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Extra, Extra: A New Liberal Cabinet, the Cost of Homelessness, and Sir John A. Macdonald Station

Every weekday’s end, we collect just about everything you ought to care about or ought not to miss.

Photo by alfred ng, from the Torontoist Flickr pool.

  • Ontario, you have a new Liberal cabinet. Eric Hoskins is the new Deb Matthews, Steven Del Duca is the new Glen Murray, and Charles Sousa remains Charles Sousa. Glen Murray has become the minister of environment and climate change, and Mitzie Hunter is now associate finance minister—which means she gets to tackle the made-in-Ontario pension plan.
  • In the Grid, Edward Keenan looks at the financial and moral ramifications of housing the homeless, why suggestions about criminalizing homelessness are insane, and how Toronto’s experience echoes the claims of Malcolm Gladwell.
  • For those of you who were hoping Union Station would at some point become Sir John A. Macdonald Station: How do you feel about plazas? On July 2, the executive committee will consider recommendations from the director of the Toronto Office of Partnerships: two of the director’s recommendation are that “City Council direct that Union Station not be re-named to Sir John A. Macdonald Station” and “City Council authorize, upon completion of the Union Station revitalization, that the plaza that is being redeveloped in front of Union Station be formally named after Sir John A. Macdonald.”

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  • wklis

    Will there be a McDonalds at the MacDonald Station?

    • Bumbaclot

      I hope so. You need a McD’s if you wanna sucker punch your buddies with a McKnuckle Sandwich.

  • tomwest

    I think “Sir John Plaza” is the way forward, given that “Sit John A. Macdonald Plaza” is too long to be sensible and “Macdonald Plaza” sounds like “McDonald Plaza”.

    • tyrannosaurus_rek

      Who was John Plaza?

  • Canmon

    John A. MacDonald was a drunk, corrupt, genocidal racist.

    “The Aryan races will not wholesomely amalgamate with the Africans or the Asiatics. The cross of those races, like the cross of the dog and the fox, is not successful; it cannot be, and never will be.”
    -John A. MacDonald

    • VictorianShuter

      We’ve already named a park and a beltline trail after homophobes, so it’s par for the course.

      • Squintz

        The 401 is already known as the Macdonald-Cartier Freeway, is that not enough?

        • tomwest

          It’s *named* the “Macdonald-Cartier Freeway”, but nobody knows it as that. It’s known as “the 401″.

          • Squintz

            People do *know* that is the name, it just isn’t necessarily the familiar name to everyone. Thankfully you interceded to engage in semantics.

      • HotDang

        Which ones are those?

    • rich1299

      I couldn’t agree more and said as much on the survey they had about renaming Union station. It would be a disgrace to name anything in Toronto after John A. but some people in high places seem to only care about the school book version of him where he’s a father of confederation and our first PM and nothing else matters no matter how genocidal or racist. Today John A. would rightfully be charged with crimes against humanity and in a fair trial convicted of them and imprisoned for the rest of his life.

      If they must rename the square in front of Union station after a politician I’d suggest William Lyon Mckenzie or Robert Baldwin or PET, since they’ve all had an impact on Toronto far greater than John A. Or even better name it after Tecumseh or Brock since without their leadership and Tecumseh rallying First Nations warriors to support the British and Canadians all of Canada at that time (War of 1812) would’ve become a US state instead of an independent country. I don’t see why it even needs a formal name, Union Station Square also works well too.

    • CaligulaJones

      Tommy Douglas supported eugenics. People got over it…

  • Gordon Gower

    Glad to see Toronto striving to be unique and making sure that their railway station REMAIN named THE SAME as Los Angeles’ …as well as Chicago’s Chattanooga’s Cincinnati’s Denver’s El Paso’s Indianapolis’s Kansas City’s, Nashville’s, St. Louis’, Washington DC’s…
    AND, New London’s, Hartford’s, Saint Paul’s, Portland’s, New Orleans’ Alexandria’s, Salt Lake City’s, Worcester’s, Winnipeg’s, San Diego’s, Dallas’, New Haven’s Ogden’s, Erie’s…

    • rich1299

      But there is only one Toronto Union Station. Pretty much every city in Canada has a King St., a Queen St, a College St and so on too but I don’t see anyone trying to get those streets renamed.

    • John Duncan

      Not to mention Brockway, Ogdenville and North Haverbrook and by gum, it put them on the map! But I guess it’s more of a Shelbyville idea…

    • Eric S. Smith

      Everything and its dog is already named after Macdonald, so there’s nothing original about that. A highway in Ottawa was recently renamed after him, for no obvious reason.