Ward 2: The Ward the Fords Forgot

For 14 long years, the Ford brothers have represented Ward 2 on Toronto City Council. Rob was elected in 2000; Doug became councillor in 2010 when Rob became mayor. Yet for all their claims to provide service to constituents, the Fords' legacy across Ward 2 is a dismal story of neglect and failure.

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  1. Ward 2 (North Etobicoke) sits to the southwest side of the Humber River, bounded on the south by Highway 401 and Dixon Road, with a pocket on the east side of Royal York Road. Highway 27 forms the western boundary.
  2. The 2011 census for Ward 2 records close to 57,000 residents, with a high proportion under age 24. Average household income is significantly below the city mean, yet the proportion of residents living in houses is higher than the rest of Toronto. There are slightly more lone parent households than the city average. After English, the four most common mother tongues are Italian, Punjabi, Spanish and Somali.
  3. Ward 2 has lost more than 14,000 jobs during the Ford era as the manufacturing sector has weakened. Many residents must travel for work, either to downtown Toronto or to Mississauga and Vaughan. There are areas of Ward 2 where more than 40% of the children live below the poverty line. Youth unemployment, depending on neighbourhood and visible minority status, can be as high as 25%.
  4. So you'd think this would fill a councillor's plate, right? Not so fast. While Rob has a reputation for returning calls, neither Rob nor Doug has shown any vision or effort for the ward as a whole. Good at filling potholes, but zero accomplishments that would bring jobs, development, transit, community centres, or improvements in liveability.
  5. OUR WARD 2 MAP TELLS THE STORY of many of the Ford brothers' failures, follies and foibles, inch by painful inch. Let's start at the site of "Woodbine Live".
  6. “I know how to deal with CEOs of huge corporations. That’s how I landed the largest development in Toronto’s history,” Rob Ford told the National Post in 2010. “Woodbine Live! I did that.” How this proud boast ended up as a soybean field, and how Ward 2 never gained the promised 9,000 jobs, typefies Ford mismanagement.
  7. Check out Andray Domise's blog for the story and find out how resurrecting development on this site is a key plank in his election platform.
  8. NEXT UP ARE LOCATIONS 3 AND 10, at the Queen's Plate Drive community housing complex.
  9. In 2005, spurred by rumours of future growth in Rexdale, a builder applied for a permit to construct a condo next door to the proposed Woodbine Live site. Woodbine Live failed and now there’s a big hole in the ground right where kids play.
  10. You can read Andray's Storify "How the King of Helping TCHC Helped Our Community" here:  http://www.andraydomise.ca/how_the_king_of_helping_tchc_helped_our_community 
  11. The good news is that the Hole in the Ground has officially endorsed Andray for City Council.
  12. LOCATION 10 (THE ASCOT CO-OP) is the site of Doug Ford's basketball team, which he repeatedly touts as evidence of his community chops.
  13. After Doug mentioned his basketball team again, during a mayoral candidates’ debate on September 23, Andray got in touch with the Coop program director. She explained that there was no basketball team: the program had consisted of pick-up basketball, one day a week, and lasted about three months. Although Doug showed up in October 2012 with his executive assistant/volunteer coach, he didn't do much more than hand out jerseys and pizza and get a nice photo op showing how he's down with the youth. No team or league was formed and no games were played.
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