Councillor Spars With Waterfront Toronto on Twitter
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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: