Every year around this time, my younger daughter, Martha, catches me by surprise. We’ll be driving down the Don Valley Parkway and she will say, “There’s an orange one. It’s happening.” Martha looks at the world through the eyes of a painter, so she's always the first person to tell me the leaves are turning.
This summer I was asked to join a team of Canadian officials in Durban, South Africa to advise the local government on social and affordable housing development. This was a humbling request. After all, we are not moving fast enough in our own city to create affordable housing — what could I offer? Turns out, our experiences here in Don Valley North provided useful lessons.
Everyone wants children to be safe — that’s a no-brainer. But pedestrian deaths are happening more frequently these days in every demographic. Despite this fact, "War on the Car" rhetoric still runs rampant.
I’ve been struggling to find a way to write about the violence in our city this summer. It seems that day after day, another violent incident occurs and we hear the same stale refrain from politicians and officials: "This is just bad guys targeting bad guys. Toronto is a safe city."