Onstage, this feisty cowpunk of Mexican-Irish descent talks tough, wears cowboys boots that match the color of her ruby-red lipstick (and her Gibson J-200) and prefers to sing Johnny Cash instead of Bob Dylan.
First of all... any Leaf fan will tell you... haters gonna hate. Being scoffed at, criticized, mocked, poked, prodded and scrutinized is a daily occurrence for a Leaf fan.
I was not prepared for what actually happened last night. Olivia Chow started off with vigour but then seemed to fade, John Tory was aggressive, and both attacked Doug Ford as if he were the frontrunner. There were no kid gloves for the debate newcomer. I think many observers may see this as the beginning of the end for John Tory, the much anticipated point where he begins to lose as he has done so often before.
The Leafs are four games into the preseason; including two games against the Flyers and a split-squad pairing against the Sens. Players were fighting to show their skills... some of them quite literally.
You can still vote for me on October 27, but striking your ballot will have the same result. Instead of putting up my dukes, I'm admitting the humbling failure that was this brief foray, and settling into a future more suited to someone of my limited skills and boundless grumbling.
Hassel Aviles was a front-runner in the Toronto food boom when she concocted Toronto's inaugural foodie event Toronto Underground Market (TUM) alongside business partner Kate Clegg in 2011. But as the classic adage goes, all good things must come to an end and after three successful years, Hassel and Kate have decided to make their third year anniversary edition on September 27th their very last.
Tomorrow is the first appearance at a debate of mayoral candidate Doug Ford, not to be confused with councillor Doug Ford, or Rob Ford's campaign manager Doug Ford. This is a whole new ballgame. After just a day as the candidate, Ford propelled the fortunes of Ford Nation from a distant third to within striking distance of the leader. Polls showed him at levels no Ford has been at in over a year outside of Etobicoke. For the few people still following this race, here are my thoughts on the five things to watch for in this first Doug Ford debate.
If Toronto is going to compete with places like New York and DC for tourists, the City has to offer them a good time. Indeed, there is some recognition of this. That is why City Council allows some bars to stay open until 4am during Pride and TIFF. Toronto feels a bit like a Potemkin Village during these events.
The unique blend of locals and visitors stops the Distillery District from being a tourist trap like New York's South Street Seaport. The place feels organic, authentic, warm and inviting. It's steeped in history.
It hurts to see four NHL teams in ESPN's Top 10, and it hurts that those four teams are the Anaheim Ducks (2nd overall), the Los Angeles Kings (5th), the Tampa Bay Lightning (6th), and the Chicago Blackhawks (10th). So, our biggest rival, and a bunch of rollerblading sunny American parking lots? Just great.
Training camp is among us and with that comes all kinds of excitement, speculation and a whole whack of skeptics. The Leafs welcomed 64 players to this year's camp.
It's almost as if that nasty business of the media running roughshod -- downright bullying -- a man suffering from a mental illness never happened. Journalists never hounded him at the rehabilitation facility. Or coerced other patients into revealing intimate details of his treatment. Or wrote features about the clinic founder's own history with the law. Now that he's dealing with a physical disease, on the other hand, it's real. Let's give the man some privacy, our noble journalism vanguards suddenly declare.
The values we used to be most proud of as Canadians are slipping away. We used to differentiate ourselves from the States because of our kindness. Our compassion. Our politeness. Our open-mindedness. Socialized medicine. These are progressive values. These are Canadian values. Or so I thought. Our heros have been fighters for the underdog. Tommy Douglas. David Suzuki. Jack Layton. Nellie McClung. Terry Fox. Yet somehow, most Canadians seem to be saying that progressive values don't speak to them anymore.
Yesterday it was the Giller. This morning it was the Griffin and the Weston Prizes and this weekend Word On The Street. This week is the busiest time ...
We can pretend living in Toronto and having $200 dollars you aren't using qualifies you to be Mayor, but it doesn't. There are realities that come with running for office and one of those is being able to demonstrate popular support for your candidacy and ideas.
Now more than ever we need to acknowledge that an election choice is more subtle than any winner-take-all contest can ever capture. Voters are forced to choose the lesser of all evils and vote strategically about who they want as well as keep in mind who they are afraid might win. Why not let the voters rank the evils directly and stop worrying? It would be more honest. Government and democracy are about more than just finding efficiencies, lowering taxes or even getting people moving. Informed and responsible citizens of a democracy need to work to make the system better.