would reporting in an objective format but the word objective, is a foreign word in her vocabulary.

Did you notice that she wrote about the crackhouses and such, well it seems to me that Toronto has a far worse problem then Hamilton does, but then why cloud the issue, when one is in attack mode. Gee, she was even attacking her own heritage, what does that say about who she is and what she does.

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By DiWomano (anonymous) | Posted June 22, 2009 at 13:04:36

Don't take it personally Hamilton. Rosie DiManno hates everyone, everywhere and everything equally.

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By Really? (registered) | Posted June 22, 2009 at 13:52:24

Hamiltonians and Torontonians have their differences, but I've never seen/met a Torontonian with such a negative attitude (towards Hamilton or anything else for that matter).

She's a rarity, and I bet this article will receive more criticism in Toronto than praise.

She also hates the Pan Am Games. (b/c of Hamilton maybe?)

Deal with it, DiManno, Hamilton's as much a part of Toronto as Toronto is to Hamilton.

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By Meredith (registered) - website | Posted June 22, 2009 at 17:36:25

her comments are appalling.

incidentally: the weather does seem to be warmer here -- i lived in midtown Toronto for about five years

i also commuted for a bit - leaving Hamilton early in the morning it's usually warmer than when one gets to Toronto an hour later. That could be due to the lake effect down by Union, but either way it's still warmer here.

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By jason (registered) | Posted June 22, 2009 at 18:43:42

being an amateur weather nut, I can attest to your observations regarding the slight weather differences between here and TO.

A couple of factors: 1. yes, the lake breeze. During the warm, summer days when the wind is predominately from the South, Hamilton receives a sticky warm south wind, while TO receives a cool breeze off the lake. Incidentally, days like today (June 22) when Hamilton has the cool lake breeze from the east, so does Toronto.

  1. The climate below the Niagara Escarpment from Dundas to Niagara is a more temperate/moderate climate than the surrounding regions. I own my own backyard weather station and quite regularly it will be 4-6 degrees warmer than the reading at Hamilton Airport when I wake up in the morning. The temperate climate and great soil are why the fruit belt exists where it exists. It's been proven that the growing season is 6-8 weeks longer below the escarpment than above. If all of Niagara's tender fruit could grow anywhere, we'd see fruit regions over by TO or London etc..... we have a micro-climate here below the escarpment, and that would also explain why someone would find the gardens in the lower city more lush than the surrounding regions.

Enough of the boring weather stats. Back to regularly scheduled programming.

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By synxer (registered) | Posted June 23, 2009 at 10:08:21

Honestly, I want to hate her. But I think I am secretly jealous of her job. Troll all day and get paid for it? Come on.

I don't think she has even the slightest care about Hamilton or any other city. I bet if you go back a few months you'll see her apply the same BS to other cities in Canada (or even people, for that matter).

She's just a forum/IRC troll with a column.

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By Frank (registered) | Posted June 23, 2009 at 10:24:46

Adrian, great piece! It's easy to throw back some of the crap that gets piled on but sometimes there's far more dignity in brushing it off and continuing on...

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted June 23, 2009 at 11:08:17

Rosie who?

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By sowhat (anonymous) | Posted June 23, 2009 at 13:26:00

Weather inversion, anyone?

Too bad we don't learn from this little geographical anomaly and take a different approach to the outside world. Instead of attacking Rosie Tomata, or whomever, write something good about the city (as some have done above.) We'll never convince those who have made an investment, economic or emotional, in disliking our town. Let them go. And the immediate defensive posture has too often left us blind to some of our own faults.

Hamilton needs a "secret" PR campaign. Maybe call it Hamilton Secrets, or Secrets of the Hammer. We don't want anybody outside this town to know why we live here, and how we'll only share these secrets with our best out-of-town friends. Such a response would detail the little things that make life worthwhile around here. Evening walks on the Bruce Trail. Waterfall seclusion. Waterfowl in the backyard. An art gallery discovery. Finding the perfect fabric for the home decore. And more. Point is, nobody wants to know how Hamilton is hard done by. But everyone wants to know a secret.

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By jason (registered) | Posted June 23, 2009 at 18:33:26

Hey, who cares what some desperate for ratings, old media 'columnist' thinks of us. Wayne Gretzky thinks we're great.

http://www.thespec.com/News/BreakingNews...

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted June 24, 2009 at 07:09:42

Well, yeah, but he's from Brantford, and you know what they say about Brantford.... ;)

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By JonC (registered) | Posted June 25, 2009 at 20:39:39

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By markus (anonymous) | Posted September 05, 2009 at 13:22:55

screw rosie dimanno or o'donnell whatever her name is. case closed. youclash.com

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By KArthur (anonymous) | Posted October 05, 2009 at 08:40:04

So...compared to Vancouver, Toronto is a total cess pool. Garbage everywhere outside the front of shops in the evening, flat, brown, boring, cold...I could go on.

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