…and pie charts, and timelines, and Drizzy tweets. ’Cause that’s just how we roll.
THE YEAR IN… ROB FORD
He started 2012 as commander-in-chief of a robust Ford Nation, and ended it as Toronto’s only mayor to ever be ousted from office. Here, a year of Rob Ford’s handful of highs and many, many lows.
Jan. 17: Council overturns most of Ford’s slash-and-burn 2012 budget.
Jan. 23-Feb. 6: Former Ford ally and TTC chair Karen Stintz recommends LRT for Eglinton, breaking with the mayor’s pro-subway rhetoric.
Feb. 8: Council votes to repeal Ford’s preferred plan for an underground LRT on Eglinton.
Feb. 13: City-workers’ union CUPE 416 ratifies a contract promising no strikes for the next four years.
Feb. 22: TTC board fires Ford-unfriendly general manager Gary Webster.
March 5: Stintz’s motion to dissolve the newly Ford-friendly TTC board succeeds.
March 12: Paul Magder files a legal application to remove Ford from office, alleging a conflict of interest occurred when the mayor debated and voted in council on a motion about reimbursing $3,150 in donations to his football foundation—funds he solicited on city letterhead.
March 22: Council votes for LRT on Sheppard, rather than subways.
April 18: Ford rejects invite to attend Pride Week festivities.
May 2: Allegedly threatens Star reporter Daniel Dale when Dale is found near his property.
May 17: Ford’s surprise appearance at International Day Against Homophobia earns the mayor some goodwill.
June 8: Ends the embarrassing Cut the Waist challenge.
June 25: Skips Pride flag-raising. Expected, but disappointing.
July 9: Proposal to freeze taxes in 2014 met with skepticism, even from allies.
July 15: Political fundraiser Ralph Lean promises to back Ford in a 2014 mayoral campaign.
July 18: Plans to discuss immigration law with the Prime Minister, apparently believing he can deport gang members.
Aug. 14: Spotted reading while driving on the Gardiner.
Sept. 5: Cross-examined by lawyer Clayton Ruby in conflict-of-interest case. It becomes apparent the mayor may not really understand the charges, but he later admits he was wrong about his interpretation.
Sept. 7: Supporters rally at Ford Fest. Ford promises to run again in 2014.
Sept. 12: Allegations arise that the mayor uses city resources for the high-school football team he coaches.
Sept. 20: Reports surface that Ford requested special road repairs near his family business.
Sept. 24: Chicago’s NBC affiliate writes, “Rob Ford spent two days in Chicago, and nobody noticed.”
Sept. 27: City ombudsman Fiona Crean says Ford interfered with appointments to city boards and had a list of preferred candidates.
Sept. 27: Comes under fire for inquiring about provincial money to fix the Don Bosco Eagles’ field.
Oct. 2: Council votes to remove Jarvis bike lanes, fulfilling a key promise of Ford’s campaign.
Nov. 1: Passengers are kicked off two city buses, which are re-routed to pick up members of the Don Bosco Eagles, by order of the police.
Nov. 13: Ford is back in court over allegations that he libeled the owners of the Beach’s Boardwalk Pub. (The verdict is pending.)
Nov. 26: Justice Charles Hackland finds Ford guilty in conflict-of-interest case and removes him from office.
Nov. 26: Former Ford ally Giorgio Mammoliti quits the mayor’s executive council.
Nov. 27: The Don Bosco Eagles lose the city’s high-school football championship.
Nov. 30: Justice Hackland says Ford can run in a by-election.
Dec. 5: Ford is granted a temporary stay until his appeal of Hackland’s ruling is decided.
Dec. 10: The mayor goes on vacation and doesn’t tell anyone where, or for how long.
THE YEAR IN… (AVERAGE) TORONTO HOUSING PRICES
THE YEAR IN… ANIMAL SHENANIGANS
A sassy monkey might have captured the most attention, but in 2012, a wide range of the wild kingdom came out to play
THE YEAR IN… THINGS FALLING FROM THE SKY
Condo glass: After 2011’s summer of shattering glass, a repeat was to be expected in 2012. And, indeed, there was lots of glass to dodge—especially from the epically problem-plagued Trump Tower.
Condo market: Prices have declined three per cent since last December, and overall sales have dropped 22 per cent. We knew the market couldn’t stay aloft forever, but at least this looks to be a soft landing, not a crash.
