Awesome Foundation Toronto releases its short list of Toronto awesomeness. We cut it from 16 to five

Awesome Foundation Toronto releases its short list of Toronto awesomeness. We cut it from 16 to five

A bat light to call the mayor is just one of 16 ideas to make the final cut

The newly minted Awesome Foundation Toronto (AFT) released its short list of all things awesome, whittling down a list of 250 submissions to an exclusive club of 16 items that are just a little more awesome than the rest (not that the others weren’t awesome; they just weren’t quite awesome enough). It is from this list that the AFT will pick a project to receive $1,000 to be brought to fruition. The winner will be announced this Thursday, February 24, at 8 p.m. at the Drake Hotel.

Well, we think that’s just awesome—but this isn’t the Best Picture Oscar, where everybody and their mother receives a nod. We’ve made the list even a little shorter, selecting the top five projects on our own scale of awesomeness. Our picks, after the jump.

To make our list, the submission had to either: (1) be edible; (2) be hilariously clever; (3) involve shaving animals; (4) involve a messiah; or (5) be topical (that is, involve Rob Ford). Without further ado, our shorter list.

1. Cupcakes for All!
The description on the Awesome Foundation Toronto’s blog is short and sweet, just like a quality cupcake. It reads: “Exactly what it sounds like!” It’s edible—and delicious, too. Therefore, it’s awesome.

2. Baggage Dumping Ground
This one takes the trophy for being wonderfully clever and very funny. The description: “500 pieces of vintage luggage, sourced from local stores, into which passersby can drop personal notes leaving behind their emotional baggage.” That’s awesome.

3. Project Zoo
Everybody likes a nice shave. Hopefully, animals will, too. “Taking the hair shaved from animals at the zoo, turning it into yarn, making stuff, then selling it at the zoo to raise funds.”

4. The Jesus Machine
“A giant vat full of cornstarch and water. A non-Newtonian liquid that lets everyone walk across the surface.” A show of awesome, please.

5. Rob Ford Bat Signal
Need we say anymore? If there’s anything that is inherently awesome in this world, it’s new ways to reconnect Rob Ford and a gravy train. The idea: “Send a text whenever you are in need of our valiant and personally responsive mayor! Projects a giant gravy-train bat signal into the night sky.” If this doesn’t happen, a little piece of the city’s left-leaning, latte-sipping, European handbag–wearing collective heart will die. Awesome.

See the whole short list of 16 nominees »

Awesome Foundation Toronto funding announcement, February 24, doors 7 p.m. Drake Hotel, 1150 Queen St. W., 416-531-5042,

(Images: Ford, Shaun Merritt; skyline, John Vetterli)