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FORUM (JULY 2017): Butter tarts, tourtière, and raisin maple donuts

August 1st, 2017 · No Comments

Local politicians celebrate Canada at 150

As the nation celebrated the big 150 this month, we wondered how our local politicians marked our big day. Member of Provincial Parliament Han Dong (Trinity-Spadina), councillors Joe Cressy (Ward 20, Trinity-Spadina) and Mike Layton (Ward 19, Trinity-Spadina), and Toronto Catholic District School Board trustee Catholic School Board Jo-Ann Davis (Ward 9, Spadina-Fort York) shared their Canada Day plans, and some of their favourite Canadian facts, books, and treats!

Compiled by Emilie Jones


How did you spend Canada 150?

Joe Cressy (JC): I went to Alexander Park, as there was a large celebration. I also went to 250 Davenport, also community housing.

Jo-Ann Davis (JD): I actually spent it down in Cape Breton with extended family, who are from the east coast. I spent it mostly outside enjoying the outside, the community, and basically what makes Cape Breton great.

Han Dong (HD): It was great. I spent a few weeks previously knocking on doors, giving out Happy Canada Day signs, and I saw a lot of those in storefronts, which gave me joy. In the morning I went to St. Lawrence Neighbourhood Association parade, invited by Adam Vaughan (MP, Spadina-Fort York). It was lovely; a few residents were in traditional clothing. There was a sense of pride, everyone was really happy, I gave pins to lots of kids, and they loved them. Then I went to Alexander Park, where there was a barbecue, and the community centre helped secure some donations for food. Next I went to Ontario Place, where they had the new oath ceremony for 50 new Canadians.

Mike Layton (ML): As Canada Day is the first long weekend after a busy year of city council meetings, for the past several years I have spent Canada Day sitting dockside at a family friend’s cottage.


What is your favourite Canadian book?

JD: That’s tough. I don’t want to just say the most recent book I read. Probably a Richler, I think The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz. I think because I read it when I was young, it was one of the first books I read that I thought of Canada. Because it is set both inside and outside Montreal, you get the urban setting and the lakes and the trees and everything that Canada is famous for. The environment really reminded me of Canada.

HD: I recently picked up Dave Suzuki’s Letters to my Grandchildren. It is an interesting book, of passing on knowledge and spiritual connection. I haven’t finished it yet, but it is very interesting.

ML: I love stories of Canadian wilderness. An early favourite of mine was Lost in the Barrens by Farley Mowatt.

JC: Can I say my partner’s book? The book I’m reading at the moment is my partner’s novel, Be Ready for the Lightning by Grace O’Connell. CBC called it one of summer’s best books.


What is your favourite fact about the Annex?

HD: I have to go with that we have Hot Docs. I want to use every opportunity to promote them. Having it in our community is so special. They have lots of programs, they have free showings for students, and their films have a large educational value.

ML: For me, growing up in the Annex and later studying and teaching Urban Planning at York University, the fact that Jane Jacobs lived on my street is pretty neat for my inner planning nerd.

JC: I have so many! Probably the one for me is that we stopped the Spadina Expressway that was supposed to be built, that would have really changed the area. So my favourite fact is that we stopped it.

JD: I guess that it has always been a centre, a community, that because of its proximity to the university, it is a place that has been open, and the birthplace of a lot of ideas, a lot of innovation. When I think of the Annex I think of Jane Jacobs, Margaret Atwood…just a place with lots of innovative ideas.


And lastly, what is your favourite Canadian treat?

JD: Butter tarts! That was a much easier question!

ML: Tourtière. A mix of savoury, sweet and a bit gamey, and every family has their own spin. You can go try it at Woodlot on College!

JC: Butter tarts! That’s easy…from the Kawarthas…if I can eat a butter tart in a canoe, I’m in heaven.

HD: Raisin Maple Donuts! I was down in Buffalo once, and I went to Tim Hortons and I asked for one, and they didn’t have any! What do you mean you don’t have any!

Member of Parliament Chrystia Freeland (University-Rosedale) and Toronto District School Board trustee Ausma Malik did not respond to the Gleaner.



FORUM: How our politicians celebrate the holidays (December 2016)


Tags: Annex · Opinion