Jay Baruchel: From Montreal to Toronto

In most places, there is always that ONE public figure that represents their hometown and never forgets where they came from. In Toronto, for instance, it is obvious that rapper Drake has put the city on the map. From rapping about his days growing up in the 416, to becoming the Global Ambassador for the Toronto Raptors (for crying out loud, give the man the key to the city already!).

For us Montrealers, a few names come to mind (Georges St-Pierre, the band Simple Plan), but if there is one person who has experienced stardom by working alongside Hollywood A-listers and is still able to stay grounded, it’s gotta be actor Jay Baruchel.

Although Jay was born in Ottawa, he grew up right here in Montreal, in the NDG area. Baruchel has worked with the likes of Clint Eastwood and Nicolas Cage, and has appeared in several films such as Million Dollar Baby, Knocked Up and This is the End. He currently stars in the sitcom Man Seeking Woman, a romantic comedy about a soft-spoken man who finds himself in awkward situations while looking for love.

The show is filmed in the city of Toronto, which is where Baruchel lives now. In a recent interview with the National Post, Jay explains why he moved to Toronto and how Quebec politics affected his decision.

In previous interviews, the actor has always said that he would never move to LA and live that ‘Hollywood’ lifestyle; it’s just not him. When asked why he had chosen Toronto over Montreal, the reason wasn’t only because of the filming of the show, but also because of Quebec’s political climate.

The last election was kind of like a wake up call for him. The separation of this province from the rest of the country is what he couldn’t deal with anymore.

As an Anglo-Montrealer myself, I can understand his point of view. Montreal is a great city; it’s very diverse and multicultural, especially since it is a city with a large population. But some of the issues can be really frustrating sometimes.

For instance, the language barrier in Montreal can be somewhat of a problem. Luckily I’m bilingual and speak both English and French, but when it comes down to my career path and my lifestyle, it’s all in English for me, just like it is for Baruchel.

He ends the interview by saying that, since he wants to be a filmmaker in Canada and most of his ideas are in English, it would make sense for him to be in Toronto; and it would be the same for me. After reading this interview, I realized I wasn’t the only person who thought that way.

Don’t get me wrong; I love this city and what it has to offer, but I feel like us Anglophones are excluded because of the fact that we speak English. Does anyone else feel the same way? Why can’t we just meet halfway instead of having to deal with this whole ‘Quebec becoming its own country’?

A lot has happened in the past twenty years and it seems as though Quebec’s separation is still a priority.

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