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Councillor Spars With Waterfront Toronto on Twitter

Denzil Minnan-Wong takes on the agency over pink umbrellas, and a testy back-and-forth ensues.

City councillor and perpetual outrage machine Denzil Minnan-Wong (Ward 34, Don Valley East) yesterday learned the difference between definite and indefinite articles in a brief Twitter exchange with Waterfront Toronto about the cost of umbrellas at Sugar Beach.

In June, Minnan-Wong learned that the agency tasked with revitalizing Toronto’s waterfront spent nearly $12,000 on each of the 36 pink umbrellas that fleck the urban oasis. Of course, these aren’t your standard patio brollies—they’re permanent, all-weather steel structures, expected to last at least 15 to 20 years.

And, of course, Minnan-Wong knows that—but that didn’t stop him from calling journalists down to Sugar Beach three weeks ago for a photo op, during which he groused about wasting taxpayer money and in doing so managed to obscure the real story, which is that Waterfront Toronto needs more funds to complete its award-winning revitalization of the shoreline.

Yesterday he carried on his sputtering crusade, tweeting that although downtown Detroit’s Campus Martius Park—which was revitalized in 2004 following decades of neglect—cost more than Sugar Beach to complete, it didn’t matter, because much of the cost was covered by the private sector.

This exchange, in which Minnan-Wong replaced the “a” on his screen with a “the” in his head, ensued:


  • Chris

    And to think that DMW was always considered one of the more “sensible” members of Fords’ inner circle. Just shows how low the bar is.

    • dsmithhfx

      Denzil is a Ford enabler in all respects. That’s been his consistent role. So too with Sugar Beach.

      • ghawk99

        His pious preening after the crack scandal broke and during the council meeting when Ford was stripped of his powers was sickening. That he and the other committee chairs didn’t have the guts to resign their positions for their shocking lack of judgment in carrying Ford’s water should be enough for them all to lose their seats. Thompson, Palacio, Nunziata….they all need to be retired.

        • dsmithhfx

          Poster kids for term limits.

  • The Tragically Flip

    DMW has succeeded at making a giant public institution success story into a nontroversy, a faux scandal which those unacquainted with the facts will use in years to come as a reference point. “Pink umbrellas” will be yet another totem in the false conservative mythology of ever wasteful government.

    WT is working, getting the waterfront improved as mandated and as many said was impossible, would never happen, etc. Now its refunding is probably at risk, over a trumped up issue in one of its greatest successes.

    • tomwest

      You can’t use left-wing things “evidence” in these debates…

  • istoronto

    DMW is hoping to position himself as the replacement engineer on Ford’s “gravy train”. All he’ll ever be is the the fireman. (Fireman – the person who shovels coal into the furance to keep the train moving).

  • Lloyd_Davis

    How is it that Dweezil Minnan-Wrong can’t spell “delusional.” I mean, come on. Over the past four years, we’ve all had lots of occasions to use that word.

  • mytwocentsworth

    Sorry, Denzil, but the only impression I get from you is that you’re a cheapskate, who doesn’t understand aesthetics and the value of improving a person’s day. I do hope a viable candidate for councillor surfaces in Don Valley East.

  • Notcleverguy

    Minnan-Wong should just stick to criticizing and exposing the “mayors” dubious behavior. As long as he’s been on council, that is the only think I’ve seen him excel at.