Torontoist Love/Hate 2006: People
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Torontoist Love/Hate 2006: People

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Torontonians are, to say the least, an opinionated bunch. So instead of a simple “Best Of” list to cap 2006 off, the Torontoist staffers have racked their brains about everything (books, songs, restaurants, people, places, stores, newspapers, politicians, musicians, and a lot more) to bring you their choices for the very best and the very worst of our city this past year. It’s Torontoist Love/Hate 2006, and you can find a new one every day at noon from December 26th until January 1st.
On this, our sixth day of Love/Hate, we pick our favourite and least favourite people, politicians, visitors, and, just for kicks, our picks for the hottest people in the whole city.

Person

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Ross Hull. I always see him around town and resist the urge to shout, “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” He’s on the weather network now, bringing meteorology to the younger generation. – KAREN WHALEY
Making his last speech as UN Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, Stephen Lewis delivered a comprehensive instruction manual and explicit to-do list, along with a damning showcase of inaction by the First World nations. Most significant was Lewis’ outrage at the marginalization of women in the AIDS pandemic, causing him to call for his successor to “be an African, but most important, an African woman.” – MARC LOSTRACCO
I think that if Stephen Lewis asked me to marry him, I’d probably say yes. With moving lectures in the AIDS conference and on University campuses over the course of the year, he owns a lot of peoples’ hearts and minds in our city, and his passion for solving the world’s biggest health problem is unrivaled. He’s exactly what is needed for these kind of problems — a humble celebrity, not a Bono or a Bob Geldof, but someone who can teach without preaching or annoying. It’s no wonder that Toronto Life put him on their cover for the people that they love. – DAVID TOPPING
Stephen Lewis. Toronto Life is absolutely right, the man is an inspiration to anyone working on making the world a better place. He’s fearless, big hearted and seemingly tireless. We’re thrilled to have him back in the country. – RON NURWISAH
I’ve been trying to figure out in what category I can plug Nuit Blanche, the all-night art festival that hit the city this past fall. Since there isn’t an event of the year category, or art show of the year, I’m going to make my person of the year all the hundreds of thousands of Torontonians (and out of towners) who attended this unforgettable evening. It proved that Toronto is a city that cares about culture. – MARK MEDLEY
Darren O’Donnell. What happens when you train a bunch of elementary school kids how to cut hair? Well you get Darren O’Donnell’s inspired project Haircuts for Children. The playwright and actor recruited students from a Parkdale High School to slap on some shears and cut the hair of strangers. Toronto hipsters and the curious flocked in droves and O’Donnell’s project was the talk of the town in May. The project has even been taken to LA and Pakistan. O’Donnell followed this up with a ball-filled romper room at Nuit Blanche where adults could relive their P.E. class dreams and nightmares and pelt each other with rubber balls while these same kids DJed. We can’t wait what this man is planning for us next. – RON NURWISAH


Politician

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Janet Davis is an inspiration and a hero, able to deliver rousing speeches about the issues that matter and to smack down those who would whore our city to the highest bidder. In advocating for children, she understands that battling the implicit ideology of City Hall’s push to integrate the public and private sectors – the equivocation of citizenship with consumerism – is equally important to standing up to Stephen Harper on childcare. As such, she is a great left-wing rebel and one of only a very small handful of real activists at City Hall. – JONATHAN GOLDSBIE
My vote goes to new Ward 14 councilor of Gord Perks. Yes I know he was just elected: I’m awarding this to him in anticipation of all the great things he’ll do. Don’t let me down Gord. – MARK MEDLEY
Adam Vaughan hasn’t actually done anything yet, but he’s so promising, isn’t he? He’s like Metro Toronto’s own personal version of Barack Obama. Except whiter and nerdier. – CHRISTOPHER BIRD
Long-time political journalist Adam Vaughan left his post at CityTV and was sworn in as City Councillor by the neighbourhood he loves (Trinity-Spadina) on Dec.5. His call to celebrate the diversity of our communities resonated with Ward 20 voters, and the reverberations will be felt by the rest of the city. It is a rare pleasure to witness a man with brains and heart enter public office; let’s hope his example inspires other gifted people to simillar action the next time we go to the polls. – SHARON HARRIS
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Stephen Harper. Not attending the AIDS conference — and doing nothing for the rest of the year with the exception of saving me a penny for every dollar I spend and calling Quebec a “nation” — was nothing less than political suicide on his part. I suppose, though, that doing almost nothing for a year in office is better than banning gay marriage and ripping the country apart piece by piece. You shame us. – DAVID TOPPING
The ward 26 councillor put on one of the weakest and scatterbrained mayoral challenges in a long time. Almost right from the start Jane Pitfield mounted a disorganized campaign that didn’t inspire anything from the fractured right-wing caucus on council. Pitfield couldn’t even get backing from prominent right-wingers and even inspired Stephen LeDrew to muddy the waters even further. During the campaign, the councillor made numerous verbal gaffes, made pandering into an art form and looked like small town rather than a woman who wanted to run Canada’s largest city. Her decision to run for mayor might also affect the political fortunes of her ideological peers. Without her leadership in chambers it looks like the right-wingers on council will remain fractured for some time. To answer Howard Moscoe’s then crude and probably still crude question, “How far will Lady Jane go?” Not very far at all. – RON NURWISAH
Karen Stintz is the worst of a very questionable bunch. She may be the most articulate and witty member of Council’s unofficial opposition (goodness knows she doesn’t have much competition), but her positions rarely seem authentically her own but rather products of ideology or focused lobbying efforts. (Almost every time I have attended a Council meeting,I have seen her at the back of the gallery chatting away with lobbyists.) Plus, she *really* doesn’t like the TPSC; on the other hand, she rose on a point of personal privilege last May to declare her fondness for toilets (seriously). – JONATHAN GOLDSBIE


