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March 6, 2009
Reformers and Tories join Mayor David Miller to open Toronto’s 175th anniversary celebrations
During a street car trip to City Hall this morning the Reformers and the Tories managed a peaceful co-existence.

It won’t last.

At 12:30 p.m. today the rival political parties will clash in the City Hall Council Chamber. They will hurl insults and maybe shoes at each other, during a Council style debate reflecting what people may have witnessed between the two sides in 1834.

But during the morning street car ride modern day Mayor David Miller kept things in check talking to the students about city history, from politics to the introduction of the streetcar in Toronto as they joined him for the opening the City’s 175th celebration festivities at City Hall.

The Mayor, 12 students and teachers travelled across Queen St. in a vintage streetcar, exiting in front of City Hall to meet a throng of reporters and start the day’s events.

“The students were quite in awe of the Mayor, to be speaking to him,” said teacher Stephanie Reisler. “They didn’t expect him to be so down to earth and chatty. This is something they’ll never forget.”

Later today the students, Mayor and actor Eric Peterson will give a performance people will never forget, with a re-enactment of a Council debate from 1834. Peters, the renown Canadian actor who is a key figure on the Canadian sitcom Corner Gas will play the role of Toronto’s first Mayor, William Lyon Mackenzie, while Mayor Miller also plays a key role in the debate.

The students are ready for their part, wearing costumes reflecting the era. The 12 students from Gordon A. Brown Middle School and Cosburn Middle School have been working with curator R.H. Thompson for three weeks to prepare for the event.

“We were fortunate to be in this time where we were able to Google all kinds of information to understand 1834 and the issues of the time,” Reisler said. “We’re going to have fun with Eric Peterson. We have been practicing our lines, ‘You dirty pigs,’ and ‘You filthy hogs.”

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. Toronto has won numerous awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. 2009 marks the 175th anniversary of Toronto's incorporation as a city. Toronto's government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Throughout the day the City will profile interesting, candid moments from event. They will be written by Rob Andrusevich from the City's Strategic Communications Division. Rob is a former newspaper reporter.



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