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politics

Mammoliti’s Parkdale Slur Met With #ParkdaleLove

After the councillor calls Parkdale a "pedophile district," Parkdale-loving Torontonians take to social media to defend the neighbourhood.

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The Brothers Ford have set the bar for political discourse in this city impossibly low, but yesterday Giorgio Mammoliti tried his best to tunnel under it. In a press release, Councillor Mammoliti (Ward 7, York West) argued that the City should not host all-ages EDM parties at Exhibition Place, because the grounds are adjacent to Parkdale—which he described as a “pedophile district,” claiming it “is home to one of the largest concentrations of registered sex offenders, including pedophiles, living in the City of Toronto.”

The press release further claimed that hosting EDM events within the Princes’ Gate would encourage “the continued abuse of our children … at the hands of current and past pedophiles.” It even implied that Councillor Gord Perks (Ward 14, Parkdale-High Park) was somehow on the side of the sex offenders: “Who are you really representing?”

This isn’t the first time a council member has tried to score a political win by aping Helen Lovejoy while making unfounded accusations (or at least insinuations) of sexual deviance: Rob Ford has used this tactic, and so has Doug. But we’re fairly certain it’s the first time an entire neighbourhood has been insulted in this way.

Not long after Mammoliti, that beacon of probity, issued his press release, Perks responded with a statement of his own. Exhibiting an implausible level of restraint, he wrote on his website,

You may have heard the awful slur one of my colleagues has made against our wonderful neighbourhood. I want to say how saddened I am that Parkdale has been attacked this way.

As we all know Parkdale is the kind of community everyone in Toronto admires. We are economically, socially, and culturally diverse. We accept and welcome and love each other. If the rest of Toronto were more like Parkdale, Toronto would be an even better place to live.

Many of my colleagues have already contacted me to see how they can help stand up for our great neighbourhood. You may be hearing from some of them in the media. Rest assured this attack comes from one irresponsible voice.

Perks went on to encourage Torontonians to tweet the reasons they love Parkdale, using the hashtag #ParkdaleLove. Here are some of our favourites so far:

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