I haven’t returned to Toronto for any reason, vacation or otherwise, since I moved out of there a decade ago, and sadly I don’t think it would feel much like home anymore if I did go back. Too many of my favorite haunts there — record stores, book stores, movie theatres — are now gone forever. I guess it’s supposed to be progress.
The latest to go is HMV, whose stores are rapidly disappearing all across Canada due to bankruptcy. Their massive store at 333 Yonge St. was definitely a place to go see whenever I was downtown, along with Sam the Record Man and The World’s Biggest Bookstore (R.I.P.).
Anyway, be sure to check out this item from NOW Toronto about HMV’s last days.
It was supposed to be this big return to a city that has repeatedly embraced the UFC, but things have just deteriorated from bad to worse and people are complaining in print about it, saying the fans in Toronto are turned off because this isn’t the big-time card they expected.
First, this was supposedly going to be the comeback for Georges St.-Pierre. Then, when that didn’t work out, they were going to headline a light heavyweight title fight. It was going to be Daniel Cormier vs. Anthony Johnson 2, but that got scrubbed because Cormier was injured.
So the headliner became Max Holloway versus Anthony Pettis for the interim featherweight title, which I find funny because Holloway was also the headliner versus Charles Oliveira when UFC Fight Night 74 was in Saskatoon. At that time, people in Saskatoon were going “who cares?!” So, anyway, this is what Toronto is in store for tomorrow.
Well, guess what, the woes for this card continue. Pettis missed his weight today, which means the fight will proceed, but it’s only Holloway who has a shot at winning the title. To make matters worse, this UFC event at Air Canada Centre is up against the MLS Cup final happening the same night between Toronto FC and Seattle, down at BMO Field!
I wouldn’t blame the UFC if all they want to do now is just show up and get these fights over with, and slink out of town. It’s been that kind of event.
The final for the World Junior Hockey Championship goes tonight in Toronto.
This promises to be the Super Bowl of junior hockey. TSN’s hype for this game and for the whole tournament is through the roof — not surprisingly, since this is about the biggest major hockey property they have left. The prices for the games has also been through the roof, which might explain the tournament’s so-so attendance. Tickets for tonight’s game at Air Canada Centre are apparently selling for as high as $5900 on StubHub. That, my friends, is ridiculous.
Canada, with its all-star lineup including likely No.1 NHL draft pick Connor McDavid, will attempt to end a five-year-long gold medal drought tonight against Russia — a dry spell that dates back to 2010 in, of all places, Saskatoon.
I notice the margin for John Tory has gone up to over 52,000 votes in the mayor’s race there. Turns out Doug Ford did exceptionally well in Scarborough.
Current numbers are 40 percent for Tory, 34 for Ford and 23 percent for Olivia Chow. Right now Ms. Chow is giving her concession speech on TV.
Also, Bonnie Crombie replaces Hurricane Hazel McCallion as mayor of Mississauga, and Susan Fennell is out as mayor of Brampton as Linda Jeffrey is the winner there.
Now I’ve got to catch up on what is going on in the wards down there in a Toronto. Fun stuff.
It was a lot closer than a lot of people thought, but the networks have now projected that John Tory has indeed ended Ford Nation rule in the mayor’s chair and has been elected mayor of Toronto.
And yes, I have to say I’m delighted. Great night for the city of Toronto.
We are almost at the end now for this municipal election in Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, London and elsewhere across Ontario.
Thank goodness. After this week, I can finally concentrate on following the U.S. vote, of which we are getting inundated with attack ads on American cable TV. Should be a nice change from all the nonsense we saw from the Toronto race.
As an aside — I wonder if any of the Rob Ford-obsessed American cable news channels will have any coverage of the Toronto vote tonight.
Probably not, but if they do cover it, the letters CNN will most definitely stand for “Canada News Network” after tonight.
Be sure to tune in to all these links at 8pm ET sharp for the results, because with these electronic tabulation machines they have in Toronto the count will be done super-quickly. See you later tonight, politics junkies.
So it is not just Toronto that is going to the polls; places like Mississauga, Brampton, London, Hamilton, Ottawa etc. are electing civic officials too. In fact, not only is this the first time in decades that the Mississauga has had a real race for mayor, but this race between Bonnie Crombie and Steve Mahoney is actually pretty close.
But the media attention has all been on Toronto’s race — mainly due to the ongoing circus act of the last few years involving two guys named Rob and Doug Ford.
