Kevin Van Paassen/ CP Photo
The isolation of Rob Ford
It was the highest of highs - a coalition of councillors from the left, right and centre lining up behind TTC chair Karen Stintz to deal the death blow to Rob Ford's Sheppard subway scheming and resurrect Transit City. Ford called the decision "irrelevant," but he was the one who would soon become marginalized. The bullying of council was over. Coincidentally, at that same meeting council moved to sweep under the rug an issue that would ultimately lead to the mayor's removal from office by a judge - his accepting cash from lobbyists for his football foundation when he was a councillor.
Unforgettable Underpass Park
Underpass Park becomes Waterfront Toronto's latest spectacular addition to the West Don Lands.
Finally, downtown relief
Who says Toronto's not building subways for the future? The Downtown Relief Line becomes a TTC priority. And provincial transit agency Metrolinx puts the project on the fast track, to be built in 15 years, a decade earlier than previously scheduled.
Photo by Cheol Joon Baek
Moment of Pride
Pride Toronto organizers report a $300,660 operating surplus for 2012 despite the Fordists' best efforts to marginalize the group with threats to cut off its funding.
Ford peace offering
Rob Ford makes a rare conciliatory gesture - an out-of-the-rainbow-blue appearance at the PFLAG International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia event on the roof of City Hall - and for a brief moment in time it seemed as though all that political animosity had floated into the sky.
Luis Jacob unveils masterwork
The pride of Parkdale, internationally acclaimed artist Luis Jacob, unveils his latest masterpiece - Spirits Of The Grotto - in the Dufferin Street underpass.
Social housing save
The mayor's executive committee defers a vote in February to sell off hundreds of TCH homes. Council follows suit after a task force headed by rookie councillor Ana Bailão recommends finding other efficiencies to pay for overdue repairs to social housing.
A Wisconsin-style labour disruption by city unions is averted despite the Fordists' best efforts to scare up strike action. CUPE lets the air out of that power play with a PR offensive of its own, agreeing to accept a pay freeze. They end up getting a pay hike anyway.
Council defies the mayor, reversing $19 million in proposed budget cuts to restore recreation and other services. It's a watershed moment for the Ford administration, which loses key centrist allies in the wrangling.
Lose of TTC boss avenged
The firing of TTC General Manager Gary Webster without cause for telling the mayor what he really thinks of his private Sheppard subway plan, is avenged in spades when council replaces the entire TTC board of Ford symps with new members.
The case for public space
Torontonians awake on a cold day in January to find the info pillars that only get in the way of pedestrian traffic and clutter our visual space targeted by Chalktivists. And pressure for the city to deal with the safety hazards mounts. A small victory is declared for public space when the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee recommends future installations of pillars be done in consultation with local councillors.
Photo by R. Jeanette Martin
Canada's first parliament site rescued
A rare win for heritage preservation, council votes unanimously to expropriate the remaining privately owned properties between Parliament and Berkeley south of Front, the site of Canada's first parliament, to make room for the future St. Lawrence Library.
Museum of Toronto one step closer
St. Paul's councillors Joe Mihevc and Josh Matlow's plan to convert Casa Loma, our very own Camelot, into a museum of Toronto becomes a possibility when council agrees to ask for expressions of interest on the proposal.
School House shelter reprieve
The School House homeless men's shelter, the city's only "wet" shelter, wins an 11th-hour reprieve after heated protests from housing activists. Its doors will stay open after all, at least for the foreseeable future.
Poet laureate for T.O.
African-Canadian poet and playwright (and sometime NOW contributor) George Elliott Clarke is named Toronto's poet laureate.
CAMH open new digs
The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health opens its new digs on Queen West. CAMH president Catherine Zahn calls the new facility a representation of "dignity and inclusion."
Creative spirit hits Dundas East
Renowned Euro street artists bring creative spirit to a once drab strip of Dundas East as part of their international storybook project.
Zoo sale pooh-poohed
Their plan to privatize the Toronto Zoo dies a quick death after the high foreheads in the mayor's office overlook a key detail: 80 per cent of the land the zoo occupies is owned by the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority.