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From Bob Purcell
It has been almost four years since Toronto financer Robert Fung was named chairman of the Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Corporation. At that time, plaudits about the appointment oozed from the mouths of Federal Transport Minister David Collenette, Provincial Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and our very own vertically-challenged Mayor, Mel Lastman.
That was then. Collenette quit politics last year. Flaherty’s party was turfed out of its Queen’s Park digs even before that. And of course Mayor Mel has retired to his North York manse to commune with the mystical Marilyn.
Of that original gang, Mr. Fung is the sole survivor. But what, if anything, has he been up to since assuming his hallowed chairmanship back in 2001? Our beleaguered waterfront looks every bit as neglected today as it did four years ago. Not a tree has been planted or a roll of sod unfurled. The only apparent change at the harbour is that the boom-box volume at The Docks has been ratcheted up a notch or two.
But wait! All may not be lost! David Miller, our broom-wielding, Prius-driving mayor, caught everyone’s attention at City Hall earlier this month with a plan to stage a World’s Fair in 2015 on the waterfront. Gadzooks!
Blow away Toronto Island Airport. Gentrify the polluted portlands off Cherry Street. Connect the two with a transit line beneath the harbour.
Think EXPO 67, for those of you creaky enough to remember Montreal’s magical but debt-laden venture into the big time of expositions.
When the world’s fair dust settles at City Hall, we’re hoping for some quality time with Mayor Miller to elaborate on his vision for the waterfront. We’ll tell you all about it –- hopefully -– in our next edition.