Rishabh Kumar, a Grade 12 student at Earl Haig, is one of those geeky 17-year-olds who love to
wear ties and live to participate in Model UN conferences; he’s already done one at McGill and another at Harvard. This year, he’s the chair of the City Youth Council of Toronto, an association of overachieving students elected from the city’s 44 wards. His Facebook photo is from a meeting with the provincial finance minister, Charles Sousa, displayed as though it were a souvenir of an encounter with a Hollywood celebrity.
Recently, he launched a contest to generate a new name for the proposed downtown relief line, because he thought the word “downtown” made the idea of the subway line unpalatable to suburbanites. Kumar believes Toronto is in big trouble if we can’t get moving on a transit strategy and that a downtown relief line would be good for the whole city. He sees how hard it is to put the best interests of the city forward when Toronto is divided into hostile regional camps. I’m not sure I share the faith he has put in the rebranding effort, but I admire him for trying. Someone has to do something.