Giorgio Mammoliti’s Kyle Rae jokes more interesting than his waterfront plan

Giorgio Mammoliti’s Kyle Rae jokes more interesting than his waterfront plan

The Gardiner gets a garden in this image provided by the Mammoliti campaign 

In his mayoral campaign, Giorgio Mammoliti has proposed a war against spray paint, a tween curfew and a Freudian redesign of Emery Village. All of these, though, have a kind of small-change flavour. Giorgio, we ask, where’s the big idea? Well, this week, Mammoliti showed us: a car-free version of the Gardiner Green Ribbon paid for by road tolls and a buoyant casino.

The Toronto Star reports:

A $1.3 billion plan to ban cars from the Gardiner and confine motorists to a wider, eight-lane Lake Shore Blvd. could be paid off in four years with revenue from road tolls, parking and a floating casino near Ontario Place, says mayoral candidate Giorgio Mammoliti.

His waterfront vision — based on the work of University of Toronto architecture professors Ivan Saleff and Robert Wright — reimagines the Gardiner as a Skyway, open down the middle to act as a 6-kilometre skylight over Lake Shore.

“The Gardiner would open just like Moses opened up the sea,” said Mammoliti.

There are a couple of problems here. First, Queen’s Park has a province-wide moratorium on new casinos (never mind that the city doesn’t have the power to operate one, anyway). And second, to quote the Green Ribbon’s originator, Les Klein of Quadrangle Architects, “Taking an active highway and turning it into a park just doesn’t quite work.” Klein also noted that the project was “unfortunately misguided.”

Mammo’s announcement event was not entirely worthless, though. Leaving council chambers for his big announcement, he angered councillors with his “preening,” according to the National Post, and got into a little slap fight with Kyle Rae, who wondered aloud if council would learn when Mammoliti was going to the bathroom next. Mammoliti took a dig at the gay councillor by asking why he wanted to know about his bathroom visits.

We’re impressed that the devout Catholic Mammoliti has managed to work Moses and gay sex jokes into the same news cycle.

• No cars on the Gardiner in Giorgio Mammoliti’s waterfront plan [Toronto Star]
• Mammoliti plan turns Gardiner into garden [Globe and Mail]
• Politics leaks onto council floor [National Post]