A Disputed Question

May 27, 2008

Whether I am rightly called a resident of Toronto?

It would seem that I am not rightly called a resident of Toronto, for:

Objection 1: Place of residence can be inferred from various factors, such as where one receives mail, where one rents property, and where one spends most of one’s time. In my case, for several years all these factors have been true of Ottawa, but not of Toronto. Therefore I am not rightly called a resident of Toronto.
Objection 2: Residency can be predicated of only one locale at any one time. Yet the Government of Canada affirmed in their recent tax package that I am a resident of Ottawa. It follows that I am not rightly called a resident of Toronto.
Objection 3: I am employed in the Ottawa area, yet the distance between Ottawa and Toronto is over 400 km, which is much too far to commute. Therefore I am not rightly called a resident of Toronto.
Objection 4: I have frequently made derisive and insulting comments about Toronto, calling it “Big Smog”, “Slough of Despond”, “Den of Iniquity”, “Great Beast”, “The Seventh Circle”, “Corrupter of Youth”, “Solipsist City”, “Toronto the Bad”, and “Filthy Hog-town”. But “A man’s home is his castle”, and to make such comments about one’s home is thus a kind of treachery and impiety. Yet I am generally considered both loyal and pious. Therefore I am not rightly called a resident of Toronto.
Objection 5: It is well known that I am a “country boy”, and I enjoy country music. Yet Toronto is a seething urban cesspool devoid of rural virtue, where country music is mostly unknown, and, where known, anathema. Therefore I am not rightly called a resident of Toronto.

On The Contrary, my employer has declared to me: “We authorize your relocation from Ottawa to Toronto, effective 31 May 2008.”

I Answer That, place of residence is a mutable property which can be altered by the individual will or by legitimate authority. Furthermore, my beautiful betrothed resides in Toronto, and recalling the truth that “Love is stronger than Death” we understand that my love for her overcomes the many deadly evils which would otherwise prevent my taking up residence in that city. As such, my residency in Ottawa will be terminated on 31 May 2008 and transferred to Toronto.

Therefore I am rightly called a resident of Toronto.

Reply to Objection 1: Historical data can indicate place of past residency, but cannot reliably determine place of future residency.
Reply to Objection 2: Though the Government of Canada is a formidable authority on such matters, the sed contra above indicates that another authority has overridden the previous declaration, authorizing the transfer of residency from Ottawa to Toronto.
Reply to Objection 3: I have been hired by an employer in Toronto, and can therefore reside there without needing to commute to Ottawa.
Reply to Objection 4: When we ascribe a property to a group, we sometimes ascribe the property to every member of the group individually, and sometimes to the group collectively but admit certain exceptions. My disparaging remarks about Toronto were of the second type, and contained an implicit exemption for my home, my fiancée, and my friends. Therefore my remarks indicate neither treachery nor impiety, and the objection is answered.
Reply to Objection 5: It is widely acknowledged that Toronto is a stinking metropolis where one can neither smell the earth nor see the sky. Yet it does not follow that no “country boys” can be found there. Was not Lot saved from Sodom? Nor is it impossible that country music be played within the city, if done in secret.


The movers descend on me in the wee hours tomorrow morning, to tear down my life and stuff it into boxes. It will be some time before it is reconstituted elsewhere. Things will be quiet around here in the meantime.

6 Responses to “A Disputed Question”

  1. Adam Hincks Says:

    Futhermore, Plato justly says, “When we have anointed him with myrrh, and set a garland of wool upon his head, we shall send him away to another city,” by which he indicates the city of Toronto. Wherefore the apostle instructs us: “Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.”

  2. KathyB Says:

    Here is a possible solution: When one is part of a small group that he enjoys (ie. your friends, your family, your neighbourhood), which is unfortunately situated within a larger area with few desirable qualities (ie. Toronto), he could always attempt to start a separatist movement (the Annex Liberation Front, perhaps?). Terrorist activities are not required, but may lend a sense of legitimacy to the endeavor 😉

  3. marialectrix Says:

    Experientia says that Toronto actually has a lot of visible earth and sky. Visible lake, too. Much less built up than you’d think.

    It pretty much seems like a suburb with some skyscrapers in, to me. And I come from a fairly small metropolitan area.

  4. Christina A. Says:

    In your honour, I read your post aloud to two friends from Airdrie who both have M.Div. degrees and so are familiar with the scholastic references you make, while driving from Calgary to High Prairie, Alberta and listening to country music. They were much amused. The cows also send their loving greetings.

  5. cburrell Says:

    Thanks, all. Christina, I didn’t know you were visiting the land of milk and honey, and I’m rather jealous. Enjoy it.

    Maria, I may exaggerate somewhat in my denunciations of the city; I am sure there are worse places. Still, by Canadian standards Toronto is The Big City, and the fact that there are Bigger Cities elsewhere is cold comfort when you’re grid-locked.

    Kathy, your proposal is tempting. Are you willing to join the movement yourself?

    As for you, Adam, I’m afraid your exegesis is sadly deficient. Our Lord states that “a city set on a hill cannot be hid”, by which he implies that a city at sea-level should be hid in an abyss of perdition. For your penance, I prescribe several weeks on a remote mountaintop. That’ll do.

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