City launches ‘Art of Distraction’ campaign picturing objects owned by deceased; one advocate calls concept “sanitized”; Linx me some transit; Mayor takes a week off; Spooky memories of uncle Doug

2:09 p.m. Nov. 2, 2018. A piece from the City of Toronto Art Collection recently installed outside Committee Room 1 at Toronto City Hall. The piece is a representation of the North St. Lawrence Market, by Gerald (Jerry) Englar. The curatorial information on the right reads that Leida Englar donated the work last year, “through a unique partnership of Jerry’s friends and neighbours on the Toronto Islands as well as the landscape architecture community … This north market building was built in 1968 and demolished in 2016. The construction of a new market building is slated to begin in 2018.”
2:09 p.m. Nov. 2, 2018. A piece from the City of Toronto Art Collection recently installed outside Committee Room 1 at Toronto City Hall. The piece is a representation of the North St. Lawrence Market, by Gerald (Jerry) Englar. The curatorial information on the right reads that Leida Englar donated the work last year, “through a unique partnership of Jerry’s friends and neighbours on the Toronto Islands as well as the landscape architecture community … This north market building was built in 1968 and demolished in 2016. The construction of a new market building is slated to begin in 2018.”

Weekend Newsbrief: November 4, 2018

What happened at Toronto City Hall this week

Superlinx. The Toronto Region Board of Trade took another step in the development of an idea for a regional transit agency that would bring the TTC, GO transit, and other municipal transit agencies under one body, under the working name ‘Superlinx.’ This week, the organization released the results of a small online survey that showed interest from Toronto in the concept. Superlinx would oversee transit operations along the Durham Region, Kitchener‐Waterloo, Mississauga, Toronto and York Region, and would involve 11 municipal transit operations. “We’ve spent twenty years urging the province to move growth revenues, financing capacity and planning authority down to cities to get transit built faster, and it hasn’t worked,” read a statement by the board of trade quoting its president and CEO Jan De Silva. “It’s time to try to upload transit responsibility to the province instead, since that’s where growth revenues, planning authority, and financing capacity already exist.”

Mayor takes a week off. Over the last term years, Mayor John Tory has been available to media most weeks. However, the week following the election, Tory was not around. Asked where the mayor has been, Don Peat, the mayor’s director of communications, told Signal Toronto, “The Mayor has been on a 40th wedding anniversary trip with his wife. Their actual anniversary was in May but they planned the trip for after the election.” At Tory’s election party, Tory’s children called out their mother before calling their father to the stage to give his victory speech. “Many of you in this room have met and interacted with and experienced the force of life that is our mother, Barbara. She is and always has been our dad’s greatest supporter and occasionally of course [offered] some of the most constructive criticism,” said Tory’s son,  John Tory. “Thank you to her, to our mother, for putting up with all of our dad’s crazy political shenanigans,” said his daughter, Susan Tory, to the crowd of supporters.

City launches “Art of Distraction” campaign picturing objects owned by deceased; advocate calls concept “sanitized.” The city launched a road safety awareness campaign this week called ‘The Art of Distraction’ which uses either actual objects or representations of objects that belonged to the person who was killed. On the day of the campaign launch, a spouse of one of the deceased who is part of the group Friends and Family for Safe Streets explained how the process of the campaign came together. “The City did reach out to us… it was a great opportunity really to have this platform offered to us where we could have a much bigger impact,” said Kasia Briegmann-Samson who lost her husband. “We were asked to share an artifact representing what happened and the artifact that I shared was the paper bag containing Tom’s wallet, keys and wedding band that were given to me by the police the day he was killed.” Briegmann-Samson said she had not seen the representations of the artifacts used in the campaign as they had not been released yet. The campaign hasn’t had much traction online as of time of publication, but one advocate questioned the tone of the campaign in a tweet. “Art of Distraction is a confusing name,” said part of a message from Dane Grgas. Reached by phone, the former cycling advocate said he thinks the images look sanitized with a museum quality to the presentation. “I’ve been in an accident [as a passenger in a car] when someone came through the windshield and there’s blood everywhere and it’s horrible, it’s something you don’t forget. To see it clean and sanitized like that I think is missing the whole point. There’s nothing artful about it. It shouldn’t be artful. It’s a horrible thing and it should be portrayed as one and I just feel that looking at that it just seems to legitimize what’s going on. It doesn’t sit well with me at all honestly.”

In other news…
– Oct. 30, 2018. By CBC News with files from Mike Crawley, CBC Giorgio Mammoliti to seek federal Tory nomination in Brampton, sources say Controversial Toronto city councillor lost his seat in last week’s municipal elections
– Oct. 30, 2018. By Shawn Jeffords, The Canadian Press/CP24 Andrew Scheer shrugs off suggestions Doug Ford is trying to replace him
– Nov 2, 2018. By Jennifer Pagliaro, The Toronto Star. Province submits fresh evidence in ongoing court fight over Toronto council cut

On deck next week
On Monday, the Toronto and East York Property Standards Panel will meet to hear appeals including a handful of addresses with a history online, including 6 Walmer Rd., 313 Manor Road East, and 2893 St. Clair Avenue East, Toronto. On Thursday, Committees of Adjustment for Etobicoke, North York, and Scarborough will meet. Properties of interest include: 1234 Weston Rd. where a new childcare centre is planned. 29 Judson St., home of the R & L Ready Mix Concrete Co. Inc. batching plant where an appeal by re-elected councillor Mark Grimes was dismissed. In 2014 the Committee refused a request that would exacerbate the negative impacts of concrete batching in the neighbourhood.  

Screenshot from the City of Toronto website showing one of the campaign stories from ‘Art of Distraction’.
Screenshot from the City of Toronto website showing one of the campaign stories from ‘Art of Distraction’.

Subscriber Section: a spooky memory of uncle Doug (from the archives)

Read here.

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