ALL THOSE YEARS AGO: Another year, another election

A federal upset, evicted residents, a Maple Leafs star and the end of the world led the news in previous Mays

3 years ago…

Candidates slagging each other, election sign wars being waged… Looming elections were big news in 2011 too. But it was about races for seats in Ottawa.

The Town Crier May editions focused on local candidates, with Conservative challengers coming on strong against Liberal incumbents in the midtown area’s four main ridings.

The Town Crier local editions, which came out just before the May 2 election, reported efforts of Conservative and NDP candidates to unseat Liberals Bob Rae in Toronto Centre, Carolyn Bennett in St. Paul’s, Rob Oliphant in Don Valley West and Joe Volpe in Eglinton-Lawrence.

The bitterness of the races was reflected in the front page story of the Leaside-Rosedale Town Crier, which reported charges that cars were vandalized on Soudan Avenue properties with Liberal signs. Other Liberal signs were reported damaged and a Green Party supporter said his sign was stolen. Police were seeking a man who was caught on video by a Bennett staff member.

In the end the challengers were 50 percent successful in toppling Liberal MPs — which could be considered a major upset in red-tinged Toronto — as reported in subsequent issues.

Oliphant and Volpe went down to defeat at the hands of Conservatives John Carmichael and Joe Oliver who rode Stephen Harper’s blue wave to majority government.

In unrelated news, May 2011 editions also covered the controversy created by midtown billboards predicting the end of the world.

The large ads heralded Judgment Day on May 21 of that year and had been placed by a California-based, evangelical Christian organization.

Some locals were incensed at the signs’ location, near some of Toronto’s largest Jewish communities.

There was no follow-up article on the billboards in subsequent editions of the Town Crier, although our continued publication may have been all the comment required.

8 years ago…

Maple Leafs captain Mats Sundin putting his home in the area up for sale was front-page news in the Midtown Town Crier in May 2006. He was seeking $6.5 million for the eight-bathroom, four-bedroom mansion on Dunvegan Road, according to reporter Claudio Cautillo.

Today that price seems like a steal for the cream of Forest Hill real estate, but at the time it would have netted a tidy profit for the Leafs’ centre who had bought and renovated the house for $4.6 million.

It also kicked off a round of speculation then that Sundin was looking to leave the Leafs, though his representatives denied it, pointing out the Swedish-born player had similarly flipped another house in the area for a quick profit. He’d reportedly bought a
mansion for $2.2 million and sold it for $4 million two years later.

As it turns out, he didn’t unload his latest property until two years later, getting a mere $5.6 million, when he finally gave up on Toronto’s hapless hockey team, according to media reports.

So that’s $2.8 million Sundin made in his two midtown real estate deals, almost as much as he made in three months of playing hockey here.

30 years ago…

Yes. Thirty years ago. The Town Crier back then was larger in dimension, smaller in page (12 pages in May 1984), and without colour.

The North Toronto paper, one of three Town Criers, was then called the Upper Yonge Town Crier.

But much of its news would be familiar to today’s residents — featuring controversial development.

Among the front page headlines is “14 tenants fight evictions they say will ‘double rents’ ”. The article by one Eric McMillan reports on tenants on Broadway Avenue at Yonge Street who charged their landlord was trying to get rid of them to raise rents more than otherwise allowed under the rent controls of the day.

The building’s property manager responded the owners needed the tenants out to let them gut the building to make necessary repairs.

While the evictions were challenged in court, the work began in the building, with walls coming down in units next to the holdout tenants, as reported the next month.

Eventually the court sided with the property owners and the tenants were forced out.

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Posted: May 29 2014 11:14 am
Filed in: NEWS
Edition: Toronto