Unfortunately for Doug, that is exactly his problem. The craziness of the Rob Ford candidacy has not stopped with Doug in the race. Instead, he’s continued to get in the same sorts of trouble as his brother. The biggest low point for him was that debate where Doug got foot-in-mouth disease and made some comments about Jewish people that did not go over well with the audience. That was followed up by his claim that his wife is Jewish, which provoked some skepticism there, too.
Whatever Doug Ford thinks about Jewish people is beside the point. The point is this controversy make it look like the circus act was continuing with him. This was more of the same nonsense people had seen from his brother Rob, and people were fed up with it. Even though there was one Forum poll that put Doug Ford two points behind John Tory in the mayor’s race around this time as well, Doug’s momentum came to a halt after this episode.
In general, it really has been a gaffe-filled campaign on Ford’s part, characterized by attacks and made-up controversies about rival Tory that went nowhere. Ford first tried to trash Tory for not having enough experience, and then he tried to make an issue about the “gap in Tory’s resume” in reference to Tory being on the board of Charter Communications which went belly-up. Then he tried to turn Tory’s 2010 endorsement of Ford’s own council run into an endorsement of him this time for mayor.
Too bad he hasn’t been able to find anyone important this time to give him a real endorsement. Meanwhile Tory has been picking up one endorsement after another lately. Just the other day, outgoing Mississauga mayor Hazel McCallion endorsed him. Doug says it doesn’t matter and that he has the endorsement that really matters — from the people. We’ll see about that one Monday.
Meanwhile, the Olivia Chow campaign has continued to be a sinking ship. It’s quite sad, actually. As predicted by myself, her campaign has gotten more and more desperate the last few weeks.
She basically made a point of attacking Tory at every turn, slamming his SmartTrack transit plans and claiming there was no difference between him and the Fords, what with the “Doug Tory” references and so on. That then prompted people to criticize Ms. Chow for dragging down Tory and making it possible for Ford to get in instead.
Anyway, that is the sort of campaign it has been for Chow. The “air of death” has taken over, and there is a full-on reverse bandwagon effect going on, with people bailing on Chow to vote Tory in order to stop Ford.
All in all, I think everyone in Toronto is glad this race is almost over and glad these debates are over, along with all the controversies associated with them — about candidates not showing up for all of them and so on. There have been too many of these controversies, and too many debates to begin with. If people in Toronto say they don’t have the information to make a decision, they clearly had their head in the sand the last few months.
The last few days have been notable because Tory pulled off a clean sweep of endorsements of the four major Toronto newspapers, which came as a surprise to me because I thought there was no way the Toronto “Red” Star would endorse him. I thought those lefty-libs over there would endorse Olivia, but the fact that they endorsed Tory clearly shows they think Chow’s cause is hopeless.
The Globe and the National Post are less of a surprise. As for the Toronto Sun, their editorial endorsement of Tory is notable because their major columnists like Joe Warmington, Mike Strobel and Sue-Ann Levy seemed to be Ford Nation people all the way. And the paper has given the Fords no end of coverage lately. So for their editorial board to turn around and endorse Tory, four years after that same paper endorsed Rob Ford, shows you how much trouble Ford Nation is in.
The latest round of polls have given Tory a lead of anywhere between six and 14 points over Ford. It would be a real surprise to me if there is any result other than a Tory victory on Monday, simply because I think so many people are going to vote for him to toss Ford Nation out.
All in all, this race has not gone the way anyone expected, due to Ms. Chow’s campaign implosion as well as the onset of Mayor Rob Ford’s health problems in the middle of his re-election race, forcing him to pull out and for Doug to enter instead. As an aside, Mayor Ford is on the ballot in Ward 2 for council and he could still come back to council for more fun, assuming he wins his cancer fight.
We will see what transpires Monday. Hopefully I will put up another post tomorrow with a few more links to some articles about the campaign. On Monday night, I intend to be here for some election coverage of my own, but it will have to be for only a little while because later that evening I will need to head off to cover — that’s right — a city council meeting. It figures.
It’s not just the debates that are a gong show in Toronto, it’s the entire mayor’s race.
Today, Doug Ford called a press conference and wasted everyone’s time by bashing John Tory and claiming he was not qualified to be mayor, and declared Sept. 26 as Take John Tory to Work Day.
