American tourists should continue visiting Toronto despite a strike by city workers that has left mounds of rotting garbage throughout the city, Mayor David Miller said in an interview with CNN Thursday.

CNN host Ali Velshi, whose parents live in Toronto, introduced the segment with a video clip from a reporter entitled “Toronto Stinks” that featured overflowing trash bins and fenced-off temporary dump sites populated by thousands of garbage bags.

“It’s actually much better than people would think from that clip,” Miller said. “Torontonians have responded tremendously.”

Miller said the strike doesn’t seem to have affected Toronto’s tourism industry.

“In terms of tourism, the city’s buzzing,” he said. “We’ve got the Dead Sea Scrolls ... the Art Gallery of Ontario has had a wonderful renovation ... and we have an opera house that has the best sound in the world. So despite all these challenges, it’s actually a great time to visit Toronto.”

The strike by about 24,000 inside and outside workers, now in its third week, began June 22 and has halted garbage pickup and a host of other city services. Negotiations between the city and union have proceeded slowly, but Miller said he believes a deal will eventually be reached.

“We want to be fair to the workers — these people deliver terrific services — but it has to be affordable to the city.”

Miller’s chat with CNN follows a San Francisco Chronicle blurb Sunday that made Toronto seem like a hazardous vacation destination. In the newspaper’s World Travel Watch section, Canada heads a list of notable countries, ahead of troubled regions like Honduras, Mexico and Africa.

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