Archive for December, 2009

22
Dec
09

Holiday visions and dreams for the future

A gal can’t just sit around the office, going through old unread back issues of the Economist, tearing out the now-inadvertently funny Accenture ads featuring Tiger Woods.

“At a time when it’s tougher than ever to be a Tiger…”

What a hoot!  But even this gets old after a while.

***

The other night, while I was walking up Yonge Street to the Terroni’s near St. Clair, I had a vision.  A mobile home, decorated with a Menorah, was driving up the street, blasting Yiddish music from a loudspeaker.*

A young fellow, fully bearded and donning the traditional black hat, was hanging out the back window of the vehicle.  He was grinning from ear to ear, and I must admit, so was I.  I had never seen anything like this before in my life.

“Are you Jewish?” he called out, clearly implying that if I was, I could maybe join the mobile celebration.

I shrugged sadly and shook my head as I replied in the negative.

He waved goodbye as the vehicle kept driving down the street, the happy music fading into the night as quickly as it arrived. 

These are the moments in this city that I would not trade for anything in the world.

***

Whether you light the candles,

or trim a tree;

Whether you celebrate with family,

friends,

or prefer to spend time by yourself –

Have a happy and safe holiday season.

2010 is our year, I can feel it.  The year when all of our dreams come true – even the ones we don’t know about yet.

*I was raised Catholic, so I’m probably getting it all wrong.  But I know all the words to every song in Fiddler on the Roof, so that should count for something, right?

***

PS:  This is for you.  Yes, you.  But for me, it will always be Bay.

The Last Goodbye At Summerhill by Anne Douris and Dan Busheikin.

15
Dec
09

Civic heart disease

Muddy York.

Hogtown.

Toronto the Good.

Hollywood North.

The T-dot.

The City That Works.

Does it still work?  I’m not so sure anymore, and I haven’t been for a very long time.  It seems to me that Toronto has been resting on its laurels for too many years, working despite a severe lack of care and maintenance. 

Toronto is the heart of an obese man trying to run a marathon.  A steady diet of deficient and misplaced funding has deprived the country’s most important muscle of what it needs to pump the blood.  The arteries are hopelessly clogged.

Every time Toronto collapses, the team of three doctors hover over the body, contemplating the wisest course of treatment.

“I am afraid that if I operate, I will get blood on my hands,” says the local doctor.

“I will provide a transfusion, but only if your operation cures the coughs of  these other three neighbouring patients,” says the provincial doctor.

“He’s faking.  Put him back on the track,” says the federal doctor.

And so Toronto keeps running, pumping capital into the economy at a slower rate, pushing people through its streets more slowly.  Struggling to survive. 

It’s a testament to the strength of the city that it has been able to function; but oh, what could it be if only someone could give it a heart transplant?  What if it was fed and nurtured and given a clear vision? 

The patient is ready.  Who is ready to heal the city?