Prime Minister Stephen Harper's description of Calgary as the "greatest city in the greatest country in the world" certainly set off a tidal wave of comments from the CBC Community.
The glowing remark, which Harper made as he kicked off the 100th anniversary of the Calgary Stampede, inspired hundreds of readers to commend and challenge his pick.
When we asked readers to weigh in on the matter, more than 22,000 people responded to our poll - but most wouldn't single out a favourite.
As of Friday at noon ET, most people declared, "It's impossible to say." That most polite of answers captured 15.7 per cent of the vote.
The majority of voters did, however, settle on a city. Most people polled agreed with Harper, and crowned Calgary Canada's greatest with 15.08 per cent of the vote.
Vancouver took second place with 11.64 per cent, and Toronto rounded third with 9.53 per cent.
Montreal also deserves a honourable mention, as it was the only other city that came close to the 10 per cent mark with 9.07 per cent of the vote.
Those who voted "other" neatly hit five per cent, and Ottawa fell just shy of that mark with 4.95 per cent of the vote.
Two beautiful coastal cities nearly tied, as Halifax (4.68 per cent) won out over Victoria (4.61 per cent) by a sliver.
Whitehorse was the last in the race, but still managed to earn 168 votes and 0.75 per cent of the vote.
Far more telling was the robust comment thread, which included more than 900 submissions.
Although Canadians from all corners of the country jousted, the highest rated comment had kind words for many cities.
- "Impossible to say. Vancouver is the most beautiful, closely followed by Quebec City. Montreal has the best nightlife; Toronto has lots of green space and much more life than a generation or two ago. I really like London, but it's a bit insular. Kitchener/Waterloo has its charms. I liked Calgary... not so much Edmonton, but that was 30 years ago. Almost any city in Canada can offer a great life . . . depends on what you are looking for." - MelMartin
One person responded with gentle teasing, followed by a wink emoticon: "You are far too reasonable and fair for the internet. Look around: we don't serve your kind here." - MfromNS
Others weren't quite so diplomatic, preferring to make an unapologetic case for or against a particular city.
- "Toronto is Canada's foremost international and recognizable city, like it or not it is what identifies Canada to the rest of the world not Calgary." - arthur durbin
- · "I would have to think that most Canadians deep down think Vancouver is and has been the #1 city in Canada for many decades. Vancouver every year gets accolades internationally from all parts of the world, for its beauty, multiculturalism, climate, the awesome people, the #1 sports fans etc. etc. Vancouver isn't perfect but it's as close to perfection as any city could be and it's not surprising why most Canadians think of Vancouver as the utopia of Canada. The jewel of the Pacific." - SUNLOVER
- "I thought Calgary was gorgeous; in my rear view mirror." - ibmetom2
- "I live in Courtenay B.C. Small city by most standards. I think it is the greatest city in Canada. Guess what, just about everyone reading this will disagree. Who cares? What is great is entirely relative to the individual and what is important to them in their lives." - ibmetom2
- "Personally I've never been anywhere in this land that I didn't like but to me the centre of the universe is a small town and the surrounding area in south-eastern Saskatchewan. Love where you're from and don't be afraid to say so." - 67' Leafs
A few made a strong case with softer words.
- "No disrespect to Calgary, but I'd have to go with Montreal. Along with cities like New Orleans, San Francisco and Boston, Montreal does have some flair, some life, and isn't the bland corporate-only, suit-and-tie type city that so many become." - Husky Lover
- "I've lived in several Canadian cities in my life and have family in several others. They are all wonderful cities overall and have both good and not so good aspects to them, including Calgary. I don't have a problem with Harper saying his city is the greatest, that is just a little pride and playing to the home crowd. What I do have a problem with are people who are not willing to look at a successful city to pick up on some effective modern municipal management. Check out Calgary some time, take the C-train, don't worry, it's free downtown. Wouldn't that be a concept to investigate for Toronto?" - 05voter
Another contingent said the most Canadian thing is to be polite and celebrate every city.
- "Lighten up. Every place deserves to shine sometime." - Open-Eyes
- "I am from Quebec City and I visited many beautiful cities around Canada. St-John, Terre Neuve touched my heart...plusieurs autres (many others). Bon Stampede à tous les gens de Calgary (Happy Stampede to everyone in Calgary.)" - simonesignor
- "This is a great country, made so by the diversity of our cities, rural areas and people - to say one is greater than the other only insults the very thinking that makes us a great country to begin with and I live in Calgary and would never call it the greatest city, or any other for that matter." - mousetrap
- "Who would have thought that a simple faux pas remark by the PM would make us look at our neighbourhoods and expound on the virtues of all our homes and cities in all of our beautiful Canada!" - Darntootin
- "Have to say I'm impressed with most of the posts here. They seem to understand that everyone has their own opinions as to which Canadian city they like most. Some tout their home city, some favour other cities they visited or lived in. Not to mention thousands of great towns dotting the map from coast to coast to coast. Well done, posters. Cheers." - Trajan
Thank you, as always, for offering your insights. Feel free to continue the conversation below!
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