Newsstand: December 15th, 2009
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Newsstand: December 15th, 2009

Toronto’s still liked by expats who have fled our fair city—just not in that way. A study by the Toronto Homecoming Working Group found that Toronto’s networking opportunities, research resources, and infrastructure just aren’t sexy enough to keep the home fires burning. “Toronto is a very multicultural city, it’s a very international city. I wouldn’t call it a global city, though,” said Veronica Chau, a native who left Hogtown for greener pastures. “I need to be at the centre, at the crossroads of thinkers, influencers, decision makers. And, quite frankly, they’re here in D.C. and they’re not yet in Toronto.” But when asked if she would ever return, she diplomatically answered, “I’m noticing a lot of buzz coming out of Toronto that wasn’t there five or six years ago. … Both of us are becoming increasingly interested in returning.” So there you go, Toronto. You look great. Coffee? Um…she’ll call you. Really.
So what would you do if you were mayor (besides sex up the city to win back your ungrateful prodigal children)? Sell Toronto Hydro, you say? Cool—so would Rocco Rossi! And maybe John Tory! Rossi kicked off his mayoral campaign with the announcement, which quickly garnered interest from his rival. “We’re going to sell assets, and we’re going to start with Toronto Hydro,” said Rossi. “I’ve looked in every book of Jane Jacobs. I can’t find a page, a paragraph, a sentence that says in order to build a great city, the city needs to own the utility.” Tory agrees. “This is one that should be discussed, and good for [Mr. Rossi] for putting it on the table,” he gushed. Sheesh. Get a room, you two.
And speaking of mayoral candidates, it looks as though Tory won last night—according to an Ethiopian restaurant menu, that is. Wait, whut? Wanza, located on Danforth near Greenwood, has created dishes named after alleged mayoral candidates (and people they just like) for the 2010 election, and the owner, Amwar Saleh, will donate a dollar from every dish to the United Way on behalf of the candidate with the most dishes sold. John Tory’s dish is called “Tips,” George Smitherman’s is “Kitfo,” David Crombie is a combination of dishes, and Adam Giambrone’s is called “Cha Cha Cha.” Awww, yeah. Cha cha cha, indeed.
Finally, the Globe reports that David Pecaut, one of the minds behind Luminato, died of colorectal cancer at home in Toronto yesterday at the age of 54. He was called “Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Atticus Finch all rolled into one” by Ratna Omidvar, president of Maytree. “One of his greatest capacities is to understand complex problems quickly and to communicate them in simple, graspable terms,” she added. “He gave us a sense that we were a city in decline, but that it was possible to pull out of that decline and bring us back to a place of civic dignity and prosperity.” Looking back at his own life, he said last month, “I feel I have been able to achieve much more for our country and our city by working in this kind of civic entrepreneurial process. I have huge respect for politicians, but it feels to me that this is a very special role and that is the way that I want to be remembered.” Mr. Pecaut is survived by his wife Helen, his four daughters, and his extended family.

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