A Rally To Save Toronto

photo (6) copy 3The latest episode of Robbie Boy is arguably the craziest one yet, what with allegations about cocaine use, possible escorts and even drunk diving. But at this point, I feel that it’s hard to find anyone who’s truly shocked by what’s coming out (okay, except for this morning’s “I’ve got more than enough to eat at home” comment; that was just ewww).

At least that was the vibe I got from the attendees at yesterday’s A Rally To Save Toronto. This event, which was organized by a group that calls themselves Save Toronto, was all about getting Torontonians together to clearly send the message that Ford needs to resign. It took place at City Hall’s Nathan Phillips Square, naturally, at noon and was a fairly simple and straightforward affair.

In addition to the usual chanting, clapping and homemade signs, there were a handful of speakers who, unfortunately, generally struggled with the bullhorn they were speaking through. As a result, I mostly heard just a line here and there from the speeches. There was also a comedian, Ian McIntyre, who actually did know how to use the bullhorn and who brought some much-needed humour to this fairly somber event.

I don’t think anyone at the rally expected Ford to resign because of it. Instead, this event was about sending a message and maybe working out some frustrations. Because of that, I believe the best way to measure the success of this event is by looking at its attendance numbers.

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According to the Facebook event, over 2,000 people said they were going. While I will admit that I’m not the best at estimating crowd numbers, I do not think that at any point there were that many people there. Maybe 1,500, tops. The organizers collected close to 1,200 names on the petitions that were going around however, not everyone there signed one of the sheets (neither myself nor the friend I was there with were passed any sheets to sign). Based on that info, and based on how fluid the crowd was, I think 1,500 is a fair number.

I also think it’s kind of a sad number. Okay, yes, this event had a lot going against it. Yesterday was cold; the rally was mostly publicized on Facebook, meaning most of Toronto didn’t know about it and it was held at noon on a weekday, timing that wasn’t very convenient for many people (definitely had more than a couple friends who would have happily attended had the rally been on the weekend).

But still, despite all of those factors, not even 2,000 people could make it out? Between numbers like that and the vocal support he hears from his die-hard backers, no wonder Ford thinks that he should still be mayor.

photo (6)While the attendance to this event might not have been impressive, I was pleased to see that everyone was very well behaved. Even at the end of the event, when the bulk of the crowd surrounded the entry into City Hall and police presence was clearly visible, everyone was calm and respectful.

If only our mayor could be half as well-behaved.

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