Sept. 12, 2017

Mayor John Tory was thoughtfully political in his address on Tuesday afternoon to the Elevate Toronto Festival, a three-day event focused on technology, innovation, disruption, diversity, and inclusion sponsored in part by the City of Toronto.

Speaking at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, Tory told the crowd he considers his job as mayor to be somewhat of a salesperson, saying he got the idea from his former boss Ted Rogers. “While he was founder and CEO of that company [Rogers], his business card said ‘Chief Salesman,’ ” Tory said.

The mayor delivered some of his signature John Tory lines. While talking about the number of students that graduate from science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields in this part of Canada, he couldn’t resist: “It’s not just a matter for size, although size does matter, as they say, but…” Tory said to the delight of the audience. “Well – don’t get me off into that.”

His remarks revolved around encouraging the audience to talk about their own stories of Toronto, specifically why they had chosen to live and build their careers here. But first, Tory talked about how immigrant groups have changed Toronto for the better over the past half century.

“I’m old enough to remember, and I tell people this all the time who marvel at this city and how great and how diverse and how lively it is, that when I was a teenager this place was really boring,” Tory said, pausing as the audience laughed. “It was! And a number of things, including in particular the influx of people from other countries, brought us alive in a way that you could hardly imagine, and now I think we’re the envy of the world because we’re so diverse and we have all these things that make us special.”

Before the words could hang in the air for just a moment, Tory quickly sailed into his next idea. “So – what do we need to do? Well, we need to go out and tell this story,” he said.

“The prosperity that will come from everything that’s happening with people in this room is not an end unto itself, it is a means to an end,” Tory said. “And the end is that we have the prosperity here through all the activities of successful new ventures and a transforming economy to actually continue to look after people in the way that we do,” Tory said.

Less than 90 minutes after speaking to the crowd, a statement from Tory’s office said that a shuffle had occurred in the Etobicoke deputy mayors’ roles. Based on his public support for Doug Ford, who announced his intention to run for mayor last Friday at Ford Fest, Councillor Vincent Crisanti was stripped of his deputy mayor title.

“Based on his words and actions over the past few days, he has clearly stated he does not support my administration and intends to campaign for another candidate who has an approach that I believe will take the city backwards,” the statement read.

Crisanti will be replaced by Etobicoke Councillor Stephen Holyday.

An announcement of who will replace the late downtown Councillor Pam McConnell has not been made.

3:47 p.m. Sept. 12, 2017. Mayor John Tory (pictured on the screens) speaks to the audience at the Elevate Toronto Festival at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts.
3:47 p.m. Sept. 12, 2017. Mayor John Tory (pictured on the screens) speaks to the audience at the Elevate Toronto Festival at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts.