Toronto Life - The Informer

Insider intel on the politics and personalities shaping the city. Sign up for Preview newsletter for weekly updates

The Informer

Municipal Election 2014

8 Comments

In a last-minute attempt to soften his image, Doug Ford reveals that he loves chocolate milk

doug-ford-now-whatDoug Ford is warming up his final pre-election charm offensive. The mayoral candidate gave a sit-down interview to CityNews yesterday and another to CP24 today. This wouldn’t be so remarkable were it not for the fact that his wife, Karla, who has never been interviewed formally before, was sitting next to him both times. Ford clearly chose his interviewers well. Topics ranged from his art collection (“It’s beautiful, some of the pictures,” Ford said), to what a great father he is, to his love of chocolate milk. The toughest moment for the Fords came during the CityNews interview, when reporter Avery Haines asked Karla about Doug’s claim that she is Jewish. Karla insisted that her heritage is Jewish, but that she personally is not observant. “I don’t practice Judism,” she said, misprounouncing the word “Judaism.”

The Informer

Events

Comments

Welcome The Wooden Sky home at Lee’s Palace

(Image: Sarah Creskey)

(Image: Sarah Creskey)

There’s a lot on Let’s Be Ready, the fourth album from Toronto folk-rock outfit The Wooden Sky, that could convince a listener that the band looks forward to coming home. On the brilliant record, which was released in early September, frontman Gavin Gardiner sings about the nomadic lifestyle of a touring band, long bus rides and separated lovers—the sorts of things he and his bandmates have been grappling with since departing on a cross-Canada tour last month. In other words, the group is likely to be in high spirits when it hits Lee’s Palace for a pair of proper hometown gigs. Expect some high-voltage indie rock mixed with the atmospheric folk the band built its name on. Add opening performances from local experimental art rockers Absolutely Free, who released their debut album mere days ago, and the shows promise to be two massive, memorable homecoming parties.

Fri. Oct. 17–18. $17.50. Lee’s Palace, 529 Bloor St. W., 416-532-1598, chelsea-records.com.

The Informer

Features

31 Comments

The Man Who Would Be King: inside the ruthless battle for control of the $34-billion Rogers empire

Edward Rogers expected to run the family empire after the death of his father, Ted. But the board squeezed him out

The Man Who Would Be King

Suzanne and Edward Rogers in their Forest Hill house. (Image: Getty Images)

O

n a grey December day in 2008, a thousand people gathered at St. James Cathedral on Church Street to remember Ted Rogers, the legendary founder of Rogers Communications. The business icon had died of congestive heart failure at his Forest Hill home a week earlier, after months of declining health. Rogers’ funeral was a rare event in the city—a ­coming-together of high society, business titans and politicians that was the lay equivalent of a state funeral. Stephen Harper shook hands with his on-again, off-again friend Brian Mulroney, former premiers David Peterson and Mike Harris were in attendance, along with then-mayor David Miller, and members of such big-business clans as the Westons, Jackmans, Shaws and Péladeaus walked solemnly side by side in and out of the church.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Municipal Election 2014

5 Comments

Five things we learned from Newstalk 1010’s mayoral debate

(Image: Newstalk 1010/Screenshot)

(Image: Newstalk 1010/Screenshot)

With less than two weeks remaining before election day, Toronto’s frantic debate schedule shows no signs of slowing down. The majority of these events are hosted by various associations and community groups, but, on Wednesday, Newstalk 1010 held one of the season’s few media-hosted debates. Radio personality Ryan Doyle gave the candidates a better-than-average grilling, and—somewhat amazingly—police officers didn’t have to maintain order, and nobody offended any religious groups. Here, five things we learned from the proceedings.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Municipal Election 2014

1 Comment

A new Forum poll gives John Tory his lead back

This latest Forum Research poll, conducted with input from 1241 Toronto residents on October 15, shows results consistent with those of other polls released since August. John Tory has a comfortable lead over Doug Ford, and Olivia Chow still trails with less than a quarter of the vote. Although none of this is particularly surprising, it’s nevertheless a huge departure from last week’s Forum poll, which put Ford and Tory in a virtual tie. Pollsters usually qualify their results by saying that they’re “considered accurate 19 times out of 20.” That previous poll may just have been number 20.

The Informer

Stat

Comments

A huge number of Torontonians have already voted

28,046

—The number of people who voted on Tuesday, the first of six days of advance polling for the 2014 municipal election. The city is touting this as the highest first-day advance-polling turnout ever—which it is, by far. (The entire weekday turnout during 2010’s advance polling was about 16,000.) This year’s number may be a little inflated, though, because the city is running many times more weekday polling stations than it did during the last election.

The Informer

Politics

10 Comments

Brampton mayor Susan Fennell on phone bills, nice cars and “smear campaigns”

Susan Fennell’s poll numbers have plummeted over allegations of reckless spending. The Brampton mayor, running for her fifth term, is crying foul

Brampton mayor Susan Fennell on phone bills, plane tickets, and "smear campaigns"In Toronto, you’re known as Brampton’s spend-happy, ultra-entitled mayor. Care to challenge that characterization?
Yes, I would. I’m the victim of a smear campaign by a collection of councillors and by the Toronto Star, which has a clear vendetta against me.

According to a Deloitte audit of your expenses, you have an on-call limo service that costs taxpayers $45,000 a year. Isn’t that a tad lavish for a public servant?
Well, it’s a sedan, not a limousine—it’s just rented through a limo agency. It’s an important service that allows me to get where I need to be safely and, if necessary, to continue working in the back seat while we drive.

