New York Times calls Canada suddenly 'hip,' prompting online mockery

A gushing New York Times article that touts Canada as suddenly becoming "hip" is prompting a whole lot of emotion from Canucks online, ranging from gleeful boasts to downright embarrassment.

Article credits Canucks like Trudeau, Rachel McAdams with thawing our 'frozen cultural wasteland'

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Rachel McAdams are among the Canucks the New York Times lists in an article declaring that Canada is suddenly hip. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press/Evan Agostini/Canadian Press via Associated Press/Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

A gushing New York Times article that touts Canada as suddenly becoming "hip" is prompting a whole lot of emotion from Canucks online, ranging from gleeful boasts to feelings of downright embarrassment.

The article, titled "With the Rise of Justin Trudeau, Canada Is Suddenly ... Hip?", was published online Saturday, in the paper's Style section on Sunday, and widely shared on social media.

Its author, Peter Stevenson, suggests Canada has shed its modesty and politeness with the election of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and through the popularity and influence of artists like Drake, The Weeknd and Justin Bieber.

It profiles 17 Canadians who are "making the nation cool", including Quebec director Xavier Dolan, singer Grimes and comedian Samantha Bee, while name dropping long-time cultural heavyweights like Joni Mitchell, Mike Myers and Leonard Cohen — for whom it coins the praise "coolest cat in a hat."

The article graced the front page of the New York Times' Style section in Sunday's paper, along with a picture of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. (Haydn Watters/CBC)

"The notion that our neighbour to the north is a frozen cultural wasteland populated with hopelessly unstylish citizens is quickly becoming so outdated as to be almost offensive," it reads.

"An expanse once stereotyped as the home to square-jawed Mounties and beer-swilling 'hosers' has quietly morphed into a multicultural breeding ground."

While a few online users believed the accolade and its appearance in the Times legitimizes Canada's cool cachet, many argued that we've been hip all along.

Others quibbled over a few notable Canucks who were left off the Times list, providing their own suggestions ...

The paper also profiled Vice Media co-founder Shane Smith, director Sarah Polley and fashion designers Erdem Moralioglu and Tanya Taylor — who has designed clothing that has been worn by U.S. first lady Michelle Obama.

One Twitter user even argued that Canada is home to more hip politicians than just Trudeau.

Jesse Hawken, a Toronto-based writer and filmmaker, referenced NDP Leader Tom Mulcair's dance to Drake's Hotline Bling, which was featured on CBC's This Hour Has 22 Minutes.

Some opted to employ some signature Canadian snark, playing up our stereotypes ...

... while others were just ardent defenders of Montreal and its trendiness.

A few Twitter users found all the outsider attention to be a little much.

And of course, there were more than a few obligatory Tragically Hip references.

The iconic Canadian band, formed in the '80s by five friends in Kingston, Ont., didn't get a mention in the article, much to the internet's umbrage.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?