“It is not backroom planning. It’s called backroom vision.” – Doug Ford
A backroom, somewhere in Rexdale. Rob and Doug Ford sit at a table. On the wall hangs a map of the Toronto Port Lands. Beneath it, a garbage can overflows with crumpled paper balls and pencils worn down to the nub. An exhausted Mayor Ford sits slumped over, his head resting in his hands. Brother Doug appears similarly haggard, but he brightens suddenly, as though struck by inspiration.
Doug Ford: Wait! It’s coming to me now…you’re in a plane.
Mayor Ford [giddy]/i>: A stealth bomber?
[Doug Ford closes his eyes and peers into the depths of his imagination.]/i>
Doug Ford: No, a turbo prop. It lands at the Island Airport. You retrieve your baggage and then ... [pausing for dramatic effect]... get on a luxury boat that motors you right into the front lobby of a beautiful hotel!
Mayor Ford [clapping his hands like a little girl]/i>: I love it!
Doug Ford [still deep in concentration]/i>: It’s a… gondola, like they have at The Venetian hotel, down in Vegas.
Mayor Ford [suddenly ashen faced]/i>: But what if the lake is frozen?
Doug Ford: These would be icebreaker gondolas.
Mayor Ford: Love! It!
Doug Ford [eyes still closed]/i>: At the hotel I see a hot tub, a business centre and an awesome sports bar. This place is fancy. Maybe a Delta Chelsea or a Red Roof Inn.
Mayor Ford: How many TVs in the sports bar?
Doug Ford: Twenty…Fifty…maybe a hundred. There are signed hockey sticks and baseball bats on the wall. It’s just the most incredible sports bar ever.
Mayor Ford [blown away]/i>: Where do you get this stuff?
Doug Ford [closing his eyes again]/i>: There’s more. You stash your bags at the hotel and get on board a monorail that’s on a raised track. You look out your window and see uninterrupted traffic whizzing by.
Mayor Ford: I could cry…
Doug Ford: When you get off, you walk into – are you ready for it? – a mega-mall.
Mayor Ford [squirming with delight]/i>: How mega are we talking?
Doug Ford: Like if Square One and Yorkdale had a baby and it grew up to be a linebacker. That mega.
Mayor Ford [astounded]/i>: I…I…
Doug Ford: You pull open the door and your nostrils are met by the scent of great home-grown restaurants. You are torn over whether to have Canadian specialties like the Tuscan pizza at Boston Pizza, the Sonoma Valley salad at Turtle Jack’s or the Buffalo Chicken Sandwich at Kelsey’s.
Mayor Ford: A locavore’s dream!
Doug Ford: You spend the afternoon shopping –
Mayor Ford: Where?
Doug Ford: Canadian Tire. Mark’s Work Warehouse. Bed Bath and Beyond – we’re talking the cream of big box shopping.
Mayor Ford: You’d need an extra icebreaker gondola just for all your stuff.
Doug Ford: Then you get back on the monorail, which takes you to…
Mayor Ford: Where?
Doug Ford dramatically raises both hands to shush his brother. His eyelids are closed so tight they flutter. He begins gesturing with his hand in front of his face, as though pulling the very thoughts from his mind.
Doug Ford: …the world’s…largest…Ferris wheel!
[Mayor Ford is so stunned he falls off his chair.]/i>
Mayor Ford: My turn! My turn!
[Mayor Ford closes his eyes and begins envisioning.]/i>
Mayor Ford: Only this Ferris wheel spins super, super fast …
Doug Ford: This thing is so big that if it spun fast your head would explode from the G-force.
Mayor Ford: Whoa … I’m sold. When do we it built?
Doug Ford: There’s this developer I play golf with who could do it in a year. But the unions will raise a stink. So let’s say five years.
Mayor Ford [teary eyed]/i>: Incredible! All we need now is an official plan.
Doug Ford: Hand me that cocktail napkin.