Why do you also lease a Lincoln ­Navigator, which costs taxpayers an additional $1,400 a month?
Because I drive myself to many events. I need both options, depending on the circumstances.

Over seven years, your office has spent $134,847 on non-economy flights, sometimes for passes that are upgradable to business class, in violation of the city’s travel policy, which permits only economy fares.
Those passes allow me to change or cancel tickets with no fee or penalty.

They were on average twice as expensive as a normal economy fare bought on an as-needed basis.
I buy passes so I can have better control of my day and time, should I need to stay later or what have you. It’s akin to taking the 407 instead of the 401.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Events

Comments

See The Book of Mormon, no Broadway pilgrimmage required

(Image: Joan Marcus)

(Image: Joan Marcus)

The Book of Mormon has had its fair share of hype: it has collected a whack of Tonys and won accolades from countless critics. All we’ll say is that there’s more than enough reason to grab a ticket for the show’s new Toronto run. The musical tells the satirical story of two teenage Mormon missionaries (played by Gavin Creel and Christopher John O’Neill) who, after being posted in a small, disease-plagued Ugandan village, begin to question their faith. The show was created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the minds behind South Park, and scored by Avenue Q composer Robert Lopez—so it’s not quite as heavy as it may sound in summary. Regular tickets are still available, though the discounted pre-show ticket lottery might be worth the wait (details here).

Until Nov. 30. $49–$200. Princess of Wales Theatre, 300 King St. W., 416-872-1212, mirvish.com.

The Informer

Real Estate

Comments

House of the Week: $25 million for a giant chateau on the Bridle Path

toronto-house-of-the-week-68-the-bridle-path-intro

Address: 68 The Bridle Path
Neighbourhood: Bridle Path-Sunnybrook-York Mills
Agent: Barry Cohen, RE/MAX Realtron Realty Inc., Brokerage
Price: $25,000,000

The Place: An extravagant 10-bedroom, 14-washroom gated French-style chateau on the Bridle Path.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Tech

Comments

Hailo is leaving North America—but maybe not Toronto

hailo-logo-smallHailo, the taxi-hailing app that has been ingratiating its way onto Toronto’s smartphones since its local launch in 2012, is either leaving town immediately or staying in business indefinitely, depending on whom you believe. The Financial Times, for its part, says Hailo is ceasing all of its North American operations because of intensifying competition from similar startups. Meanwhile, Hailo Canada president Justin Raymond has published a brief blog post in which he assures drivers and riders that the Toronto branch of the company isn’t going anywhere. TechCrunch reports that Hailo Toronto is hoping to remain open through a licensing deal, under which it would presumably use the Hailo name while operating independently of the mother corp. No matter what happens, though, there’s always Uber (unless it gets sued out of existence by Toronto’s taxi establishment).

UPDATE: And TechCrunch is now reporting that there will be no licensing deal for Hailo Toronto.

The Informer

People

1 Comment

Deadmau5 has figured out how to solve all of Marineland’s problems

(Image: whale: Robert Dewar)

(Image: whale: Robert Dewar)

The Toronto Star has been investigating alleged animal neglect at Marineland since 2012, and now—finally!—Deadmau5, the Toronto-based EDM artist and noted animal lover (well, he loves cats, at any rate) has come forward with a solution so simple that it just might (that is, probably won’t) work.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Stat

1 Comment

A lot of city council candidates don’t live in the wards they’re running in

38%

—The percentage of city council candidates running in the 2014 election who don’t live in the wards they hope to represent, according to an analysis by Everycandidate.org. That group includes 12 incumbents.

The Informer

Columns

10 Comments

Dear Urban Diplomat: my wife wants to give out toothbrushes on Halloween—should she?

Dear Urban Diplomat: my wife wants to give out toothbrushes on Halloween—should she?

(Image: sarkasmo/Flickr)

Dear Urban Diplomat,
My wife is a dentist and wants to give out toothbrushes instead of candy for ­Halloween. I told her this is a lame idea and that our house will likely get egged, but she’s digging in. Is trick-or-treating the right time to make a statement about dental health, or should she just let kids stuff their faces with chocolate?

—Tooth or Dare, Liberty Village

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Municipal Election 2014

35 Comments

Nobody wants to endorse Doug Ford

doug-ford-now-whatThis morning, Doug Ford gathered reporters for what he said would be an endorsement announcement. Except, there was no announcement. The entire purpose of the press conference, the CBC reports, was to give Ford an opportunity to denounce the very concept of political endorsements. “This is a political election and some people want to make it about political endorsements,” he said. (“Political,” in Fordspeak, is an insult word on par with “fascist.”) Ford also took the opportunity to taunt John Tory for supporting him and his brother in the 2010 election. And so, the one major mayoral candidate with no high-profile endorsements is also the one who is philosophically opposed to them. Convenient!

The Informer

Real Estate

5 Comments

Sale of the Week: the $1.3-million High Park home that shows catering to the young and wealthy can pay off

Sale of the Week: 122 Mavety Street

Address: 122 Mavety Street
Neighbourhood: High Park
Agent: Duncan Cameron, Sage Real Estate Limited, Brokerage

The Property: This three-storey home in High Park was fully renovated to attract the hip and the well-heeled. It features a rare second-storey family room with a wet bar. There’s also a built-in wine fridge in the kitchen, plus modern finishes throughout.

Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement