Life Imitates The Simpsons at Toronto City Hall

rob fordOur classless, short-sighted, pathetic excuse for a mayor Rob Ford has my blood boiling and gut busting again. Actually, it's not Rob Ford this time, it's his big brother Councillor Doug Ford, although I half suspect they're the same person.

Dougie has a vision for our eastern waterfront, and he shared it this morning. It includes a monorail, a big ferris wheel and a megamall, whatever that is. It sounds disastrous. It sounds like an episode of The Simpsons.

Every time I point out how ridiculous Rob Ford and his brother are, I'm hit with the Ford defenders telling me I hate Rob Ford for being fat. I don't hate Rob Ford for being fat, I hate Rob Ford for being ignorant, short-sighted, classless and embarrassing. He tricked a great deal of Torontonians into voting for him so he could find gravy, and now that there's no gravy, he seems hell bent on ruining everything great about this city, including our eastern waterfront.

mayor-quimby

I'd like to hear from one person who thinks Doug Ford's vision for this city's waterfront is a good idea. Go ahead.... I'm waiting.


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Homer

Donuts - is there anything they can't do?

August 30, 2011 @ 10:12 PM

elvis

I like it. It gives hope to bringing back the Toronto Zoo monorail. Plus, it seems ridiculous that the existing plan is going to take 25 years to implement yet they've already spent pretty much all of their federal funding.

August 30, 2011 @ 10:12 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

1. Elvis argues against me for sport
2. Elvis lives in Oshawa
3. The Toronto Zoo monorail kept crashing and that's why it's gone

August 30, 2011 @ 10:20 PM

CQ

I hope that Doug is just making these ongoing empty statements as a means of diverting the expected media criticism. The gravy is in the salaries and pension structures across the board, worker and management.
Do you earn as much as a TTC ticket seller or average city cop either on a daytime bicycle, sitting at a courthouse all day, or milling around a road construction site or a traditional toboggan run? How about a jobs for life guaranteed garbage collector? Or a nurse or librarian assistant? What about a person selecting artwork for the yet to be built Eglinton line?
Are you deserving of as much? THEY are our front line public defenders! And they always deserve MORE than you.

August 30, 2011 @ 10:21 PM

elvis

Isn't that ammunition for you to bring back the monorail in the hopes that Ford, Ford, Hudak and Harper die in a fiery crash?

August 30, 2011 @ 10:22 PM

Lyle Lanley

I've sold monorails to Brockway, Ogdenville, and North Haverbrook, and by gum it put them on the map!

August 30, 2011 @ 10:22 PM

Chris

But Main Street's all cracked and broken...Sorry Mike, the mob has spoken.

August 30, 2011 @ 10:23 PM

Miss Hoover

I hear those things are awfully loud...

August 30, 2011 @ 10:28 PM

Lyle Lanley

It glides as softly as a cloud.

August 30, 2011 @ 10:29 PM

Apu Nahasapeemapetilon

Is there a chance the track could bend?

August 30, 2011 @ 10:30 PM

Lyle Lanley

Not on your life, my Hindu friend.

August 30, 2011 @ 10:30 PM

Barney Gumble

What about us brain-dead slobs?

August 30, 2011 @ 10:31 PM

Lyle Lanley

You'll all be given cushy jobs.

August 30, 2011 @ 10:32 PM

Abe Simpson

Were you sent here by the devil?

August 30, 2011 @ 10:32 PM

Lyle Lanley

No, good sir, I'm on the level.

August 30, 2011 @ 10:33 PM

Clancy Wiggum

The ring came off my pudding can.

August 30, 2011 @ 10:33 PM

Lyle Lanley

Take my pen knife, my good man.

August 30, 2011 @ 10:34 PM

Anon&on

Forget the monorail- go The Alpine Way! All the way across the waterfront, east to west.

August 30, 2011 @ 10:36 PM


Sammy

Toronto is run by idiots. So sad...

August 30, 2011 @ 11:01 PM

Betty

We have an embarrasing waterfront as is. Appears Ford just wants to make it uglier. Such a shame.

August 30, 2011 @ 11:03 PM

McNulty

I thought Ford was joking.

It's a good joke though.

Monorails and Ferris Wheels....together they'll find the gravy.