I notice a lot of people on Twitter were unimpressed and thought Ford’s news conference bordered on the slanderous. Tory, on the other hand, was at a debate Ford skipped earlier today where he repeatedly bashed Ford, and he decried Ford’s bully tactics when speaking to reporters later.
All in all, just another day at the office in Toronto politics. Someone should have declared this to be “Listen to Doug Ford’s Hot Air Day”, or something.
Oh, and here’s what Christie Blatchford had to say about last night’s debacle of a debate. In yet another controversy from that farce of a night, one of the hecklers there — a Ford Nation supporter apparently — had stood up and yelled at Olivia Chow to “go back to China”.
Way to keep things classy.
How much longer until Election Day? October 27? Really, we are in for another month of this nonsense?!
Good heavens, you have to feel sorry for folks in Toronto, having to put up with this.
The Toronto mayor’s debate tonight was heavily built up as being this potential game-changer because it was the first one for Doug Ford.
And you sure could tell, because it was the typical gong show we have come to expect any time anyone named Ford enters a room anywhere in Toronto.
The only way to describe this debate, based on what I saw online, is by using the word “unruly”. No other word fits.
The lowest point came very early on when the meeting was totally disrupted by some crazed woman in the audience who stood up and shouted a bunch of incendiary sentiments that disrupted the debate, and then she got into a shouting match with another woman in the audience. The shouting got so bad that Olivia Chow got drowned out by it and couldn’t speak. The heckler ended up being escorted out by security.
Then the debate resumed, and it was just a shoutfest with all the candidates bashing each other, and with the crowd drowning out both John Tory and Olivia Chow at times with intense booing. In all, the maturity level of many in the audience left a lot to be desired.
While some of the “Ford Nation” people, I’m sure, thought Doug landed knock-out punches, the problem is that so many knockout punches were being thrown at everyone by everyone that it muted Ford’s blows, so they didn’t have the impact. It was that sort of night. And may I add, the unruly crowd, which looked like it was filled with Ford Nation people, was not the sort of atmosphere that helps Doug Ford. People are clearly tired of all the nonsense associated with all the Fords. Ford desperately has to get away from the circus atmosphere that has characterized him and Mayor Rob Ford for four years. It didn’t happen tonight.
All in all, this debate tonight was an embarrassment, truly at the level of the Jerry Springer Show. Which, by the way, ought to surprise nobody since Springer was once mayor of Cincinnati.
Springer should move to Toronto and run for mayor – he’d fit right in. This is what Toronto politics has been reduced to, folks.
And as an aside, Ford used the word “folks” a lot tonight. Folks in Toronto need to grow up, clearly, based on tonight.
For a full recap, here it is from CTV Toronto. Have a good one.
I have a few things to say about the departure of Karen Stintz from the race for mayor of Toronto the other day.
The main thing is that there is one less serious candidate in the race, which is bound to make the future mayor’s debates a heck of a lot more manageable for people compared to the free-for-alls we have seen before.
But as for which candidate is helped by this latest development — no question, it’s John Tory. The thing is that everyone at the start of the race was saying there was no way Tory, or for that matter, Mayor Rob Ford, could win against Olivia Chow because of a crowded field on the centre-right with Stintz and David Soknacki in the race splitting the vote.
But the Soknacki campaign has simply not caught on, and neither had the Stintz campaign. In the meantime, the Tory campaign has since surged to the top of the polls by a small margin ahead of Chow and Ford.
Now that Stintz is officially out of the running, I expect most of her backers to head Tory’s way because Stintz’s views are pretty much diametrically opposed to everything Olivia Chow stands for, plus she and Rob Ford are total mortal enemies who hate each others’ guts. Among other things, they fought each other on transit issues at City Hall for the longest time.
Make no mistake about it, Stintz dropping out is good news for the other centre-right candidate, Tory. Don’t believe these pundits who are saying her departure makes no difference; these are the same people who said Stintz would cause problems for Tory just by being in the race. The bottom line is the Tory supporters always wanted Stintz out of the way in this election, and now they’ve got their wish. Now, we are in for what promises to be an interesting few weeks before Election Day.
As for Stintz’s future, I notice she wants to replace Mark Cohon as commissioner of the Canadian Football League. Cohon announced he won’t seek another term after it ends next year.
