‘Canadian Tire Guy has been haunting hockey commercial breaks for too long. Is there a tool to make him stop?’

Scott Moore November 14 2005


‘Canadian Tire Guy has been haunting hockey commercial breaks for too long. Is there a tool to make him stop?’

Scott Moore November 14 2005


‘Canadian Tire Guy has been haunting hockey commercial breaks for too long. Is there a tool to make him stop?’

Scott Moore

Girly men and tool-timers

When I saw my latest Maclean’s on the kitchen table (“The age of the wuss,” Cover, Oct. 31), I burst out laughing. Thanks for making my day.

Mike Walton, North Vancouver

Being an employee of Canadian Tire, I found John Intini’s article on Canadian Tire Guy hilarious (“What a tool,” Cover). I would imagine that CTG’s fictional son, Bobby, will soon have the perfect wife and move in next door to look after his aging parents and take care of all their maintenance needs with more products from Canadian Tire. Furthermore, if Canadian Tire Guy is emulating Everyman, God help us. I’m relieved to say I don’t know any men like that. Who would want to?

Heather Cole, Grove Hill, N.B.

It’s a rainy Tuesday, and my husband and I are warming our toes by the glow of our Noma Electric Fireplace, laughing out loud as we read John Intini’s article. One can only hope that the corniness of Canadian Tire’s ad campaign is intentional—creating a buzz that is much talked about around the water cooler (or rather the Greenway Hot/Cold Water Dispenser, now on sale for $179.99). Intentional or not, there is brilliance to the campaign. When was the last time Canadian Tire advertising was featured on the cover of Maclean’s? As the holiday season approaches, I’m sure we’re all looking forward to watching Canadian Tire Guy hang the perfect set of Christmas lights, preferring his antics to that other classically annoying Canadian Tire character Scrooge.

Jennifer Kinneman, Brantford, Ont.

It’s too big a stretch for us to identify with Canadian Tire Guy. In fact, sometimes in our house, it’s difficult for us to locate even a Phillips screwdriver.

Debra Shewchuk, Sudbury, Ont.

Give me a break. Who is the insecure one here? We are all becoming specialists in this world, but hats off to the guy who is a generalist and

can do all kind of things. Don’t put him down because you don’t keep your lawn perfect, change your own brake pads or paint your cottage. Anyone who can do that has a talent and enjoys it.

Steven Toenjes, Fort Erie, Ont.

In spite of the aging premise of the ads, I’m proud to see that a truly Canadian company is taking on the likes of Home Depot. Speaking of Canadian Tire, I can’t find my old ice scraper; I’ll have to stop on the way home for an Oskar 3-in-l snow brush.

Mike Gerrits, Chance Harbour, N.B.

I have hated this cheesy campaign for years. Every time Canadian Tire Guy hits the airways, I reach for the remote. No pain. No gain. No purchase. End of cheesy story. Stephen McIntosh, Barrie, Ont.

Thank you for writing about the dork from Canadian Tire. Now, what about that TV ad where the guy calls his wife while she is in the boardroom and quacks on furiously about the merits of the duster he is using? Gordon Blondahl, Surrey, B.C.

When I first saw Canadian Tire Guy, I got uneasy. He comes across as a man with a violent temper. I can almost hear him ticking. I thought ofjohn Candy on SCTV playing the


role of Paul Fist in Your Face. Candy was building a table for the TV audience. His teeth were clenched and he was actually spitting when he was talking. He punched holes in the wood when his drill wouldn’t work properly. I’m dying laughing while I’m typing this to you. Anyway, this is what I think of every time I see Canadian Tire Guy. Virginia A. Wojcik, Toronto

Maybe my mind doesn’t serve me correctly, but wasn’t there also a daughter in Canadian Tire Guy’s family? What happened to her? Did CTG and his wife send her off to boarding school? Or did she perish in a tragic accident with a Mastercraft power tool? Maybe musing about continuity problems on a series of frickin’ Canadian Tire commercials is a sign that I am watching too much TV.

Graeme Haynes, London, Ont.

A little overkill on the Canadian Tire Guy. Maybe John Intini is watching just a little too much television.

Eric Monette, Ottawa

My husband, my dad, my neighbours, my friends and my male employees are like Canadian Tire Guy. Guys like that fought in

wars and gave their lives for us lucky Canadians. They are everyday heroes to their partners, kids, friends and people in need. They are the backbone of the country. Most 25-plus women I know are looking for a real guy just like Canadian Tire Guy with whom they can build a life.

Sue Chappel, Vancouver

The Canadian Tire ads are made even more annoying by a choir repetitively shrieking “I’ll start with you” in the background. Start what?

Andrew E. Lewington, Woodstock, Ont.

Ted Simonett is an actor, I remind you, and he is employed to fulfill Canadian Tire’s needs, nothing more. At the end of the day, the guy gets his pay and goes home, just like the rest of us. Maybe the author of this piece should consider taking a few classes in manners. Some things are better left unsaid.

Patrie Allard, Bourget, Ont.

