Toronto votes

I had no idea that an election was imminent in Toronto until I read about it in this weekend’s Financial Times of all places: Election is a turning point for Toronto.

Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Having not lived in Toronto for 11 years, I found the following excerpt interesting:

Canada’s largest and richest urban centre goes to the polls on Monday to elect a mayor amid a pervasive sense of decline. Once lauded across North America as a beacon of intelligent urban development, US academics and civic leaders would come and gaze in wonder at “the city that works”.

But rising crime, traffic gridlock and growing homelessness have quashed that sense of easy superiority.

“In the past decade or so there has been a slow wearing down of the infrastructure. The level of dynamism on the cultural and economic front is also not what it was,” says Nelson Wiseman, a politics professor at the University of Toronto.

Somehow I had a feeling that Toronto had declined culturally. I’m not sure why I would get that feeling, given that I’ve only been back three times in the last decade. I guess it’s just the lack of good news: a weakened TSO, the usual chronic disarray at the CBC, and still no new opera house on the scene. Whatever happened to progress?