August 31, 2011 @ 7:30 AM

Megan

I thought that was weird when I heard it. I think some attraction should be there. Something like the new aquarium. That would bring in money. I don't think another mall is needed!

August 31, 2011 @ 10:02 AM

Mississauga Phil

Again I say..thank God for Hurricane Hazel...she kept us out of the MegaCity...comparing Rob Ford to Diamond Joe Quimby is an insult to Quimby...I'd say another mall is the LAST thing Toronto needs.

August 31, 2011 @ 11:07 AM

4x4 Time

A mega mall with Macy's Bloomgdales and Nordstrom...To go with our NFL team that is going to re-locate here. Wow, these goofy brothers are out of control.

August 31, 2011 @ 1:07 PM

Jaki

hmmmm?... " the city" can afford this..????
when the POLICE FORCE is FORCED TO LAYOFF POLICEMAN & POLICEWOMEN.. this is such a joke -- a complete slap in the face --- it is completely unnecessary - our Policeforce and our pubic safety are the ones suffering..
this is sooo sad! :)

August 31, 2011 @ 1:44 PM

freddie p.

I was in Chicago last week, a city that has surpassed Toronto because of vision and lack of involvement by a left leaning council.
One of the focal points in Chicago is.. you guessed it.. a ferris wheel at the Navy Pier.. and their elevated transit system works pretty well too.
Hey Mike, this isn't a case of you hating anything that comes from a particular mouth, is it?

August 31, 2011 @ 1:48 PM

Il Duce

The only difference I notice is that while Ho Chi Miller bitched and complained that the Federal Government(Conservatives) were not giving enough money, the Fords don't. Shame on the Fords for actually trying to make things work without hat in hand.

August 31, 2011 @ 1:54 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

I assure you, Frederick, if Miller had pitched this idea on CBC Radio One, I'd have felt the same way. Monorail? Ferris Wheel? Megamall?

To borrow another Simpsons reference, this reminds me of when Homer's brother let him design a car...

August 31, 2011 @ 1:58 PM

Teena

They are both clowns :(

August 31, 2011 @ 2:42 PM

Doug

Our new waterfront!

August 31, 2011 @ 3:05 PM

freddie p.

@Mike
Yea, but you didn't address this stuff working in Chicago.
Have you got any better ideas rather than public housing or tent cities for the poor and unfortunate.
Do you not think a megamall is better than nothing - non action - feet dragging - bleeding heart roadblocks?

August 31, 2011 @ 3:41 PM

elvis

I pretty sure Argie is Flanders. Is there a cranky, cynical, old radio host Simpsons character we can attach to Freddie P?

August 31, 2011 @ 4:02 PM

Jason Paris

Oh gee, FreddyP, where to start...

Chicago's downtown is undoubtedly more impressive than Toronto's, but the major reason for that is simply that it was the far bigger and far more important city for hundreds of years. Chicago is also ground-zero for the modernist architecture movement and tends to spend more of its money in the core, while Toronto tends to spread-it-out more across the city. To suggest that Toronto has a "lack of vision," because we sometimes have a left-leaning council is ridiculous. Most urban planners will actually tell you that Toronto is the better planned and the more viable city, especially when one leaves the corresponding downtowns. Chicago has little density outside the core and is extremely expensive to service which has led to huge swaths of the city having crime and poverty that we can't imagine in T.O.

You also seem to be suggesting that the Chicago "El" has something to do with monorails. You do realize these forms of infrastructure having nothing in common, right? An elevated subway is not a monorail. In fact, monorails are pretty-much useless as far as urban transportation go and only tend to work well in airports and connecting hotels and casinos in tropical places like a Disney World or Las Vegas. If Ford was serious about bringing higher order transit to the waterfront, he'd immediately call for GO to build a Distillery Station on the Lakeshore East line, for the Downtown Relief Line to take precedence over Sheppard and for planned King and Harbroufront streetcars extensions down Cherry St. Instead, he's dreaming-up lines on a map using bad technology that have ridiculous alignments that run-by historic St. Lawrence Market and the Gooderham (Flatiron) Building.

