What Does Toronto Need from its Next Mayor?
Urbanists are no doubt celebrating Ford's removal from office earlier this week for violating the city's conflict-of-interest law. But, as attention turns from scandal to governance, what are the key issues that need attention from the leader of North America's fifth largest city?
"Top of the list is transit," says Hume. "Though the damage inflicted by Ford has largely been dealt with, Toronto’s two lost years can never be recovered. A city overwhelmed by gridlock and congestion needs a mayor whose contribution to the discussion goes beyond, 'Subway, subways, subways….Toronto also 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."”
Hume also describes the qualities most needed in the next Mayor. In constrast to Ford, Toronto needs a leader that will celebrate the city's diversity, understand and embrace its comlexity, compromise with those whom she/he disagrees, and can unite its residents and stakeholders.