I find it totally amusing that so many municipal politicians in Toronto are so interested in the CFL — Tory and Ford included. It would be really nice if the rest of the populace there showed the same interest. (18,000 fans a game at Rogers Centre — that’s not good.)
This has been a big week of auto racing for me personally. I went to the Canadian Tire series race in Saskatoon this week (and even wrote a story about it), and then this weekend I was hoping to tune in to the Honda Indy races in Toronto on TV during any downtime from my reporting assignments. But it has been weather-plagued from beginning to end.
Now the second of the two races is running, and the rain is falling again in Toronto. The race just went under caution because Juan Pablo Montoya’s car wiped out and landed on driver Mikhail Aleshin’s head. Literally, his head.
Now the race is back on, but it is just a rain fest down there. All I have to say is that these are miserable conditions for the fans. I used to like going to the Indy in Toronto back in the day, but what I really liked was the good weather at those events! Rain and auto racing just do not mix — for the fans, and especially the drivers. Too bad.
Before anyone starts to blame Mayor Rob Ford for the weather problems at the Indy, keep in mind weather is a federal responsibility. (That is a very old joke.)
I haven’t blogged much about Toronto mayor Rob Ford and his glorious comeback to the mayor’s office this week, a comeback which quickly descended into the usual gong show we have come to expect. Invitation-only press conferences, heckling from people in East York on Canada Day, and a bizarre confrontation with some shirtless guy dominated yet another crazy week in municipal politics in Toronto.
Now, the latest poll numbers are out showing Ford in third place in the mayor’s race. His numbers were higher, if I recall, when he was in rehab. Pundits are being quoted in the press as saying this is the start of “Ford fatigue,” and I think they are right.
I had initially though the whole rehab thing might actually help Ford, and help him put his addictions problems behind him and get things back on track with his usual sock-it-to-the-elites, give-em-hell style of campaigning. Instead, in just one week back on the job, the usual craziness has returned and Ford is simply reminding people why they don’t want to put him back in again.
Moreover, this is not even interesting craziness anymore, it’s just the same old boring nonsense. People are past the point of caring. I’m tired of Rob Ford and tired of the circus atmosphere in Toronto, and I’m not alone.
My love-hate relationship with Toronto continues. Now I’m back to wishing I was still there given its multitude of news and activity.
First, the late night comedians are all having a field day over Rob Ford checking into rehab.
Second, the PCs and NDP are all opposing the provincial budget, so Premier Kathleen Wynne has called a provincial election for June 12.
And finally, Toronto has gone ga-ga over their Raptors, who could win their NBA first-round series with a road victory tonight. Meanwhile, TSN has been getting over a million people tuning in the games. The ratings should be through the roof tonight.
Go Raptors!! Over and out, from here in dull and sedate Saskatchewan.
Wow, this is what happens when I am out of the loop for a couple of hours. I come home to find out Mayor Rob Ford has taken a leave of absence to deal with his addiction problems.
Why it took until now for this to happen, I don’t know. He should have gotten help a long time ago, but instead, he left it too late and now even more embarrassing recordings have surfaced.
According to the link posted above, two new raunchy recordings of Ford have been obtained by the Toronto Sun and the Globe and Mail. The Sun’s recording has Ford apparently drunk and swearing yet again, while the Globe is claiming to have found a second video where Ford allegedly did crack.
And while Ford is taking a leave, he is not resigning as mayor, nor is he withdrawing from the mayor’s race, although he is putting his campaign on hold for the time being. I am wondering — how many lives does this cat have left?! Surely, he must be running out of them by this point.
I am still following the Toronto mayor’s race with interest from far away. Last night was a momentous one in the race as Mayor Rob Ford and brother Doug held their reelection campaign launch rally at the Toronto Congress Centre.
The event was being described as a “happening” and based on what I saw on the feed yesterday, lived up to the hype. It looked like the hall was filled with Ford Nation people, plus a few hecklers who you could hear yelling in the background the whole time Rob Ford was speaking. The whole thing was classic, with Ford entering the hall to Eye of the Tiger, by Survivor, and of course, he was sweating up there through the whole speech. Classic Ford.
Apparently even George Chuvalo was there to give his endorsement to Ford at the rally. Now here is the question I have. Why can’t municipal elections in Saskatchewan be this exciting? Don’t we have any boxers — or something to liven things up? Anyway, the atmosphere there sure looked electric, like it was a heavyweight fight. And then Ford exited the hall to the lyrics “We’re Not Going to Take It Anymore.”