While retailing should be part of the mix, a mega-mall is wrong and not in-keeping with what ANYONE has asked for on our waterfront. Yonge Street still hasn't fully recovered from the Eaton Centre and it's been open over 30 years! Retailing can be done correctly and smartly, but a mega-mall is not either and is actually biting the downtown hand that feeds. There are reasons, not always tangible, why urban destinations are popular places to live and visit and a mega-mall on some of the country's most valuable land is assinine.

This is not the case of Mike hating anything that comes out of Doug Ford's mouth, but the fact that Doug Ford's mouth seems to constantly produce stuff based on some form of brain diahrea with nothing to back-up his opinions. Developing the Portlands is incredibly difficult as it is both a flood plain for the Don River and because it sits on former marshland making building expensive. However, WaterfrontToronto has an award-winning long-term plan for the city to bulid what by all accounts is a pretty incredible mixed-use urban neighbourhood mixed with generous amounts of parkland. If you aren't sold on this agency, take a look at some of their recently released WaveDecks, Sherbourne Common, HTO Park, Sugar Beach, etc. Toronto's Portlands represent the last great parcel of land in the central city and need to be developed correctly, especially in an age of expensive to service spawl and loads of environmental reasons. The city will re-coup huge money if this is done right. There has been years of work put into this, money committted from three levels of government and throwing this all away is unacceptable. Doug Ford is simply looking at a quick spectacle that can have shovels in the ground within an election cycle and give city coffers a one-time infusion. These lands are far too valuable for such stupidity and hopefully Council and senior governments put a stop to such a folly.

The ferris wheel is irrelevent. Unless you want to make a metaphor out of it and admit that the Ford's are just having Toronto go in circles when it comes to serious waterfront development.

Jason Paris
jason.paris@me.com

twitter.com/JasonParis

August 31, 2011 @ 4:22 PM

Wandering Penguin

I think I'm in love with Jason Paris.

In a non-threatening, male-bonding, heterosexual kind of way, of course.

August 31, 2011 @ 4:49 PM

ChantelleintheCity

Kudos to the clever and funny person(s) who posted the Simpson's thread in the comments. Well done. You were the highlight of my lunch hour!

August 31, 2011 @ 4:50 PM

Freddie P.

@Jason Paris
You make good points city planner boy - but you've actually missed my point.
http://www.canadianthinker.com/2011/08/whats_wrong_with_a_ferris_wheel.html

August 31, 2011 @ 5:16 PM

Argie

I'm sure if the gay not-so-proud parade (wait,is it now a week or a month long?)can somehow incorporate the ferris wheel into their festival, many more will be on board - including our own McNulty.

August 31, 2011 @ 6:21 PM

Cheryl

Well, we don't need another mall. That's one of the last things we need. As for the monorail, we don't need that either. Anyway, who is going to pay for all this.

August 31, 2011 @ 8:33 PM

Romy

I think, actually Freddie, YOU missed HIS points.....

September 1, 2011 @ 3:08 AM

Mike from Lowville

Right on Jason! I think you insulted Freddie's intelligence!

Right on Romy! For being right on.

Who in the f*ch would want to fight traffic to go to a mall on the water front? I hate Ferris Wheels.

September 1, 2011 @ 7:25 AM

Jason Paris

Freddy P:

I addressed all the points you made on this board, but if you want me to rebut your blog post, here's a few thoughts...

*Chicago has not surpassed Toronto in the "great city catgory." In fact, Chicago's always been the greater city by far. However, that's changing quickly, especially if you look at Chicago's continual decline in population vis a vis T.O. I'm not talking about Toronto simply growing (which it is), but hundreds of thousands of people leaving Chicago with each census report. Having said that, my point stands that Chicago has always invested more heavily in its downtown compared to the rest of the city (somewhat different than the Toronto model).

*Toronto's waterfront is not "stuck in neutral." Of course it's not happening as fast as it should (or as fast as we'd like), but the impetus was always to fill-in the holes on the central waterfront (which are being done splendidly) before tackling the more much more difficult Portlands (which require litterally moving the earth the protect it from flooding and which is currently being done).

*"Foot dragging bleeding heart bullshit?" How is trying to ensure that Toronto gets the best bang for the long-term buck on some of the most valuable land in Canada bleeding heart bullshit? I think to assume that anyone against this "plan" of Doug's is some raging lefty is your first mistake. It's simply bad planning and bad return for the city.

