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Toronto mayor blames 154-year-old rules for failure to stop homelessness

Toronto Mayor John Tory has served up his latest in a series of controversial excuses that deflect responsibility for the ongoing homelessness and affordable housing crisis.

This time Tory is drawing ridicule for a statement made Thursday morning, claiming that his inability to curb the growing issue is the product of "1867 limits on the powers of Toronto," an almost nuclear constitutional excuse that isn't cutting it for some.

Tory's seemingly throwaway comment appeared to reference Federal Conservative leader Erin O'Toole's bold promise to singlehandedly end the housing crisis.

Though the statement was shoehorned between discussions about the City of Toronto's newly-announced vaccination requirements, live tweets from the press conference immediately generated some negative buzz.

Many point to the city's sweeping authority to make change through revisions to restrictive zoning policies and mandating the construction of affordable housing within the countless condo buildings built to prop up a dangerously commodified housing market.

After years of little meaningful initiative from any level of government and a situation that has spilled out into our parks and underpasses, many politicians' "head in the sand" stance is getting tiresome to some voices in the Twitterverse.

Tory's generational wealth and deep connections to big business were lampooned — which some might say could be his own fault for mentioning 1867.

To spare you some Googling, John Alexander Tory Sr. (John Tory's great-grandfather) was born in 1869 and eventually became head of the Ontario division of Sun Life Assurance Company.

Lead photo by

John Tory


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