BY EDWARD KEENAN
“The Toronto Song”—unveiled by Liona Boyd in advance of the Taste of the Danforth festival this weekend—is a masterpiece of some kind. One feels the need to say something about this epic piece of kitsch. Perhaps offered with a wink? But perhaps not? But one fails to find the words. The concept of “retro” explodes on itself with every new segment of stock footage and every chorus of “I want to show you Toronto/ I want you to know Toronto/ Our city welcomes you/ There’s so much here to do/ You’ll soon be so in love with Toronto” and every ripple the wind make’s in Boyd’s flowing gown and shawl.
David Rider of the Toronto Star puts his finger on part of it. “There is a magic to how they made a 1970s video in 2013. All it needs is an Al Waxman hologram.” Magic. Yes. Some kind of magic.
Once we were the Town of York and once we fought a war,
Then we became a city back in 1834,
Built on Lake Ontario, we’ve changed and we have grown,
And people from around the world now call our city home.
(North York! Scarborough! Etobicoke!) We call this city home.
Toronto is my home!
You need to watch it to get the effect, I think. You can almost feel the polyester on your skin and smell the fondue cooking in the next room.
(Hat tip: Marc Weisblott)