Every week, Toronto is filled with Heroes and Villains. These are their stories.
Hero of the Week: Fiona Crean
Fiona Crean announced this week that she would be stepping down from her role as the city’s ombudsman at the end of her term in November. As the city’s watchdog, Crean has spent the past five years unenviably keeping the city’s public servants in line. Along the way, she made several enemies on city council—you know, because she was good at her job of investigating their professional missteps. But rather than snap her fingers in a dramatic Z-formation in the
council crybabies’ displeased councillors’ faces, Crean took the high ground. In opting to step away from the ombudsman gig later this year, Crean elegantly sacrificed her own interests for the sake of the office, ensuring that the public has someone fighting on their behalf in the future. Sounds heroic to us.
Villain of the Week: TTC Ooze
It might seem bratty or petty to cite a simple environmental fluke as an entire metropolis’s nemesis. That is, unless you were one of the thousands of straphangers whose Tuesday commute was made a purgatorial tire-fire by an “oil-like” leak (read: nasty unidentifiable ooze) north of College at track level.
The sludgy spill stalled service on the Yonge-University-Spadina line from Bloor to Union stations from Monday evening until about 1:30 on Tuesday afternoon because of concerns that the substance might be flammable and ignite from wheels-on-track friction. Later, testing showed the slime was nothing more than contaminated groundwater that had pooled after the first spring thaw. But the slime itself was its own form of testing—an inquiry into the capacity of our downtown transit service when dealt with Mother Nature’s routine foibles. What it revealed was that it doesn’t take much to turn a weekday commute into the ninth circle of hell; thank goodness Dante Alighieri missed 2015 Toronto, because that would’ve made for some lousy PR. And not that you had any lingering doubts about the need for a Downtown Relief Line, but consider who it is you need to thank for the fact that we don’t have one in the works.