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The Informer

Events

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Check out North America’s first museum of Islamic art

(Image: Gary Otte)

(Image: Gary Otte)

It’s rare that Stephen Harper and Justin Trudeau meet in a place where they aren’t the most important people in the room. But on September 12, at the opening ceremony for North America’s first museum of Islamic art, the spotlight was on the Aga Khan, the museum’s namesake and the spiritual leader of the world’s Ismaili Muslims. A Swiss-born multimillionaire philanthropist, Prince Shah Karim Al Hussaini Aga Khan IV funded the new $300-million, 6.8-hectare complex that houses the museum and neighbouring Ismaili Centre. Surrounded by an expansive garden, the building—an ultra-modern structure infused with designs from traditional Islamic architecture—houses a permanent collection of more than 1,000 portraits, textiles, miniatures, texts, instruments and other Islamic artifacts representing a wide range of styles, eras and regions. “In Search of the Artist,” a collection of signed paintings and drawings, and “The Garden of Ideas,” an exhibition of contemporary art from Pakistan, will also be on display when the museum opens its doors to the public on Sept. 18. How did all of this end up in Toronto? An honorary Canadian citizen, the Aga Khan thinks the city is a hub of tolerance and mutual understanding. Prove him right by making the trip to Eglinton East and Don Mills. (For those who swear they never go north of Bloor, the museum won’t be the only new thing to see.)

Thurs. Sept. 18. $15–$20. Aga Khan Museum, 77 Wynford Dr., agakhanmuseum.org.

The Informer

Municipal Election 2014

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Doug Ford enters the mayoral race in second place, maybe


There are a few things about this latest Forum Research poll, released on Friday, that are a little suspect. For one, another poll, conducted by a lesser-known agency, shows Doug Ford at just 16 per cent, with John Tory at 45. That’s a disparity way outside any margin of error. Another possible source of trouble: both polls were done just hours after Rob Ford withdrew and Doug announced his candidacy, while the entire city was still reeling from the news. And both, of course, are subject to the usual pitfalls of any political polling. The only thing everyone seems to agree on? This is now officially Tory’s opportunity to win an election, for a change. If he becomes the consensus anti-Ford candidate, he may just be able to pull it off.

The Informer

Real Estate

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Sale of the Week: the $2.2-million Lawrence Manor home that proves the value of a cul-de-sac

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Address: 220 Roe Avenue
Neighbourhood: Lawrence Manor
Agent: Robert Greenberg and Adam David Weiner, Harvey Kalles Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage

The Property: This brand-new, four-bedroom Lawrence Manor house has a large, open-concept interior, complete with glass-walled living and dining rooms. Its location at the far end of a cul-de-sac eases the drawbacks of living just off busy Avenue Road.

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The Informer

Municipal Election 2014

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What the hell just happened?! A blow-by-blow of the Rob Ford mayoralty’s craziest morning yet

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Some of the candidates officially running for mayor as of 2 p.m. today. Out: Rob Ford. In: Doug.

At the start of the day, there were two Fords running for two different municipal offices. Now, after a frantic few hours of some of the most dramatic paperwork action city hall has ever seen, there are three Fords on various ballots, and none of them are running for what they used to be running for. Somehow, during all of this, almost as an afterthought, Rob Ford‘s unbelievable fiasco of a mayoralty gained a definite expiration date.

How did all of this happen? Here, our attempt to put the day’s baffling series of events in chronological order.

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The Informer

Politics

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Rob Ford has withdrawn from the mayoral race so Doug can run in his place

now-what-newRob Ford has withdrawn from the mayoral race following this week’s tumour diagnosis, according to multiple reports from city hall. Because, apparently, no mayoral election can proceed without a Ford on the ballot, the mayor’s brother has stepped into the breach: Doug Ford is currently in the process of registering to run. If he’s able to get his paperwork through city hall’s elections office before the 2 p.m. registration deadline [UPDATE: he did], he’ll be the only Ford on the ballot come October. (They won’t even need to make new lawn signs, though election finance law may complicate the process of transferring those and other resources from one campaign to the other.) Also, curiously, Michael Ford, Rob and Doug’s 20-year-old nephew, has withdrawn from the city council race in Ward 2, where he was polling well ahead of his nearest competitor. Ward 2 was Rob Ford’s council seat before he ran for mayor, and there’s speculation that he may register to run in Michael’s place. [UPDATE: Rob Ford has officially registered to run in Ward 2.] It’s a race the mayor could certainly win, even if medical issues kept him away from debates and doorsteps.

The Informer

Real Estate

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Condo of the Week: $600,000 to live in a former bread factory near Trinity Bellwoods Park

toronto-condo-of-the-week-183-dovercourt-road-intro

Address: 183 Dovercourt Road, Unit 212
Neighbourhood: Trinity-Bellwoods
Agents: Angela Balan, Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd., Brokerage
Price: $599,000

The Place: A two-bedroom hard loft on a quiet corner near Queen and Ossington.

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The Informer

People

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Q&A: Darrell Bricker, the Toronto guy who knows everything about election polling

(Image: Claire Foster)

(Image: Claire Foster)

Polls don’t just measure political campaigns; as wonky as they sometimes are, they can actually shape outcomes. The latest example? David Soknacki’s exit from the mayoral race following a disappointing showing in a survey by Forum Research. Even as the candidates base major decisions on polls, though, many of us don’t really understand how they’re conducted, or what the results mean. We sat down with Darrell Bricker—who is the Toronto-based CEO of the public-affairs branch of Ipsos, one of the top market-research firms in the world—to talk about the nature of polling, and how to tell the good polls from the bad.

