Doug Ford, the Idea Man
Love him or loathe him, Mayor Rob Ford’s older brother has become an idea machine, someone who isn’t afraid to toss out unorthodox concepts in the hopes that they create jobs and boost Toronto’s profile.
He has championed scoring the city an NFL team, and at one point suggested dropping a stadium on the Port Lands. He has raised the possibility of tunnelling three levels under the Gardiner Expressway — one level for trains, one for a toll road and another road that is free — and developing above it.
In a sit-down interview with the National Post this week, he prefaced an unheard-of scheme with “now, this is way out there.”
“If we have the privilege of getting a football team, we need a stadium,” the Etobicoke city councillor began, while sitting in City Hall’s cafeteria. Forget about putting it in the Port Lands. Why not take the infill from tunneling a transit line under Eglinton Avenue and “pull a Dubai,” he says, building a lollipop-shape land mass from the mainland into Lake Ontario, precise location undetermined, on which a new football stadium could sit.
He sketches it out on a reporter’s notepad, marking lines around the circular island stadium to illustrate lakeside bars. “So you have tailgating on the boats, and a massive dock all the way around. And a big parking lot here,” he says, drawing a rectangle on the mainland.
“Anyone who scanned Toronto and saw this magnificent stadium in the middle of the lake — well, not really in the middle but a quarter-mile out — they would look out and say, that’s Toronto,” he says. “It would be a big dream… but what a sight.” (Photo: Tyler Anderson/National Post)