Toronto Life - The Informer

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



QUOTED: Doug Holyday would never, ever raise kids downtown—not that there’s anything wrong with that

I can just see it now: ‘Where’s little Jenny? Well, she’s downstairs playing in the traffic on her way to the park.’

—Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday, on the type of tragic scenario that results when families dare to raise children in the city’s hazardous, traffic-laden core. At city hall yesterday, the former mayor of Etobicoke said he feels “there are healthier places to raise children,” though he grudgingly conceded that some people might actually want to bring up their kids downtown. Adam Vaughan, who was raised downtown and is doing the same with his offspring, leapt to defend downtown parents, and it only got more heated from there (Holyday: “Sometimes I wonder if your head’s on backwards.” Vaughan: “At least I have a head on my shoulders!”). At the root of the spat is a requirement that a proposed 47-storey condo on King Street include family-friendly three-bedroom units, a provision that Holyday called “social engineering.” City council ended up voting to keep the three-bedroom requirement—tough luck for Holyday (and for poor Jenny). [Globe and Mail]

  • JST

    Oh, amalgamation.

    What a great place we’ve landed at from 15 years ago, where simple-minded career politicians from the suburbs are the defacto CEOs of urban planning and downtown development.

  • peachy

    5 months in i conclude canada lacks the talent to fill top jobs. must find a way to attract and compensate clever talented outsiders to fix mess and train / inspire the next generation. especially in our biggest cities. this is truly pathetic.

  • W. K. Lis

    Doug Holyday lives on a street that does not even have sidewalks. Walking is discouraged. At least with downtown’s stop and go traffic, the cars actually stop. Wonder how many of the cars go over the posted speed limit when they drive to the store to buy milk.

  • really ??

    well said WKL

  • JoeTory

    I am conservative. Suburbs rule! Rural areas rule even harder! CITIES SUCK (give us your money tho lol)

  • 4D Nation 4EVER

    subways! the taxpayers want subways, folks! They came up to him at the mall and said they want subways. World class cities! GRAVY TRAIN!!!! Ford Nation Forever.

  • Etobicoke

    As an urban planner AND a resident of Etobicoke (although not in Holyday’s ward) all this debate really says to me is that it might be time for some fresh political blood to represent the “suburbs”.

    Ideas about cities and raising children have changed dramatically in the last 2o years… clearly Holyday’s opinions are stuck in a time warp.

  • Leaving the city..

    After searching ALL over Toronto, with 1 child and another on the way, we realized that housing here is so out of our reach that we have to move to the suburbs to get what we need.
    We both have great jobs and have a medium income. Im sad that we have to move, but my commute will decrease, because streetcars and subways are so overcrowded. Driving or the go train are the better way.
    I wish we could afford a safe neighborhood with a house that didnt have knob and tube, plus get 10 offers over asking..
    SEE YOU TORONTO! (well, not really because I will continue to work downtown)