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The Informer

Politics

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Rob Ford has a tumour

now-what-newThe Humber River Hospital announced via press release Wednesday evening that Rob Ford has been diagnosed with a tumour after “at least three months” of persistent abdominal pain. The Star reports that doctors have yet to determine what kind of tumour the mayor has. It could be cancer, or it could be something else. All we know at the moment is that the lump is “not small.” At a press conference on Wednesday evening, in response to questions about the fate of the mayor’s reelection campaign, Doug Ford would say only that his brother is “in good spirits.”

The Informer

Politics

1 Comment

Mark Towhey, Rob Ford’s former chief of staff, is writing a tell-all

now-what-newMark Towhey was Rob Ford’s chief of staff from 2012 until about a week after the start of the crack scandal, in May 2013, and his firing is already the stuff of legend. Ford reportedly dismissed his once-trusted lieutenant after Towhey advised the mayor to get help for his obvious substance problems—advice that wasn’t ultimately heeded until far too late. Now, it seems Towhey is writing a tell-all memoir of his time spent working for the mayor, beginning with the 2010 municipal election. The Star reports that the book will be released a few days before this year’s election, on October 21. Anyone hoping for damning new details may be disappointed, though. The publisher’s description says that the book “is not the account of a man eager to get revenge.”

The Informer

Real Estate

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House of the Week: $1.4 million for a contemporary new-build in Old East York

toronto-house-of-the-week-17-machockie-road-intro

Address: 17 Machockie Road
Neighbourhood: Old East York
Agent: Ricky Ristic, Royal Lepage Signature Realty, Brokerage
Price: $1,379,000

The Place: Steps from Taylor Creek Park, this contemporary new-build is in the older part of East York.

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The Informer

Politics

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Rob Ford gets a ringing endorsement from convicted rapist Mike Tyson

now-what-newContinuing a longstanding tradition of bizarre encounters with people who are famous for beating other people up, Rob Ford spent almost an hour visiting with Mike Tyson at city hall on Tuesday afternoon. According to the CBC, after leaving the mayor’s office Tyson declared Ford the “best mayor in Toronto history.” Ford, for his part, told reporters that he and Tyson—whose reputation still hasn’t quite recovered from his 1992 rape conviction, among other things—are “cut from the same cloth.” Tyson denied that the visit was a publicity stunt aimed at promoting his one-man show, playing at the ACC tonight.

The Informer

Municipal Election 2014

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David Soknacki drops out of the mayoral race as his poll numbers continue to flatline


Tuesday night was a sad one for a certain kind of voter as policy-nerd-favourite David Soknacki, citing weak (but growing) support, announced that he would be ending his largely self-funded mayoral campaign. A new poll of 1069 voters released this morning by Forum Research seems to confirm Soknacki’s fears: it, like almost every poll before it, puts him in last place by a wide margin. For John Tory, meanwhile, there’s good news. Like last week’s Nanos poll, this one shows him starting to build a nice lead over Rob Ford and especially Olivia Chow, whose support, the poll finds, is particularly weak in Scarborough.

The Informer

Events

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Celebrate Indie88’s (Rickroll-free) first birthday

Dan Mangan. (Image: Jonathan Taggart)

Dan Mangan. (Image: Jonathan Taggart)

If it seems hard to believe that Indie88 is only a year old, that’s probably because, in a sense, it’s not. It has been ages since Toronto was first promised a democratically programmed indie-rock station, two years since Indie88 took over Ryerson University’s old campus radio frequency, and 13 months since the station soft-launched with a week-long Rickroll. But it was, in fact, last September when Indie88 aptly kicked things off with Arcade Fire’s “Ready to Start.” To anyone who has happened to tune in to 88.1 FM since then, it should come as no surprise that the station is recruiting some serious Canadian talent for its first-birthday bash. Local pop siren Lowell and art-rockers The Darcys—both long hailed as Toronto’s next big things—will make way for headliner Dan Mangan, the humble Vancouver folk singer-songwriter whose every album has won critical acclaim. Like any good gig, the show is already sold out, but a few extra tickets are floating around, and Indie88 is even giving a few away to winners of its call-in contests. You’ll want to be there, of course, when Mangan premieres his highly anticipated new single.

Sat., Sept. 13. $8.81. Opera House, 735 Queen St. E., 416-466-0313, indie88.com.

The Informer

Politics

9 Comments

Rob Ford had some trouble staying upright on the subway on Monday

now-what-newThis Globe and Mail video of Rob Ford riding the Sheppard subway during his public-transit photo-op on Monday is curious for a few reasons. For one, it shows the mayor bobbing and weaving a little more violently than the average train passenger. For another, the 57-second video was quietly uploaded by someone at the Globe to YouTube yesterday with little context beyond the title—”Rob Ford rides the subway, pushes subway plan”—even though Ford says nothing about that plan, and talks instead about Richard Pryor and some upcoming football games. So what’s up? Over on Reddit and Twitter, people have some ideas.

The Informer

Politics

4 Comments

Rob Ford tried to get the city to expropriate land for a client of his family business

now-what-newA newly released batch of freedom-of-information documents shows that Rob Ford’s attempts to win special favours for Apollo Health and Beauty Care, a client of his family’s label business, were actually a bit more serious than previously reported. The Globe reports that Ford tried to get city staff to consider expropriating a plot of land next to Apollo’s plant, in order to allow Apollo to create a parking lot for 24 vehicles. Expropriation—when the city forces a landowner to sell his or her property—is an extreme measure used only for pressing municipal business, like the construction of new transit infrastructure. The bureaucrats Ford involved in the discussions refused to go along with the idea, but the fact that he was willing to back the unusual request is sure to add even more legitimacy to the impression that he has tried to use his political office to dole out favours to friends.

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