TTC chair set for rough ride in mayoralty race
By Laura Grande, The Toronto Observer
Small business owners mixed with various other protesters Monday to demonstrate against Toronto city councillor Adam Giambrone’s run for mayor.
Giambrone, who is also chairman of the Toronto Transit Commission, officially announced his candidacy for the top job Monday night at Revival nightclub on College Street.
Filled beyond capacity and resembling the crowds on the oft-ridiculed TTC subway system, hundreds of supporters turned up to hear the 32-year-old Giambrone toss his hat into the ring.
However, outside the club, the volume was even louder as chants of “Adam sucks” rose, threatening to drown out the pro-Giambrone crowd inside.
Adrienne Weinberg, a small business owner who runs She Takes the Cake bakery on Dundas Street. West, arrived early to make her views known.
She said Giambrone’s support for the removal of parking lots between Ossington Street and Landsdowne Avenue was particularly damaging to her business.
“I watched my business cut in half,” she said. “My customers won’t come back because they can’t park. We are an ageing population and parking is more and more important to people. What (Giambrone) has done is totally irresponsible and it’s all for some study for a TTC route.”
Weinberg, wearing a shirt emblazoned with the name of her bakery said many of the protesters are experiencing similar issues.
“It’s about my bakery, it’s about every small business that Adam has put out of business for the sake of the TTC flow,” Weinberg said, before breaking down into tears.
“I survived an economic disaster. We all did on Dundas Street (but) we could not survive Adam Giambrone (as mayor)!”
Himy Syed, a Toronto city council candidate running in Ward 19 Trinity-Spadina, overheard Weinberg’s complaint.
“I have listened to them and I’ve been following what has been happening with the (parking lots and struggling businesses)” he said.
Syed said he is pleased with the amount of people who showed up to demonstrate against Giambrone’s run for mayor of Toronto.
“This evening speaks for itself. This has been the only mayor announcement that has had a demonstration,” he said.
“It’s very hard to believe that Mr. Adam Giambrone will be able to become mayor with this kind of beginning.”