As someone who was born on Goswell Road in Etobicoke and lives in East York I have seen the same thing for a while now. East York is its own world. I have coached Hockey there and have learned that they want to live in another time, the Eighties (or earlier). Their cars, smoking habits and mullets all point back to the Eighties. To Wendel Clark, wooden sticks and short shifting players in house League and where winning is revered over fairness. Don Cherry is a god.
(I could go on and on about the particulars in hockey but really the place is without time.)
Stopping at STOP signs is optional, speed limits are minimums, not maximums, and Fords are mandatory. East York has its own rules.
(You can bring coolers into swimming areas… you can’t anywhere else).
RED. I call it the “Red Headed Mafia”. As you might expect, they have their own views on immigration , same sex marriage and progress. I once wore RED shoes (Adidas skateboard type shoes) to the hockey rink and they stared at my feet.
East York is like a little piece of the 905 and the 1950’s stuck in the middle of the 416 and and the 2010’s. They work hard and they resent the implications of gentrification, as yuppies and hipsters, pour in over the bridges and viaducts from Leaside and from south on The Danforth. Post war bungalows are being doubled and raising everyone’s Taxes. They are under attack, their former city, and their values and way of life. Somewhere or sometime it will come to a head and you will hear about it.
They may not have done Crack, but they know someone who has, and they forgive them for it. They aren’t going to throw Rob Ford under the bus for being “like them”. Any derision of him only strengthens their resolve to hate the upper middle class. The fact is: most of Canada is like this. Outside the major centres, people do work hard. Through Gerrymandering, and the Megacity, they have come to the idea and realize they can be in control (or so they think). As a result, they will elect people (probably from the elite) who pander to them…(like Harper and our friend Ford).
It is like Stompin Tom Connors turning down his Juno’s. The Juno’s didn’t come from people like him so he can safely reject the music elite and still have his fan base. Ford can do the same, He can ignore decorum in council, and they hail him, He can smoke Crack and they forgive him. He can make decisions in a “drunken Stupor” and they applaud him.
Maybe a part of his mandate was to do just that, (unfortunately). Is this really a call to arms from the under-privileged and dis-enfranchised? I have always thought it is. Ford is the people’s champ, not mine but other people’s, and yes, we better take heed. And me and my RED shoes…We left East York Hockey
©Robert Trick Johnston