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Since 2010, Toronto's headlines have been consumed by the outrageous personal foibles and government-slashing, anti-urbanist policies of Mayor Rob Ford. But the heated debate at City Hall has obscured a bigger, decade-long narrative of Toronto's ascendance as a mature global city. Some Great Idea traces how post-amalgamation, and under three very different mayors, Toronto managed to so quickly oscillate from one extreme to another, and how the city might proceed from here. Some Great Idea includes behind-the-scenes tales from the Miller and Ford campaigns, and explores recent turning points like the city's core service review and the mayor’s conflict-of-interest trial. Through personal history, keen reportage and revelatory analysis, it shows how the fundamental principles of diversity and democracy that have made Toronto such a vibrant, dynamic 21st-century city can produce an unlikely politician like Ford. And how those same principles have vividly and repeatedly insisted that such politicians are only part of a larger, messier and more productive urban politics.
This is a story about both Toronto's past and present, how the city has relentlessly and collaboratively reinvented itself. But it's also a story about Toronto's future, and what that future might mean for all global cities. This is a story that says you can fight city hall.
Edward Keenan serves as senior editor and lead columnist at The Grid magazine in Toronto, Ontario. An eight-time finalist at the National Magazine Awards, he has written for and edited at Eye Weekly, Spacing magazine, and The Walrus.
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Barring a few digressions that seem more appended than essential, Keenan doesn’t waste any time walking us through the city he perceives.Read Full Review of Some Great Idea: Good Neighbo... | See more reviews from National Post arts
Keenan is at his best when he’s writing personally, perhaps precisely because he’s so restrained — so awfully Torontonian — in his prose. It shines in this evocation of the years of optimism, the years of retrenchment, and now, this moment of sharp reconsideration.Read Full Review of Some Great Idea: Good Neighbo... | See more reviews from National Post arts