What Made Us Fall in Love With Toronto This Week: October 11 to 17, 2014

Feats of film and justice, record-setting political participation, and a long weekend that earned many, many thanks.

These past several days, Toronto and its people not only pulled at our heart-strings, they did a number on our arteries. And that number is <3… 

A Toronto Film Maker Got an Innocent Man Freed from Jail
Years ago, at the request of his concerned father, Ray Klonsky, a young man from Toronto, began writing letters to inmate David McCallum. David had been imprisoned in 1986 and was serving a life sentence for a murder conviction based on a confession taken from him at 16 years old. Very quickly, Ray realized that this man was innocent and embarked upon a mission to re-examine the conviction, uncover new evidence, and prove David’s innocence.

This mission took nearly a decade of time, countless hours of filmmaking, and the significant support of investigators, lawyers, and the famous Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter. The first result was an amazing documentary film called David & Me that premiered at last year’s Hot Docs (full film available through TVO). The final result came this past week when, after numerous failed appeals, Brooklyn’s District Attorney threw out the conviction and after 29 years in jail, David was finally set free. This city and the people from it have done some incredible things with film… and this is right up there with the best.

We’re Getting Out And Voting…in record numbers
While there might be a lot of jokes flying around about our mayoral situation, we can assure you that this city is taking the upcoming elections very seriously. So seriously that Toronto had a record number of voters cast ballots at the opening of advanced voting.

There were just over 28,000 people voting on the first day, which is almost double the amount of first-day advanced votes in the 2010 election and nearly 40% of that election’s entire volume of early ballots. We’ve all been cocktail-party vocal about our municipal leadership, so it’s great to see so many people putting their vote where their mouth is.

Whether it’s Tory, Chow, or Ford, it seems like whomever we get will be exactly what we asked for. And that’s how it should be.  

Thanksgiving Weekend Was Pretty Much Perfect
Long weekends are like microwave dinners: they’re pretty hard to screw up. And when they’re awesome they might not be the healthiest thing in the world, but man, are they satisfying. Let’s go through the list, shall we?

Great weather in the city? Check. Beautiful fall colours? Check. Relaxing downtown vibe that also offered plenty of options for going wild? Check. Raptors, Argos, and Leafs winning a game (or two if you’re the Raps)? Check. Reasonable traffic? Surprisingly, check. City-wide food coma? Most of us are still doing turkey smoothies for breakfast. Soooo, check. 

Whether it was family time, friend time, alone time, or party time, this year’s Thanksgiving was one of the best we’ve seen in a while and reminded us what a great city we live in for a Falliday Weekend. 

And now that we’ve got that out of our system, it’s time to start the Halloween countdown…   


Cover photo from: istock.com/noticelj

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