Rob Ford, the Toronto Mayor famous for making enemies of “urban thinkers, designers and practitioners,” has been ousted from office for violating a conflict-of-interest act (he spoke and voted on a matter which allowed his own Football Foundation to financially benefit).
While Ford is still gearing up his appeal, which must be prepared by December 10th, many Torontonians are rejoicing in the hopes that Ford’s removal could signal a new era for Toronto. The Star‘s Architecture writer, Christopher Hume, sees Ford’s ousting as an opportunity for Toronto’s next mayor to leave behind the city’s car-centered policies and champion public space/transit.
As he puts it: “The problems that plague Toronto — and virtually every other city in the country — are built into a political system stacked against cities. Our next mayor has to join this fight, perhaps lead it, as the future prosperity of Canada depends upon a more equitable fiscal arrangement.[...] Toronto needs a mayor [...] clever enough to see that the city belongs to all its residents, not just drivers. Just as we must share the public realm, we must share the streets and open them up for cyclists and pedestrians, who represent the wave of the future.”