When Judith Goldfarb, 82, was liberated from Ravensbrück, a women’s concentration camp in northern Germany, in 1945, she made her way to Toronto to start a brand new life. After marrying Steven, 96, in 1950 when she was only 16 years old, she had two kids and began what was a simple, yet fulfilling existence in the Bayview Village area for more than 50 years. But when Steven had his first stroke in 2011 and could no longer care for himself or for her, Goldfarb’s children convinced her to sell the house and move closer to them, near St. Clair West Station.
In looking for a new place to call home, the couple wanted to be close to a subway station. It proved to be a good decision when Steven fell and broke his hip just a few years later. “He was right next to me and he just crumpled to the floor,” she recalls. “He just collapsed; it was in slow motion.” Goldfarb was forced to take the subway every day for six weeks to visit her ailing husband in rehab. “His hospitalization was a longer duration because of the rehab, so I used to take the subway to Toronto Rehabilitation Institute on University every day,” she says. “It was right on the subway line.”
Oxford Properties’ 2012 casino proposal. Image via Urban Toronto.
Time is a flat circle. Three years after we declared a downtown casino “well and truly dead,” it’s back on the table. Here’s a quick guide to what happened last time, why we’re back here again, and what might happen.
This past July, Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown strode down Yonge Street, banner in hand, as part of Toronto’s annual Pride parade. He marched along with LGBTory, the country’s pro-queer Conservative organization. His attendance could be read as an act of support: after years of denouncing same-sex marriage, Brown did an about-face on the issue. “My thinking has evolved over time,” he told Toronto Life last July.
It’s not the first time Brown has changed his tune on LGBTQ issues. In June, he announced his support for Ontario’s new sex-ed curriculum, which includes a straightforward education about gender identity, sexual orientation, and safe sex for people of all identities.
But now, just months later, Brown has flip-flopped yet again on the issue. Just days before the Scarborough–Rouge River by-election, Brown says he’d scrap the sex-ed curriculum if elected. In a letter distributed to Scarborough residents, the candidate says sexual education should remain in the hands of parents. “I believe parents are the primary educators of their children. When it comes to sexual health education, parents should have a say on how much their children are taught, and at what age,” he writes in the letter.
It’s a dangerous stance to take—one that, if enacted, could be detrimental to youth (especially those who identify as LGBTQ) across the province.