In the lead-up to the 2014 municipal election, Torontoist has partnered with former urban affairs reporter Siri Agrell to create a series of discussions about the statte of our city. Our goal: figure out how to speak better—more optimistically and also more honestly—about Toronto, and how to make more inclusive decisions about the city’s future.
Our first discussion is called “What’s Going Right?” Tonight we will be discussing what we genuinely do well in Toronto—in all parts of the city—and what real challenges we face. Why, when there is a great deal that is going well, does it so often feel that we speak about Toronto as if it were a failing city?
Sabina Ali, Jane Jacobs Prize winner, Thorncliffe Park Women’s Committee
Rita Davies, founder, Toronto International Book Fair; former Executive Director of Culture for the City of Toronto
Roscoe Handford, Manager, Wychwood Barns Farmers’ Market; Hospital for Sick Children Farmers’ Market; Regent Park Farmers’ Market
Metrolinx is constructing a new Dundas West GO station. Last week, a beam hailing from that construction site pierced through the ceiling of the subway tunnel below. After sand and silt began making their way into the tunnel via the Metrolinx-supplied hole, the TTC was forced to shut down subway service on a portion of the Bloor-Danforth line for about seven hours. This is not the kind of inter-organizational cooperation commuters get tremendously excited about.
During this week’s mayoral debate held by ArtsVote Toronto, two out of five candidates mentioned Nuit Blanche as the most transformative cultural experience they’ve ever encountered. (For those keeping score, the two in question were Morgan Baskin and John Tory.) This could be because Nuit Blanche is kind of the artistic equivalent of Toronto itself—it’s big, divisive, and often crazily surreal, but there are moments big and small that make you so glad to be part of it.
And this year, Nuit Blanche is expanding its reach. We were pleased when the City of Toronto unveiled this year’s plan, which included three new neighbourhoods never before used in the event’s layout. This year, weird interactive art will also take over Chinatown, Fort York, and Bremner Boulevard—which may make for some nomadic art-goers and a few confused regular night owls.
Torontoist reporter Wyndham Bettencourt-McCarthy was assaulted by a police officer during the G20—a case in which charges were dropped this week. She writes about how it has reshaped her view of policing in Toronto.