April 17, 2011
Doug Ford’s musings on the future of Toronto’s lakeshore symbolize all that is wrong with the city. His desire to end City Hall’s involvement in Waterfront Toronto, to turn the land over to private developers and eschew a coherent vision over the future of the waterfront, and to build an outsize stadium on the greatest material asset Toronto owns, speak to the total lack of vision that permeates all discussion in the city. It is this lack of vision that holds Toronto back. It is what killed Transit City, what killed the hockey rink in the Lower Donlands, and what prevents Downsview Park from being an urban park on the size and scale to the greatest in the world. So focused on the day-to-day, this city no longer dreams; it no longer believes it has a future where it could be more than the bland, sprawled-out expanse that characterizes so much of it. It is why people jam the streets to leave every weekend, why every political discussion always revolves around money, and why there is deafening silence when the Fords’ short-sighted thinking makes the airwaves. It is why Toronto is not world-class.