And that makes me wonder — can Ford actually pull this off? After all these crack cocaine revelations? After all the videos out there of him? After the circus atmosphere at City Hall, and his being stripped of much of his powers by the council? After all the jokes and the pummelling by the late night comedians? It’s almost as if all of Jimmy Kimmel’s jokes are helping Ford.
It also doesn’t seem to matter that his opponents are attacking Ford’s ethics and promising codes of conduct and the like. Ford Nation just does not seem to care about that. And if you want to know why Ford himself is still standing after all the pummelling he’s been through, look no further than his supporters. This campaign looks to be a “Ford Nation against the world” campaign, and that is going to have a lot of appeal with people in Toronto who will want to give the finger to City Hall and the city elites one more time.
In the wake of all of those bookstore closings and other things that triggered my recent feelings of nostalgia for life in Toronto, here is the column I wrote about it all.
As you can tell, I started out talking about how much I missed Toronto, but by the end I wind up reminding myself of all the downsides of daily life there that I do not miss in the least — the smog, the traffic, the costs of living, you name it. Toronto’s terrible!
Another thing I am not missing about Toronto — their lousy stinking embarrassing hockey team.
The pathetic Leafs could punch their ticket right into the 2014 Stanley Cup trashcan as early as tonight. If eliminated, they would be joining the equally stinking Canucks, who today fired their GM Mike Gillis. You remember him — he was the guy who traded all of Vancouver’s goaltenders. Who knows, maybe the Leafs will hire him.
I can’t believe it. Just a day after they closed the World’s Biggest Bookstore comes word that the Indigo folks are closing the flagship Chapters store at John and Richmond in Toronto.
That is the same location where the big Paramount movie theatre, now the Scotiabank Theatre, is.
Really, this is now officially comical. It seems like every last thing I ever liked about Toronto during my time there is either closed, or closing. That city has gone completely to heck!
Forgive me for ranting, but all this recent Toronto news has given me a serious bout of homesickness for the place, or at least, what It used to be like. Unfortunately, the Toronto I once knew is permanently becoming a memory.
What could possibly be next? Don’t tell me, let me guess — it’ll be the Toronto Blue Jays announcing they are moving to Montreal.
Heck, at this rate that news would be the icing on the cake.
It is an interesting political day in Toronto as Olivia Chow has joined the mayors race. She has resigned her seat as an NDP MP and will officially launch her campaign for mayor tomorrow.
It sounds like she is lining up all the big back room boys in her corner — John Laschinger, Warren Kinsella, etc. Already, the fur has started to fly, with Chow already getting trashed by critics over allegations of using her parliamentary budget to boost her run for mayor. So much for any hope of a positive campaign in Toronto.
One guy welcoming Chow into the race is none other than Mayor Rob Ford. He called it the best news he heard all day.
In other news from Toronto, a big snowstorm hit today. Makes me glad I am here in sunny, thawing-out Saskatchewan.
As many people know by now, Monday was a big day in the Toronto mayor’s race. The filing of Karen Stintz’s candidacy was upstaged quickly with news that John Tory had entered the race. The story here.
Tory’s entry marks a major blow to Mayor Rob Ford’s re-election chances, as Tory is bound to take a good deal of voters who had cast votes for Ford in 2010. The only reason they voted for Ford was for no other reason than because there was no one else to vote for. Of course, the Ford people are now going around trying to play the anti-establishment card and are saying Tory is part of the political tax and spend establishment.
The problem with that line of baloney is that Tory hasn’t been in charge of anything at Toronto City Hall for the last decade. Rob Ford has, and so has his predecessor David Miller.
Tory, on the other hand, spent that time hard at work losing elections. Opponents have used that fact against him before, but in a way, it’s now something Tory can maybe use to his advantage. He can say voters tried Miller, and then tried Ford, and look what happened. These people had their chance, and they screwed it up, so why not give Tory a chance. Surely he can’t be any worse than the current joker in charge.
As for Mayor Ford, I notice he was busy on TV today, talking to Matt Lauer on the Today Show.. He told Lauer he didn’t do drugs, and then the mayor later stormed out of a press conference at City Hall in which he was bombarded again with questions on the subject of drugs. Yes, the fun times continue in “Ford Nation.” This guy Ford will have no problems keeping American late night comedians busy for the next several months, all the way until the election.
