This is a stupid old story that we’re all bored with, but you know when people mumble “Toronto sucks” or “Toronto isn’t World Class” or some bullshit like that we all know isn’t true — but maybe somewhere inside know is true — it’s a Fort York bridge thing. Or, rather, the bridge we’re not going to build. Or, maybe, the cheap tinfoil makeshift two-bit Rustbelt forgotten-town best-we-can-manage waiting-for-graffiti-and-used-condoms bridge we might get instead.
Yesterday we had a smart piece here on Spacing on why the bridge is a good idea. Inspired? Right now you should write a nice polite letter to your councillor and your mayor supporting the bridge. However way you want. CC all the other councillors too, their emails are all here. This is the only way, and council is about to debate the bridge in a matter of hours. But if you’re not moved to act, here’s another reason why this is a crucial moment in Toronto becoming not-shitty:
The Fort York pedestrian and cycling bridge is the kind of thing that makes a city a real city. This isn’t just some neighbourhood bridge (though it’s at the centre of 30,000 residents) or a fey Jane Jacobs cuddly urbanist’s wet-dream project or more dipper waste. It’s the the big boy and big girl kind of thing cities that matter all have. A Fort York bridge is a prerequisite to being a real city the way, when I was a kid, I only really respected cities with teams in all 4 major North American sports leagues (Toronto was an exception because I knew [and know] we’d get that goddamn NFL team one day).
Every city that matters has a Fort York bridge. Some of them were poor, some had their empires run out, some were bombed to dust during the war, and some are economic embarrassments, but they all built their own Fort York bridges, and we keep talking about them. Forever and ever, until we’re sick of hearing about these awful places and wish we had one of our own, just so everybody would shut up about:
Paris. Paris and their stupid Fort York bridges.
Prague is 100% Fort York Bridge. What’s a “Prague?”
Berlin? Crap. Fort York Bridge.
Amsterdam is a shitshow of Fort York bridges.
Rome? Thank god that empire fell. Fort York Bridges.
Venice? Fort York Bridge hysterical.
London? Probably too big for their britches (er, bridges, Fort York Bridges).
These cities suck. If you think so, don’t email you councillor right now. And don’t tell all your pals and people to either.
Photo by webguy63