Visitor

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Former U.S. Prez Bill Clinton chose Toronto’s Fairmont Royal York to host his 60th birthday bash; an event raising $20 million for his charitable foundation. Billy Crystal told jokes, Jon Bon Jovi and Jully Black performed, Dalton McGuinty pressed flesh, and two people bid $650,000 to join Clinton on a trip to Africa. It was the place to be in September if you had up to 200,000 clams to buy yourself a table. – MARC LOSTRACCO
Bill & Melinda Gates and Bill Clinton. Their presence at the International AIDS Conference, and the knowledge they brought with them, really made Toronto stand out on the international stage that week. – CARRIE MUSGRAVE
King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia visited the Habourfront during the authors festival because they are huge advocates of promoting child literacy around the world. There was a huge mix-up when their trip was nearly canceled because they were being welcomed by Ontario and not by Canada, because apparently there is an official procedure for welcoming foreign monarchs to Canada that was not properly followed. – KEVIN BRACKEN
Michael Moore, for making a minor sensation by simply trying to fix a projector. Also Michael, you should live up here for the medicare alone! – RON NURWISAH


Hottest Person

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Max Fawcett is so hot he doesn’t just blog; he anti-blogs. He manages Dooney’s Cafe by evening, where you’ll find him engaged in fascinating conversations about absolutely everything. Maybe he spends the rest of his waking hours writing for Dooney’s News Service where his prolific output ranges from political commentary to urban issues to book reviews. Max is a young-man-about-Toronto to watch, and not just because he wears cute glasses and sleeps on Pierre Elliott Trudeau sheets. – SHARON HARRIS
Adam Giambrone. He’s NDP and an archaeologist, which is a deadly sexy combination. – KAREN WHALEY
Few people know that massively successful web personal service Lavalife is a Toronto company with $100 million in annual revenues. With more than 600,000 members sending over 1.3 million messages each day, Lavalife is helmed by CEO Marina Glogovac, who previously was the publisher of St. Joseph Media (Toronto Life, WeddingBells). This Canadian success story now connects lovers throughout North America, the UK, Australia and France. – MARC LOSTRACCO
Zanta. Ha, just kidding. I hate that guy. Probably some TV personality like that woman who became the new Susan Hay while Susan Hay was still on the air, and is now on ET Canada. I can’t remember her name. [Cheryl Hickey? — Ed.] – PATRICK METZGER
Pretty much all the girls I know want to fuck George Stroumboulopoulos. I’m not sure why. I mean, he seems all right and a decent sort of person, but from my hetero perspective I don’t get it. (I mean, I can understand lust for George Clooney, that makes sense to me, but an ex-veejay? Really?) But, based on this admittedly unscientific sampling, George Stroumboulopoulos is technically the sexiest person in Toronto. – CHRISTOPHER BIRD
I’m going to get some major flack for this, but…Darcy Tucker. It’s hard to resist a boy on skates, even if he does play for a losing team. – CARRIE MUSGRAVE


Darcy Tucker photo by Iamkevin, photo of Stephen Harper graffiti by akwalker, photo of Bill Gates by Carrie Musgrave, photos of Darren O’Donnel and Max Fawcett from Sharon Harris, photo of Michael Moore by Rob Shostak, photo of Nuit Blanche Steel Blast from SirCharlie, photo of Nuit Blanche fog from thenurse, photo of Adam Vaughan by funkaoshi, Gord Perks photo by photopia.

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