What a mess, again, in Toronto after this massive ice storm they had this weekend. Something like 300,000 households without power down there, and it looks like it is going to take a long time for the power to come back on — maybe days. Live coverage here from CP24. Also here is the latest at Newstalk 1010.
Not only is the weather situation awful down there, but the whole East Coast got socked and travel plans have been all fouled up. Yikes. I guess I shouldn’t complain about living on the minus-30 Prairies — we have it great in comparison.
What utter lunacy from Toronto city hall today.
Council passes a motion asking Mayor Rob Ford to step aside. Now honestly, folks, what did you really expect these councillors to do? Nothing?
Sounds like the meeting today was a three ring circus, with Rob’s brother Councillor Doug Ford confronting Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong on the floor and loudly asking him “have you smoked marijuana?”
Oh, and by the way, this has got to be another first — the first Canadian city council meeting to appear live on CNN.
Even Fox News is covering this mayhem, reporting Mayor Ford’s admission under questioning at the meeting that he purchased illegal drugs!
In other news, more court documents on Ford have been released. CTV News is reporting staff allegations of cocaine, prostitutes etc. etc.
I’m wondering what could possibly come next. Frankly, today’s hilarity will be hard to top.
Of course, the late night comedians have had a field day lately targeting the Mayor, using lines like “drunken stupor” this and “drunken stupor” that. I never thought I would ever see the day a mayor of Toronto was ridiculed on TV by Jay Leno, or Jimmy Kimmel, or anyone else like that.
Anyway, they’ll have even more to tee off on now with the emergence of the latest, most embarrassing video yet. This newest video, which the Toronto Star apparently paid for, is really a new low.
The video shows Ford ranting and raving like a lunatic and talking about wanting to “kill” someone.
Ford’s reaction was to say he was obviously “extremely, extremely inebriated.” Well, at least he didn’t refer to himself as being in a “drunken stupor” again. That would have only meant more jokes.
Anyway, the joke is over as far as I am concerned. Something has got to be done to get this mayor into rehab, or detox, or something, right now before this humiliation goes on any further or before he does serious harm to himself.
All his friends and allies are sick of this. Coun. Denzil Minnan-Wong, usually a reliable Ford ally on most things at City Hall, is now saying Ford must be “shown the door.” A longtime Ford family friend, finance minister Jim Flaherty, was tearing up in public over this whole mess and saying it was up to Ford to get help.
Just today we’ve learned that the Ford radio show on Newstalk 1010 is now kaput, off the air by “mutual consent.” Now we are hearing word that maybe, just maybe, Ford might finally listen to all the advice people have been telling him —that he should deal with his problems and take time off, for a while.
It couldn’t come so0n enough for Ford, or his fellow Conservatives. The longer this whole Ford distraction continues, the harder it is for Conservatives to focus attention on the controversial statements made by other politicians in the other political parties — such as, for instance, the thoughts of the leader of the Liberals and future Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau. You know what Trudeau said the other day? That he admires China. See it for yourself.
It turns out the infamous crack cocaine video featuring Mayor Rob Ford has finally emerged!
What an utter mess. I dunno whether to be envious or to take pity on my reporter colleagues in Toronto covering this utter gong show.
As an aside — it’s a good thing the Boston Red Sox won the World Series last night, because that frees up my evening to listen to people freak out about Ford on the radio on Newstalk 1010.
I must admit I was distracted this morning while writing my NDP debate stories from last night, because of the live reports from Mayor Rob Ford’s legal appeal in Toronto.
As it turns out, he has won his appeal and therefore is going to remain in office as mayor of Toronto. Hopefully, this will be the end of this absolute sideshow that has been a total distraction in Toronto, and maybe the focus at City Hall there can turn now to solving all the rest of the problems that city faces.
I highly doubt this will be the end of Ford’s fights with his opponents, though. This legal mess was simply one battle in the long-drawn-out political war going on in municipal politics in Toronto.
This weekend marks the 100th Grey Cup game, and the combatants in the annual West versus East matchup are the Calgary Stampeders and the Toronto Argonauts in Toronto. It’s the Stamps’ Kevin Glenn versus the Argos’ Ricky Ray.
Already I am hearing about the festivities in Toronto and getting jealous about it all, wishing I was still in Toronto to enjoy it.
And then I remember: Saskatchewan is hosting the Grey Cup next year and so we are going to be enjoying the same thing anyway. So I really should not be jealous at all.