I consider myself an icon of machismo in this age of the sensitive metrosexual and, damn it, I like the Canadian Tire Guy. And I like the commercials, too. As soon as I finish this letter, I am going to search the

Web for all the pro-Canadian Tire blogs I can find. If we feel the need to hate everybody associated with TV commercials, then I say, rise up and apply a super-wedgie to the clown who came up with those Mr. Sub ads. James Rae, Toronto

I recently met Ted Simonett, the actor who portrays CTG, at a play in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., and I complimented him on his work. I usually refer to him as a ferret-faced f—, to the amusement of my children, but this meeting allowed me to let go of my loathing. Bill Johnston, Thornhill, Ont.

There is only one person more irritating than Canadian Tire Guy: Canadian Tire Wife. Remember the time she left CTG a 10page list of Honey, Dos, which thankfully he accomplished in about 30 seconds just with a hand-held steamer?

John M. Wootton, Pickering, Ont.

In response to Charlie Gillis’s story (“He’s come undone,” Cover) about the sad loss of real men, I would like to say, not to worry, there are still some of us left. For example, I routinely ignore my wife’s fashion advice. I steal her beer after mine is gone. I know how to use all my tools. I am loyal. I don’t run from


the tough stuff. I very rarely apologize. And I spend more than enough time with my kids. I know this because the few times they swear, they at least use my words correctly. Mark Whiffen, Ottawa

Manhood is an adolescent concern. Worries about it occur before people realize what is important in life. It is important to be a good friend. It is important to know when personal sacrifice is necessary, especially with our children. It is important to protect a loved one or even a stranger. What you talk about is unimportant.

Ronald D. Cowen, Toronto

I couldn’t agree more with your story: men have become an easy target because we are a pathetic version of what we once were. We have become more sensitive, more cosmetically appealing, and have tried to impress women with our money and fine taste. Well, many women are tired of the wimpy pretty boy who wears designer clothes and pretends to know the difference between an $11 bottle of wine and a fine Bordeaux. We’re lost in what we think women want and have forgotten what we want. I know what I want. And I think women like to see strength and confidence in a man. Of course, I’m still single. Maybe I need a body wax.

Bruno Sodaro, Toronto

Where on earth did Lianne George find the men who said that funny women can be a turnoff (“Fears of a clown,” Cover)? If we don’t laugh at a woman’s joke, do we have bad genes? Is it possible that the joke just wasn’t funny? I don’t think I know any men who are afraid of funny women, but I do know men who don’t enjoy a woman trying to be funny and failing.

Dick Meyer,


Yes, initiation by ordeal—hazing—is a popular, ancient and primitive practice (“No greater love,” Cover).

So is wife-beating, torture and mass murder. But the current equation of the lascivious brute as the

Stay in Toronto and duck the gunfire.

In Hanna,

I’ll breathe deeply and walk safely at night.

ultimate in masculinity is a dangerous fallacy. Let’s choose nobility as our model, which is inherent in the word virtue, from the Latin vir, meaning man. All Canadians should read Maclean’s.

Clair L. Hobbs, Brampton, Ont.


Regarding your coverline, “Showing some leg in Winnipeg” (Oct. 31), I don’t understand how you could write such a thing in relation to Gov. Gen. Michaëlle Jean. She has an important job that should command the respect of all Canadians, including those at Maclean’s. She represents Canada on the world stage and I have every reason to believe she will represent us in a way that will make us feel good about our place on that stage.

Harold Atkinson, Guelph, Ont.

Referendum fallout

In his insightful article on the 1995 referendum (“What not to do next time,” Quebec, Oct. 31), Paul Wells claims that I believe Canada to be contemptible. Not true! Had he written that I believe Canada’s policies regarding Quebec are contemptible, however, he would have been close to the truth. And these contemptible politics hurt both Quebec and Canada. In my book on the 1995 referendum, I took great pains to show that there are other ways of dealing with “The Great Canadian political question,” as the Economist put it. An entire chapter is devoted to a 2005 interview with Jane Jacobs,

who has insisted since 1979 that Canada and Quebec should work out a new win-win arrangement that would allow both to prosper and that could be inspired by the NorwaySweden separation of 1905. But does anybody want to hear that—even when it comes from a renowned thinker like Jane Jacobs? Robin Philpot, Montreal

To Hanna and back

I was appalled at Brian D. Johnson’s portrayal of Hanna, Alta., in the story about the town and the band Nickelback (“Hell-bent for home,” Music, Oct. 31). The line “Bored teenagers get stoned and drunk and dream of being rock stars, like their hometown heroes,” paints a distorted picture. There are many children, teenagers and adults here who excel in academics, athletics, music and arts. Many teenagers have purposeful and productive lives and do not turn to drugs and alcohol as a form of entertainment. Leona Hanlon, Hanna, Alta.

Your writer was so hell-bent to get back to Toronto that he did a grave disservice to Hanna. The three members of Nickelback who grew up here speak fondly of their hometown. Johnson, who visited for an afternoon, only saw what he wanted to see. Stay in Toronto, Brian. Step over your homeless, breathe your smog and duck the gunfire. Out here I’ll walk the streets safely at night, breathe the air deeply and continue to teach and support the kids “in the middle of nowhere.” Kevin Byrne, J.C. Charyk School, Hanna, Alta.