After four years, countless political squabbles and at least six competing proposals, Rob Ford’s Scarborough subway dream is finally coming true. The mayor fist-pumped heartily yesterday evening after the crucial vote for a three-stop subway extension to replace the Scarborough SRT. Queen’s Park and Ottawa will contribute $1.48 billion and $660 million, respectively, which leaves Toronto taxpayers on the hook for about $1 billion over the next 30 years (a sum that will be raised by a 1.6-per-cent property tax levy and a development charge hike). Given the bitter, years-long fight over Toronto transit, we weren’t surprised that the debate was heated. We were, however, a little taken aback by the oddly vivid metaphors favoured by several councillors. Below, the day’s five strangest similes.
“I’m in favour of subways, I’m not in favour of self-immolation.”
—Executive committee member Denzil Minnan-Wong, getting dramatic about his concerns about cost overruns, maintenance and operating expenses.
“This is putting all of our eggs and the chicken in the basket and tossing them out the window.”
—Ford foe and bon mot specialist Adam Vaughan, arguing that the cost of the subway would mean reduced transit for other parts of the city.
“Look at it like your mom and dad are going to buy a new house. We have an LRT house that’s fully funded.”
—Paul Ainslie—a Scarborough councillor—trying to revive the once-popular, cheaper LRT plan with a confusing real estate metaphor. He went on to contrast the“LRT house” with a “subway house,” which has a big mortgage. Ainslie’s kids would buy the LRT house. Or maybe Ainslie is the kid? We got a little lost.
“They had backbone, they had vision, they had intestinal fortitude.”
—Cesar Palacio, comparing his pro-subway contingent to the steel-gutted politicians who approved the Yonge Line in the 1940s.
“I don’t know if I could do a back flip, but if I could I would.”
—Rob Ford, as football-obsessed as ever, likening his inner state to a touchdown celebration.
• Scarborough subway confirmed by Toronto council [Toronto Star]
• Toronto city council votes to build Scarborough subway extension instead of LRT [National Post]
• Toronto council votes for Scarborough subway extension [Globe and Mail]