Gardiner Expressway: The Gardiner’s constant crumbling isn’t news, but an extra-worrisome spate of collapsing concrete still took us by surprise. So it wasn’t especially shocking when we learned in December that the expressway is falling apart faster than we’ve been led to believe.
Migratory birds: Everyone with a glassed-in porch knows birds and buildings don’t always mix, but a New York Times story in October revealed that Toronto’s modern, glassy skyline is one of the world’s deadliest obstacles for migrating birds.
Paragliders: When a would-be glider got his chute blown into a tree high atop the Scarbrough Bluffs in March, it seemed like a once-in-a-lifetime event. In fact, similar but seldomly reported incidents happened in 2011 and 2010. Keep an eye out next year.
THE YEAR IN… SPORTS
Too much shame in our game
THE YEAR IN… TORONTO’S TWITTERVERSE
Facebook may be the reigning champ of social media, and Pinterest the up-and-comer, but Twitter is still where the conversation is happening. We took a snapshot of some of Toronto’s most notable tweeters of 2012—the popular, the verbose, and the plain fascinating—to see just how far out into the twitterverse those 140 characters are travelling.
Click here for a close-up view of the infographic below
THE YEAR IN… NOODLES
The third Toronto outpost from the high-energy, hoarse-voiced Guu family, Kinton Ramen has lured both the budget- and pork belly–minded to its Baldwin Village location since May. Line-ups may stretch well over an hour, but the heat of a spicy garlic ramen bowl lingers long after that.
Four months later and a few blocks away on Dundas Street, Sansotei Ramen opened to rapturous reviews. The menu is light on options (just four kinds of noodles) but heavy on the collagen. That is not a complaint.
Did you hear about this guy David Chang? (That’s him pictured above.) Not much fuss was made over his four-in-one Momofuku restaurant complex that launched in September at the Shangri-La hotel. That’s a shame, because the mountainous pork ramen at Momofuku Noodle Bar really deserves to catch on.
Not enough noodles for you? The end of the year brought three more ramen joints: Santouka Ramen at Church and Dundas, Ramen Raijin at Yonge and Gerrard, and Ramen & Izakaya Ryoji in Little Italy.
Still not enough noodles for you? Then you might be interested in the particular blend of improvised jazz from Toronto trio BADBADNOTGOOD. The crazy-young group played CMW in March and lands at The Drake on Dec. 29, noodling their way through hip-hop–inflected jams. That’s right, their name comes from a Run-D.M.C. lyric—this ain’t your papa’s Coltrane.
Now you want to use your noodle? Fine, how about a little holiday reading on the history of physics? This year’s Massey Lecture, The Universe Within, is a surprisingly charming and readable tour through scientific discoveries and paradigm shifts, written by the director of Waterloo’s Perimeter Institute of Theoretical Physics, Neil Turok. It will provoke plenty of noggin-scratching.
THE FOODIE’S YEAR IN CITY HALL RED TAPE
THE YEAR IN… POP-UP GRADUATES
They started 2012 without a place to call home, but ended it as permanent residents of Toronto’s restaurant scene.
Come and Get It, a takeout shop on Spadina at Queen, opened in February in a building that was supposed to become a condo within months. Almost a year later, it’s still serving up sandwiches and poutines, but come January it’ll find out from the landlord just how much longer it can stay.
The former design execs behind taco pop-up La Carnita opened a permanent location at College and Bathurst in June, joining the ranks of Caplansky’s and Lou Dawgs as pop-ups-turned-restaurants.
Vegan and raw pop-up Feel Good Guru was a fixture at the 99MRKT on Queen West before opening its own takeout and smoothie shop right across from Trinity Bellwoods Park in June. Finally, a one-stop kale shop!
Augie’s Gourmet Ice Pops has been popping up at flea markets and farmers’ markets in the past two years, but more recently it has been selling its desserts at restaurants. The owners also landed a deal with Pusateri’s in July and started selling at a Unionville Whole Foods in October. Who knew there was such a demand for popsicles?
The boisterous Matt Basile took his sandwich pop-up, Fidel Gastro’s, on the road with a new food truck in August, less than a year since his first gig cooking out of his ex-boss’s work studio. He also scored his own reality show, Rebel Without a Kitchen, scheduled to air in April.
Matt Pettit, of Rock Lobster Food Co., opened a seafood restaurant on Ossington at the beginning of December, a mere nine months after his first pop-up. Loud music? Reclaimed woods? Cheapish cocktails? Yep, it might just work.