*You seem to be a fan of Chicago's "strong mayor system." Would you be a fan of that in T.O. if David Miller were still Mayor? You do realize Chicago is now run by a Democrat and that the former Mayor did things withouth consulting his council, like bouldozing their city-centre airport overnight?

*Once again, the ferris wheel is irrelevent (although, perhaps tired in terms of attractions). Nothing in Waterfront Toronto's current plan would prevent a feris wheel for the record.

September 1, 2011 @ 9:58 AM

The_Voice

Been to Chicago many times:
-Love the architecture.
-Indifferent on the ferris wheel (least favourite part of the waterfront is that particular part of it).
-Love the parks and the aquarium.
-Terrified of South Chicago more than I am any part of Toronto.
-Once decided to walk through the underground roadway to avoid rain - had a most terrifying experience when I realized one shouldn't do that in Chicago (and that's part of the downtown core).
-Enjoyed the El.
-Enjoyed the canals.
-Loved visiting, but wouldn't want to live there.

September 1, 2011 @ 12:30 PM

Raven

@ Jason: Are you accepting marriage proposals? Just sayin'.

September 1, 2011 @ 12:52 PM

Freddie P.

@Romy
Not really Paul, I could care less what stripe an politician is if he gets things done. My point was the squashing of ideas before they're out of the gate.
If a Democrat created Chicago, super, if a socialist could do the same for Toronto, better still.
But to crush the guy for a proposal is just more of the same old same old.
As for Jason Paris, sounds cool, but how much validity is there in what he says?
Chicago is kickin' ass, Toronto doesn't have much to show for the last ten years of indecision and City Hall infighting. Except condos.
All his Toronto wonderful fluff is spec - which gets back to my original point - why squash ideas just because they come from the mouth of someone you don't like.

September 1, 2011 @ 1:14 PM

McNulty

Fred,

You spent a week there. How much do you really know?

Did you check the school system? The homeless? The crime?

All these things are far worse than Toronto.

I'm not even saying Toronto is some Utopia but Chicago has some serious issues.

September 1, 2011 @ 2:12 PM

Wandering Penguin

The problem I have always had in trying to have a meaningful conversation with far-right-wingers is this: no matter how lucid your points or how specific your rebuttals the other party in the conversation just repeats their mantra more and more shrilly until you just have to walk away.

Jason has made many points outlining exactly why Chicago is not "kickin' ass" but Freddie is just ignoring all of them and continuing to base all of his points around the assumption that it is kicking ass - and then saying that nobody is refuting his claims.

And that's all I have to say about that.

September 1, 2011 @ 4:26 PM

The_Voice

Saw this in an article from someone visiting Toronto:
"Toronto itself is an amazing city. It may stand in for New York in a lot of movies, but Toronto is very much its own city with it’s own unique personality. In 1939, Joe Schuster modeled the Metropolis skyline on that of Toronto, and the city feels very much like the City of Tomorrow. The downtown area is full of bright, shiny skyscrapers and spires built around the city’s more historical buildings. There’s an air of hope and progress to the city. And if you stuck a globe on top of the Canada Trust Tower, you’ve got yourself the Daily Planet building. I made sure to have Tim Horton’s for breakfast (which kicks Dunkin’ Donuts’ ass), poutine (which is pretty damn good), and a world-renowned hot dog (good, but sadly not as good as a Chicago hot dog). After only 72 hours, I was ready to pack up and move."
http://ifanboy.com/articles/fanexpo11-recap/

So the general opinion is that Chicago has better hotdogs.

September 1, 2011 @ 5:36 PM

El Torpedo

@ McNulty - care to explain what your post has to do with the topic at hand? Thought we were talking about successful waterfront development. Stay focussed champ.

September 1, 2011 @ 5:54 PM

CQ

Well, er, "Lunch Lady Doris" is on strike today for her $59,000 job AND better career security.
When I put myself through community college, many years ago; I rode the bus 4 and a half hours and involuntarily dropped 23% of my weight. Still I've never earned 80% of Doris's wage and minimal pension support. Good to know where the tuition goes.

September 1, 2011 @ 6:38 PM

To Tom

When Rob Ford was elected, I began counting the days until his administration started to look bewildered and outclassed by the real-world challenges of running a city. I figured he'd squeak his way into 2012 before his incompetence became so glaringly obvious, but it looks like he chose the accelerated plan.

Maybe it's a good thing DougRob unilaterally shot down the idea of a 2020 Summer Games bid, because I have a horrible feeling an Olympic bid under this administration would have somehow involved crayon drawings, hired clowns, and a hot dog eating contest.

September 1, 2011 @ 10:54 PM

Gump

Count me in on the 3-some with Jason. I don't know nothin' about urban planning, but he does.
God, I loved Freddie P on CFNY back in the day, but he is just losing his mind ramblin' on about his hatred of socialists (for the record, they are social democrats). Oh, but when his daughter works for them (and specifically, some gay ones) he has nothing to say.

September 2, 2011 @ 12:17 AM

McNulty

@ Torpedo

It's very relavent, champ.

If they are so focused on a "good looking" city for the tourists and not worried about the actual citizens then they are spending money in the wrong places.

What's so great about a nice waterfront when the schools are dying?

Toronto needs to focus on fixing the problems it has.

September 2, 2011 @ 8:40 AM

Freddie P.

@wandering penguin
"The problem I have always had in trying to have a meaningful conversation with far-right-wingers is this: no matter how lucid your points or how specific your rebuttals the other party in the conversation just repeats their mantra more and more shrilly until you just have to walk away."
Definately the best paragraph on this string. Talk about calling the kettle black.
And for the record, I consider myself centre - but with an opinion - which seems to be somewhat intolerable for some.

September 2, 2011 @ 9:13 AM

Graham

I soon as I heard one of the "brothers Ford" talking about a monorail and Ferris wheel I immediately thought of this Simpson’s episode. We are not North Haverbrook or Spring field but we truly have our own Mayor Quimby in this city ( two it seems!) Tweedledum and Tweedledee. Their plan for the waterfront completely disregards all of the planning and work that Waterfront Toronto was mandated to do. This is the Toronto Waterfront NOT the Toronto WaterFord! This must be stopped!

September 2, 2011 @ 4:20 PM

El Torpedo

@ McNulty - Wait a second - I thought you were saying Chicago was the city with the homelessness, schooling and crime problems. Now you seem to be indicating Toronto has the problems and that there so bad we can't afford to be spending money on improving the waterfront? So confused...

September 3, 2011 @ 2:22 PM

Jason Paris

Indeed, I feel like FreddyP is only selectively reading what I write. Not that I like arguments based on "this city is better than that city," to begin with, but if we must we should be fully informed and Freddy only seems informed based on a walk he's had on Chicago's current waterfront. Yes, it's more tourist-friendly and has more "wow" than ours, although I never it didn't. Still, it's only a very small part in any city vs. city discussion.

Freddy should have listened to Paul Bedford this morning at the Executive Committee meeting explain how it took Chicago 100 years to finally get its waterfront right and how when they finally did it was based on one core principal - "that the waterfront will remain public foreoever." Quite a different tale than the Ford Bros. are peddling.

I also have to take huge exception to the line that "Chicaco is kickin's ass" and that Toronto has "little to show for itself in 10 years." If you sincerely believe that than you haven't properly looked at either city or walk around with horse blinders or likely both. Toronto's population is one of the fastest growing in North American (in fact, one of the only large cities growing), the downtown population is now near it's all-time high (another positive anomaly in North America), we've had a massive reinvestment in our cultural institutions, six office towers have been built (about 6 more on the books) making for the biggest commercial boom since the 80s, five new five star hotels, small, but significant public-space improvements, strong growth in banking, tech, media and medical sectors (all important in 21st Century econmies) and our broad-based economy has fared the recession fairly well allowing us to continue to put far more into both Ontario and Canada than we ever get back.

The only thing that's really holding Toronto back is transportation and the Ford's have only augmented that.

-------

P.S. Who wanted the 3-some again? ;)

September 6, 2011 @ 1:56 PM

Jason Paris

Not sure FreddyP's paying attention anymore, but if he is, he should read this...
http://spacingtoronto.ca/2011/09/15/realityy-check-on-the-waterfront/

September 16, 2011 @ 4:04 PM

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