My good, bad and ugly for 2010.
Biggest surprise: Hands down it was Rob Ford's election win. Who could have predicted a slug from the burbs with a penchant for buffoonery and offending gays, Asians and everyone in between, could become mayor of Hogtown? Talk about destroying our illusions about being one of the most sophisticated cities on the continent.
Huge disappoinment: Ford's win, again. It turned on its head everything we have come to love about municipal politics under David Miller. Maybe municipal government is just about filling pot holes and collecting garbage, after all.
Lie of lies: The feds' insistence the economy is getting better, followed closely by the Bank of Canada's carnival act on interest rates. Check out the debt chart for the average Canuck. Hyperinflation here we come?
Letdown of the year: Tough choice here. Was it Adam Giambrone's fall from grace or the media coverage of said fall from grace? Both left jism on the public's collective consciousness.
Most painful turn: Watching George Smitherman self-destruct during the mayor's race. The madness of King George, from heir apparent, to air of entitlement to err of the century, was a sorry sight to behold.
Grace under pressure: Joe Pantalone. The standard bearer of the left never really stood a chance to be mayor, but stuck it out till the end, and with a smile on his face the whole way.
Saddest story: How a sleepy conductor with a bad ticker launched a public backlash and an all-out privatization blitz on public transit.
It doesn't get any uglier: The behaviour of Toronto cops during the G20. The best politicians could come up with in defence of the biggest violation of civil rights in Canadian history is, thank god no one was killed. Some measuring stick.
Villain of the year: Police chief Bill Blair. For making a mockery of his pledge to protect the rights of protestors during the G20, and then obfuscating his way through the resulting and ever-widening controversy. Can he outrun the public backlash?
Hero of the year: Ontario Ombudsman Andre Marin gets all the headlines (and so he should), but it's Ian Scott, the director of the police watchdog Special Investigations Unit, that's doing the heavy lifting on the all-important police accountability front, long ignored but back on the front burner thanks to Scott.
Worst example of spoiled sport: Officer Bubbles, aka Toronto police Constable Adam Josephs, aka human garbage collector, who got caught on video being an idiot to a bubble-blowing G20 protestor, and now wants to sue Youtube for defamation using taxpayers' money.
Biggest comeback: The waterfront. Wavedecks, urban beaches and new parks, many of them award-winning, now dot the industrial waste lands that once dominated the water's edge. Question is: with money running out, what will happen to key pieces of the puzzle up for development?
Keeping an even keel: Mike McCormack. The enfant terrible with a rap sheet to match, has mostly kept his nose clean in his first year as head of the Toronto police union. Not always an easy guy to agree with, McCormack has managed to do his thing for his members while keeping his mug off the front pages. His biggest test, contract talks in 2011, is yet to come, though.
Sad to see her go: Sandra Bussin. The Beaches councillor and hot to trot Miller loyalist got unceremoniously bounced during the municipal elections, undeservedly so, for wearing the stink from the city's lease agreement with the Boardwalk Café. The last laugh may be Bussin's, though. Word is she's copped a semi-regular gig on talk radio.
Opportunity knock: Tim Hudak. The whiff of a possible Pink Palace coup in his nostril has the Tory leader, who says he's not the second coming of Mike Harris, veering further right. But will trying to appease the guns and property rights crowd in his base be his undoing?
Shocker of the year (but not really): the withdrawing of criminal charges against former Attorney-General Michael Bryant in the death of cyclist Darcy Allen Sheppard. Don't look now but Bryant's already on the political comeback trail.
Overrated feel-good story of the year: Chinatown grocer David Chen's acquittal on criminal charges after he chased down and tied up a repeat shoplifter. Lost in the massive show of public sympathy: the law is supposed to protect all equally, even shoplifting drug addicts.
Gone but not forgotten: Sarah Thomson. Conrad Black's flakey choice for mayor managed to stay in the race long enough to make name for herself - and then dropping out to support Smitherman. Now she's thinking of blowing it all away by running for Hudak's hordes in the upcoming provincial election. Bizarre.