Rob Ford comes out against marathons in the streets

Rob Ford comes out against marathons in the streets

Runners finish the Toronto Waterfront Marathon in front of city hall in 2008 (Image: Ben Lawson) 

Rob Ford has already pledged to get cyclists and streetcars off Toronto’s streets—and it looks like marathons are next on his hit list. According to the Toronto Sun, Ford’s office received complaints about yesterday’s Scotiabank Waterfront Marathon disrupting traffic along the Gardiner. Apparently, drivers can still tell the difference between a half-working Gardiner and something even worse.

“I’m a city councillor and I didn’t know the waterfront marathon was on,” he said. “I had calls from constituents who didn’t know.

“It’s up to the city to advertise through the media,” Ford said.

Several off-ramps were closed to traffic on the Gardiner Expressway. Lake Shore Blvd. was off-limits to motorists from 5 a.m. to mid-afternoon on Sunday and there were other street shutdowns to accommodate the Toronto Waterfront Marathon. About 20,000 people took part in the event which raised $2.7 million for charity.

Ford is proposing that large marathons instead be held in places like Downsview and High Park, where there’s enough space to keep runners away from traffic arteries. The mayoral front-runner isn’t claiming that these suggestions are gospel or anything—he told the Globe and Mail editorial board that he’s just throwing ideas out there. (Ford’s brother Doug even took the opportunity to make fun of him. Lesson: don’t campaign for office with your siblings.)

Of course, they’d probably have to change the name of the Waterfront Marathon, and there’s a question about how many runners would sign up to do a dozen laps of High Park—it doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.

• Take marathons off city streets — Ford [Toronto Sun]
• Ford suggests taking marathons, runs off city streets [CP24]
• Ford wants marathons taken off streets and moved to parks [680 News]
Ford In Favour Of Taking Marathons Off Streets [Newstalk 1010]