The Place: A red-brick semi beside Alan Powell Lane. It’s walking distance from Koreatown, Mirvish Village and U of T.
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—Toronto musician Owen Pallett in a Facebook post about Jian Ghomeshi, who was recently ousted from his job as host of Q on CBC Radio amid allegations of sexual abuse by several unnamed women. Ghomeshi disputes the accusations, which were detailed publicly for the first time in a Star investigation on Sunday, and has filed a $55-million lawsuit against his former employer.
Toronto had the highest voter turnout in recent memory yesterday—980,177 people showed up at schools and churches and apartment party rooms and cast ballots for mayor, city councillor and school trustee. Over the course of election day, we travelled across the city and interviewed a handful of voters about how they made the all-important quadrennial decision. Their reasons ranged from the excellent (“I like her ideas”) to the puzzling (“I thought it was the right choice just out of loyalty”). Here’s what they had to say—originally published as part of our live coverage of election night.
Twenty years ago, Weezer released its self-titled debut, perhaps better known as the Blue Album. “Say It Ain’t So,” “My Name Is Jonas,” “Undone (The Sweater Song)” and practically every other track on the album have since become alt-rock anthems and karaoke classics. Going to a Weezer show in 2014, however, would involve relatively few of those hits and a whole lot of songs from albums called things like Raditude. That’s where Sheezer comes in. Toronto’s all-female Weezer cover band—a sort of supergroup consisting of musicians who perform with Our Lady Peace, The Hidden Cameras and The Bicycles—plays only the Blue Album and its fantastic follow-up, Pinkerton. To cap off a four-show mini-tour, the group is playing its fifth-annual Halloween show at Lee’s Palace, with opening sets from Peterborough power trio The Lonely Parade and psych-pop siren Petra Glynt. The band is bound to be dressed for the season—past years’ getups have included KISS outfits and superhero suits—so grab a ticket, and a costume. May we suggest Buddy Holly?
Thurs. Oct. 30. $13.50. Lee’s Palace, 529 Bloor St. W., 416-532-1598, facebook.com.
—The unofficial number of votes cast for mayor in Monday’s election. That accounts for about 60 per cent of eligible voters, which gives this trip to the polls the highest participation rate of any Toronto municipal election in recent memory. Just over 53 per cent of voters showed up in 2010, when Rob Ford was elected mayor.
Rob Ford was seemingly in good spirits last night after winning back the Ward 2 council seat he’d held for a decade prior to being elected mayor—such good spirits, in fact, that he decided to share the moment with his favourite journalist, Joe Warmington. “I will be running for mayor in four years,” Ford told the Sun columnist. “I will be the first person to sign up in 2018.” (And when Ford says he’ll be the first to sign up, he means it literally.) At this rate, the two thirds of Toronto’s voters who didn’t go for Doug Ford in this election may never recover from their political PTSD.
Tonight is the night many Torontonians have been awaiting for four years: our chance to put a close to Rob Ford’s term as mayor, finally and definitively. Can Doug Ford somehow win over voters exhausted by his brother’s litany of blunders and misdeeds? Will John Tory be handed the opportunity to restore boringness at city hall? Or will Olivia Chow somehow manage to pull off an upset? And what about all the small-but-vicious ward races playing out all across the city? We’re keeping an eye on all of it. Stay with us for live results, commentary, voter interviews, and other surprises throughout the evening.
The Property: An elevator opens directly into the den of this hard loft, which features original exposed beam-and-brick walls throughout, as well as 10-foot ceilings. It occupies the entire south side of the Monarch Building’s third floor, granting it views to the south, east and west.
Today is election day, which means this Forum Research survey of 986 “likely, decided and leaning” voters, conducted on October 25 and released Sunday night, is probably the final public poll of the 2014 mayoral campaign. There are no surprises here: John Tory, Olivia Chow and Doug Ford are all pretty much exactly where they’ve been since Labour Day. If today’s results don’t at least somewhat resemble the chart above, then Toronto’s pollsters have a lot to answer for.
This Ipsos Reid poll, conducted on behalf of Global News, is an important one. Not only does it come just three days before the municipal election, but it also generally agrees with the most recent Forum Research poll. So, that’s two polls from two different pollsters, conducted within days of each other and showing pretty much the same result: John Tory a dozen or so points ahead of Doug Ford, and Olivia Chow still trailing behind. This poll differs from the Forum poll in a few ways, though: it was conducted over a number of days, rather than just one, and it included both phone and online responses, whereas Forum election polls always rely on robocalls. Also, Global doesn’t say whether or not these results are among decided voters only. If they are, then everyone’s percentages are likely slightly higher than they would otherwise be. Regardless, the trend is clear: Tory is looking strong.
Since he unveiled it in late May, SmartTrack has been the centrepiece of John Tory’s One Toronto transit plan. Consisting of 22 stops (including five TTC interchanges) over 53 kilometres, the line would cut a loosely U-shaped curve through Toronto, starting near the airport in the west and dipping down through Union Station before heading northeast into Markham. Running largely on electrified GO Transit tracks, the new line would, Tory claims, serve 200,000 riders daily. He says the project will cost about $8-billion and will be operational by 2021, with the city’s one-third share of the funding coming from tax increment financing (also known as TIF)—which is basically a way of borrowing against future property-tax growth. Tory has also promised to start construction on the Scarborough subway immediately and provide express bus service along a few select routes.
IF TORY IS ELECTED, WILL IT HAPPEN?
Because SmartTrack relies so heavily on existing GO Transit infrastructure, Tory will first have to get Metrolinx on his side. That might be harder than it sounds, according to transit advocate and writer Steve Munro. There are legitimate questions to be asked about whether SmartTrack’s extra trains could coexist with Metrolinx’s own plans for regional express rail. There’s also reason to be concerned about whether the extra stations are actually desired or even physically possible (smaller trains wouldn’t hit Tory’s ridership promises, but larger trains would require larger stations). “There’s going to be a reckoning fairly soon,” Munro says. “If Tory is elected, some bright spark at the December 11 Metrolinx board meeting is going to ask how SmartTrack fits with their [regional express rail]. At that point, we can no longer pretend that Tory’s plan is simply a doodle on a piece of paper that we don’t have to worry about.”
Candidates John Tory, Doug Ford and Olivia Chow made a lot of claims during Thursday night’s debate on CityTV, the last one of this mayoral campaign. Here, writer and comedian Jeremy Woodcock takes a hard-hitting look at some of these dubious statements, to see if they stand up to close examination.
STATEMENT: “We’re going to begin with opening statements.” – Moderator
FACT-CHECK: They did. It’s actually the only way you can begin.
The Place: A 1,248 square foot penthouse in one of Yorkville’s smaller condo buildings. There are two bedrooms, a balcony, two parking spaces and an open-concept living and dining area.