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Kicking Themselves in the Astral

052208astral_goldsbie.jpg
Remember last week, when Marc Lostracco took a look at Astral’s final street furniture prototypes and promised that “Torontoist’s Jonathan Goldsbie will have a more in-depth analysis of the new street furniture next week”?
Well, there’s been a slight problem. On Wednesday night, Astral Media invited BIAs (Business Improvement Areas) to a sneak preview of the new furniture. Goldsbie—Street Furniture Campaign Coordinator of the Toronto Public Space Committee, and an open critic of Astral in the past—was invited to the preview by Maggie O’Connor, founder and chair of the Old Cabbagetown BIA’s public space committee. Goldsbie was to serve as a representative of the BIA, the preview an opportunity to let him give the furniture a look in person before passing judgement. He wouldn’t get a chance to: though he arrived with O’Connor and two other executives of the Old Cabbagetown BIA (Chair Paul Dineen and Coordinator Doug Fisher), upon giving his full name, Goldsbie was promptly barred from entering by Astral Outdoor’s Vice-President of Development & Operations, Luc Beaulieu.
Goldsbie’s frustrating story is over on Eye‘s (brand new) blog, Toronto Notes. But here’s the kicker: Astral not only made a potentially disastrous public relations move by blocking Goldsbie, they didn’t even do it successfully. Goldsbie got photos and details of the street furniture from O’Connor, who made it inside, and who, by the way, has decided that Astral’s street furniture won’t work for Old Cabbagetown—she “couldn’t find any value” in them. Whoops.
Washroom prototype image courtesy of Astral Media.

CORRECTION: MAY 21, 2008
This article originally named Maggie O’Connor as the “founder and chair of the Old Cabbagetown BIA”—in fact, she is the founder and chair of the Old Cabbagetown BIA’s public space committee. Torontoist apologizes for the error.
CORRECTION: MAY 26, 2008
This article originally said that Astral Media Outdoor President Luc Sabbatini barred Goldsbie from entering. It was, in fact, Luc Beaulieu, Astral Media Outdoor’s Vice-President of Development & Operations, who did so; Goldsbie accidentally named the wrong Luc to us, and we reported that mistake. Torontoist apologizes for the error.

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