Ivor Tossell is a culture columnist for the Globe and Mail, which in this post-print media age stills lays tenuous claim to being Canada’s national newspaper. Like most cultured Torontonians, and in opposition to the presumed louts of the Ford Nation, prepared to sacrifice civility for lower property taxes, Tossell is acutely embarrassed by global notoriety of the drunken crack-smoking, inarticulate Ford, son of a wealthy business family (who knew that printing sticky labels was so profitable?). This little book is a lament for a great little city - small in global scale, but one which used to have a lot going for it. Under Ford, its vision and its self-esteem have suffered, and the soul of the city is torn between the older core and the newer SUV-laden and box-store encrusted suburbs. But Tossell points out that the silver lining to this cloud is a focus on what matters to the city, on what unites the suburbs and the urban neighbourhoods. The gift of ford is to spark a serious debate and a new urgency to the conversations surrounding urban governance. We’ll see if he’s right, come the municipal elections in October!
David Last, April 28, 2014