Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Downing & mayors

John Downing mingled with numerous Toronto mayors, short and tall, during his decades covering city hall for the Toronto Telegram and the Sun.

And while Crombie is a seven-letter name, Downing says "no one was shorter than Crombie."

Downing, a Toronto Sun Day Oner, also tells TSF:

"Ralph Day won the Irish sweepstakes and used the money to improve his funeral home. 

"Paul Rimstead's incredible popularity, and there are few, if any, rivals in Toronto journalism history, saw him getting 10% of the vote in one of the most competitive mayoral races in the last 50 years. 

"His opponents in 1972 were wee Davie Crombie, also known as the Pillsbury dough boy, David Rotenberg and Tony O'Donohue

"Crombie became such a close friend of the Rimmer that they used to go out drinking. On several occasions, when Paul became incoherent when dictating his column to the Sun, the mayor, anonymously, dictated the last few paras. (I never wrote about it.)"

Thanks, John.

And yes, it was Toronto's loss in not electing a wildly popular jazz drummer/columnist.

Back in the day when Mark Bonokoski was writing columns, he compared Rimstead's election platform to the needs of the city more than three decades later and most issues remained relevant.

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