The Localist

All aboard the Rob Ford Reality Tour

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Our wonderful city of Toronto has been somewhat of a laughing-stock lately on account of our jolly, plus-sized mayor finally admitting, after months of rumours, to smoking crack…although he can’t be sure because he was in a “drunken stupor”. Yes, you’ve all been made aware of the foibles of Mayor Rob Ford (not to be confused with Chris Farley, a different lovable heavyset character with a penchant for hard drugs and a barrel of laughs… he’s dead, and we laughed with him, not at him).

We, for one, believe that the world has been unfair in rushing to judge Mayor Ford. Many of us have made questionable decisions in our lives that we regret. Drug and alcohol addictions are illnesses and we should be lending the mayor our hand rather than pointing fingers in ridicule.  How can you, the reader, judge this poor man from only hearing of his drug and alcohol-induced brain farts… when there are far more despicable reasons he should be judged on.

So here now we offer you the chance to really get to know our mayor, Robert Bruce Ford the 2nd, by accompanying a couple of locals on a tour of Toronto through his eyes.

Why not begin the tour where you were all introduced to Mayor Rob Ford, by visiting the house where the infamous crack video was filmed. The well-known drug lair is owned by an old high school friend of Mayor Ford’s. Who knows, you may even catch our Jonesing mayor visiting to stock up on his supplies, possibly in a drunken stupor. Take advantage of the great photo opportunity in front of the garage… you know, the one where Mayor Ford was photographed with “gangbangers”. Be careful though, there is a bad rumour that thugs wielding steel pipes on the mayor’s behalf are wandering the area in search of incriminating videos on cell phones. [1]

Moving on… Be sure to visit Don Bosco High School, just down the street from the crack house, where Mayor Ford would leave work early to coach a football team using city aides as coaches and using city resources (and violent criminals to share his coaching responsibilities), as well as throw his weight around with the Toronto Transit Commission to pull an in-service city bus off the road to use as shelter from the cold for his players (which required kicking paying transit riders off of that bus… into the cold). If you are hoping to see Rob Ford in action pacing the sidelines, you are out of luck. He was fired by the school for his racially insensitive comments when referring to the kids. [2]

Let’s now continue on our tour to the downtown core. On the way, as you travel along the Gardiner Expressway, don’t even bother taking in the sites, like our great waterfront where bikers, rollerbladers and picnicking families can be seen out enjoying the sun on a clear day, or the world class city skyline punctuated by the CN Tower.  Instead, do a little Mayor Ford role playing by reading documents and text messaging (which is illegal) while you drive. And if someone pulls up beside you and catches you in the act, emulate Hizzoner by flipping them the bird! [3]

First stop in downtown Toronto is the Air Canada Centre, home of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Yes, the same Air Canada Centre where an intoxicated Ford (then Councillor Ford) was involved in an altercation with some tourists. According to Ford, he wasn’t at the game, so he blasted the press for the reports… until he later admitted to the incident. [4]

Next on the tour is City Hall where you can hear Hizzoner himself perform some of his greatest hits live at City Council, like “Cyclists are a pain in the ass”, “Those Oriental people work like dogs”, ­and who can forget this ditty: “If you are not doing needles and you are not gay, you wouldn’t get AIDS probably. That’s the bottom line…. How are women getting it? Maybe they are sleeping with bisexual men.” [5]

If you visit Toronto in late June/early July, saunter a little east after leaving City Hall in order to partake in Toronto’s world class Pride events… before Mayor Ford manages to defund them. Unfortunately, you won’t catch a Robo sighting since he makes it a point to miss marching in the parade every year, despite past mayors, councillors, and many citizens pleading with him to partake in order to show support to the LGBT community. [6]

There’s no better way to see the city than on a bicycle, as it allows you to breathe in the fresh air and catch the sights at a more comfortable pace. So grab a Bixi Bike (before Mayor Ford gets rid of them… he hates cyclists, remember), and take a spin up the bike lanes on Jarvis Street. Oh wait… Mayor Ford got rid of those… because bike lanes exemplify the “War on Cars” that is supposedly plaguing the city. [6]

After dodging cars while biking up Jarvis Street, take a right on Bloor Street, and ride over the Bloor Street Viaduct onto the Danforth, where, in August, you can attend the Taste of the Danforth, a festival celebrating the food, music and culture of the Greek neighbourhood. If you are lucky, you just might get a chance to get hammered with a leader of a major city! [7]

As you travel to the east end of the city, be sure to wander down the route of the future subway in Scarborough that Mayor Ford pushed for in order to buy support from low information voters. Where is the population density that is needed to justify and pay for the subway, you ask? Oh, it’s where the previously approved Light Rail Transit line was supposed to go, which would have provided a service to more people with more stops… the transit plan that Rob Ford lobbied against. The subway, being underground, won’t block traffic like a Light Rail line, says Ford.  Nevermind that the proposed Light Rail line was planned for an already existing railway corridor and not on a road. [8]

We end this brief tour at Danzig Street in Scarborough, which was the scene of a devastating incident where 2 people were killed and 23 were injured in a shooting related to gang activity. Mayor Ford showed great chutzpah in the aftermath, assuring the citizenry that he would keep Toronto safe (uh hum, by suggesting we deport them using immigration laws). Wait a minute Rob, didn’t you vote against federal funding for a gang intervention program and social programs for marginalized communities? [9]

We hope you found this tour of our city from our mayor’s perspective worthwhile. And we hope you now have a better understanding of why Rob Ford’s inability to lead one of the best cities in the world goes beyond his admission to smoking crack and binge-drinking on alcohol.  But if anything good has come out of this mayoral nightmare, aside from the great Rob Ford inspired street art, it’s that Torontonians everywhere are politically engaged and speaking out in defence of their beloved city.

MEET THE LOCALS: KRISTINE BERNABE AND JEFF P.

 

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