This is a good piece by a community activist in Rexdale who ran for the Council seat against Rob Ford in the last election. I teach in Rexdale, which is an “inner suburb” of Toronto. It was built for middle class people with cars in the 50's, but as the downtown core has become more expensive, the poor were pushed out into parts of it.
The Fords have pretty much ignored the demographic changes in the neighbourhood, and under Rob’s tenure as mayor he did things like cut bus service in the area, and block the building of an LRT along another major arterial route in the city.
The good quote from the article:
“For example, we speak of Ford’s preoccupation with “gravy” and “waste” without discussing the vital community programs he believed Torontonians should do without. While Ford was always eager to dance in the streets and mug for cameras during Caribana, he had no qualms about casting votes in council against funding the parade. Ford maintained his brand of retail politics by answering phone calls from constituents and visiting them at their homes, yet ignored the wider needs of Rexdale – poor transit access, food deserts and an embarrassingly high child poverty rate – and offered no viable remedy while the neighbourhood slid into dereliction. Ford diverted development dollars to the high school where he coached football, yet blocked access for the rest of the neighbourhood to similar funds, instead staking the financial future of Rexdale on a failed casino project. Rexdale was Rob’s fiefdom, and he was loath to allow us anything not offered from his own wallet.”