Toronto Life - - The Fifty Most Influential 2018 -

hardly any­thing went down in Toronto this year that didn’t bear the new pre­mier’s im­pri­matur. Recre­ational pot be­came le­gal, but not be­fore Ford steam­rolled the pre-ex­ist­ing plans and im­ple­mented a frame­work for pri­vate sales. In Septem­ber, stu­dents and teach­ers re­turned to the class­room un­sure of whether they were al­lowed to call it a pe­nis or a pee-pee or any­thing at all. A lit­tle over a month be­fore vot­ers went to the polls, Ford chucked the mu­nic­i­pal elec­toral process into a blender. He road­blocked Trudeau’s car­bon tax scheme, can­celled the ba­sic in­come pi­lot and went on and on about the all-cur­ing virtues of onedol­lar beer. So steady was the fire­hose feed of news flow­ing from Queen’s Park that you’d be for­given for not pay­ing at­ten­tion to the other in­flu­en­tial Toron­to­ni­ans who were busy chang­ing the world in 2018. Chrys­tia Free­land emerged semi-vic­to­ri­ous from her NAFTA arm-wres­tle with Trump; Drake con­quered the mu­sic world, and then Shawn Men­des did, too; a quirky Jun­gian psy­chol­ogy pro­fes­sor be­came the guid­ing light of a new global men’s move­ment; our adopted fright­meis­ter, Guillermo del Toro, snagged four golden stat­uettes on Hol­ly­wood’s big­gest stage; Jes­sica Mul­roney be­came Pippa 2.0; and one brave, level-headed po­lice of­fi­cer at Yonge and Finch de­cided to hol­ster his gun, rather than fire it—demon­strat­ing to a world grap­pling anew with racism, big­otry and vi­o­lence what Toronto is truly about.

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