Love them or hate them, Yonge-Dundas Square is surrounded by giant TV screens. Though we have debated the pros and cons of their existence (mostly con here from many of our readers, with a few lone voices of qualified pro, including yours truly) it’s at times like tonight’s US election that the screens could perform a public good by broadcasting events live for all to see together, just as many Torontonians did during the Beijing Olympics. The folks at Yonge-Dundas Square do not have control over the Jumbotrons on surrounding buildings or even the screen hanging in the square. We assume/hope some of those screens will be broadcasting a news channel or feed (some of us recall that “the news” has been on in between ads from time to time in CP24 style).
We’ve sent a notice to each company encouraging them to broadcast a newsfeed, but in the event they choose not to participate in this historic evening, we encourage folks heading to the Square tonight to bring your portable mobile devices that can stream or pick up radio broadcasts in order to hear some sound. One reason we set the time for after the election winner has been called was because we didn’t know if the screens would be broadcasting live or not. It might be neat to to have Obama’s speech coming over hundreds of small devices, like the sound old-time drive-in theatre’s made. At any rate, Obama’s victory speech (knock on wood) will be widely available on the internet afterwards, so there is no fear in missing out. This morning CNN was reporting that 500,000 were expected to converge on Grant Park in Chicago to hear Obama’s speech, with up to a million spread along Lake Michigan. We hope the gathering in Toronto captures, in a smaller way, that optomistic communal excitement.
Photo by Ian Muttoo.