I really hope folks in Toronto embrace this game and embrace the CFL this week. But the team has been a tough sell there as this TSN article points out. The hope is that the Argos involvement might spur on some more fan interest there in the team and in the CFL.
Personally, I always enjoyed going to CFL games at Rogers Centre when I lived in Toronto, and the Argos do have some passionate fans, but I know from first-hand experience that the CFL kind of ranks somewhere below European soccer in the priorities of people in the city. I remember what it was like when the Argos won the Grey Cup back in 2004. No one in Toronto took to the streets or really cared, yet when Italy won the World Cup of Soccer two years later in 2006, people were dancing in the streets. That says it all.
What’s concerned me all year was watching these Argo games on TV from the Rogers Centre and seeing the attendance there, and all the empty seats. It was a sad scene all year. I gotta say, the Argos deserved far better than they got at the gate from the folks in Toronto , considering the product they put out compared to the other sporting options in the city.
Really, the other sports in the city have nothing at all to be proud of. The Toronto Raptors and Toronto FC are both absolutely terrible, the Maple Leafs have been terrible forever and a day, and until this past week the Toronto Blue Jays were in the same boat. And yet all of them do better at the gate and get more local coverage than the Argos do, even though it’s the Argos who have had more success and more playoff appearances lately. There is no good reason for this at all, and it makes even less sense when you look at the locked out Leafs and the long waiting list they have for season tickets. I just don’t get it. In fact, since 1967 the number of Grey Cups won by the Toronto Argonauts – five – has exceeded the number of lockouts the NHL has had. Think about it, fans.
Anyway, I hope this week in particular that people in Toronto appreciate what they have in the CFL and in the Toronto Argonauts, especially since those fools in the NHL still haven’t figured out how to solve their lockout situation. I think there is a growing appreciation across Canada for the fact that we have a CFL to cheer for and that these players give it their all year in and year out. I think that goes for Toronto sports fans, too.
Things seem to be going from bad to worse in my former home city of Toronto.
Just like the shooting at the Eaton Centre earlier this year, there is shock and outrage — though Michele Mandel wonders where the outrage is from the chief of police. Sue-Ann Levy is calling for anti-gun leadership while Lorrie Goldstein is calling for action on gun crime. Mike Strobel wants the violence stopped before Toronto gets Tijuana’s rep. Boy, the concern over this violence is overflowing from the folks at the Sun today.
I’ve seen all the clips of Mayor Rob Ford saying Toronto is a safe city. Well, the mayor can say that all he wants, but it is going to take a lot more than words before Toronto residents believe the place is safe these days. Toronto is rapidly turning into a city where people are afraid to walk down the streets. The gang violence and gun violence there needs to be stopped, right now, before something even worse happens than what went on last night.
Well, forgive me if the very first edition of News from Nowhere here at the new website is loaded with crime. It has been a very gory week of criminal activity in Canada and around the world.
Among the criminal activities — those of the evil Luka Magnotta, arrested in Germany following an international manhunt. He’s the man accused of butchering up some poor guy in Montreal and then sending the body parts in the mail to political parties.
Then on the weekend in Toronto at the food court in the Eaton Centre, there was a shooting spree that left one person dead and several injured.
The city of Toronto is in total shock, and well it should be. As for me, I’m in shock because when I lived in Toronto I ate at this particular food court many times. No one expects something like this to happen in any food court, especially that one.
Anyway, the man responsible has been arrested, but it just puts the exclamation point on a scary last few days here in frozen Canada.
In other crime news a mistrial was declared in the case against John Edwards and while he may be far from innocent in this whole scenario, I still think this trial was a waste of money.
In other news, the Queen is celebrating 60 years on the throne.
May I also bring up the fact that during the entire 60 years of Elizabeth II’s reign the Los Angeles Kings have never won a Stanley Cup. That drought could end, soon.
Last night was the Miss USA pageant and wouldn’t you know it, all the Twitter people ended up responsible for the hot-button “transgendered contestant” question that poor Miss Rhode Island was stuck with. As it turned out, she got the answer right and won the pageant.
And in the weirdest story of the weekend Hugh Hefner has welcomed back Crystal Harris as his girlfriend.
Really? The same Crystal who ran out on his wedding? What is Hef thinking?? I don’t understand this one one bit.
That’s it for now.