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Extra, Extra: Soknacki’s Adorkableness, Ontario’s New Lieutenant-Governor, and Pricey Pink Umbrellas

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

  • Mayoral candidate David Soknacki is now sitting at 6 per cent in the polls (or at least in the most recent poll). This is impressive when you consider that it is the highest percentage he has reached thus far and that Karen Stintz is currently at 3 per cent. What magical support-growing power does he possess that can compete with Stintz’s hopeful sunflowers? According to the Grid, it might have something to do with “adorkableness.”
  • Ontario now not only has a new majority government and a new Liberal cabinet—it’s also got a new lieutenant-governor. Today, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that Elizabeth Dowdeswell—a longtime civil servant, former assistant deputy minister at Environment Canada, and former executive director of the United Nations Environment Program—would be taking over from David Onley, who has held the position for seven years.
  • Waterfront Toronto is coming under fire after revelations it spent “$946,000 on two large rocks and 36 pink umbrellas” at Sugar Beach. We know Denzil Minnan-Wong (Ward 34, Don Valley East) does not approve of such expensive rocks and umbrellas, because (a) he said things such as “You can have nice things but you don’t have to spend $12,000 on an umbrella” and “A councillor who would vote for that would be strung up by their ankles,” and (b) there is a photo of him looking at a large, pink beach umbrella in an extremely disapproving way.

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  • istoronto

    The city needs project like Sugar Beach and Waterfront redevelopment to enhance what has been a neglected built form for far too long. Minnan-Wong and like minded concillors are penny pinching the city to mediocrity. More Sugar beaches. Less Minnan-Wongs!

  • VictorianShuter

    Six years ago, Waterfront Toronto held their design competition for what was then known as the Jarvis Street Slip. Compared to the other two finalists at the time (which featured intricate sculptures), Sugar Beach was likely the cheapest option:

  • RedOAk1

    It is disappointing that Minnan-Wong talks as though he is correct, and as though other people agree with him. I always thought this park, and HtO, are great poetic gestures. (It brings to mind Impressionist paintings, such as Afternoon at the Grande Jatte.)
    I got caught at the park, while reading during a rain storm, and the umbrellas were large enough to keep myself and the book completely dry.
    I like things that are beautiful and practical at the same time.

  • Steveinto

    The ironic thing about Minnan-Wong he caters to the crowd that says Toronto is ugly, boring, is the furthest thing from being world class, they complain about the dreary un-accessible waterfront. They support the idea of not building a better city, this way they can denigrate the city they work and/or call home. They feel projects like Sugar Beach should not have been built it would have been better to spend the money filling pot holes. Selling it off to developers and have them do what they want with it, then complain about the results fulfilling there self made prophecy about how bad Toronto is.

  • vampchick21

    What does Minnan-Wong have against pretty umbrellas? Did one spike through his puppy during a rainstorm? Did a rock stub his toe once? Does he have NOTHING better to do than complain about umbrellas and rocks?

    • Back to Classics

      $12,000 for an umbrella that cost $3500 only 9 years ago is worth complaining about. How many other things have tripled in value in 9 years? Not many I would imagine. I like both the rocks and umbrellas, but I’m wondering if there was a proper procurement exercise undertaken to get these things. For me, it’s not about achieving a certain price point or not doing things at all, it’s about achieving the best price once you’ve decided to do something. Pink umbrellas=yay, pink umbrellas that cost 3 times what yellow ones did 9 years ago=boo. Mind you, if $12K is the going rate for permanent umbrellas, then I’m good with it. I doubt DMW would be.

      • dsmithhfx

        “How many other things have tripled in value in 9 years?”

        Not many, but a great many things have tripled in cost.

      • Nick

        The article in the National Post points out that the yellow and pink umbrellas are not directly comparable as the pink ones have LED lights installed under them.

      • Steveinto

        Waterfront Toronto has been audited 15 times in the past decade.

  • Nick

    Yet Minnan-Wong was perfectly happy wasting $285k to rip out bike lanes on Jarvis which had been installed a couple of years early, and which the City’s own studies showed increased travel time by just 2 minutes. Pfffft.

    • OgtheDim

      And guess who takes Jarvis down to City Hall each day?