Trudeaumania hits Toronto
From the moment he set foot in Nathan Phillips Square, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was mobbed by members of the media and adoring fans.
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No new projects were announced named, no dollar figures were offered and no timelines given.
But, Wednesday’s meeting between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mayor John Tory attracted hundreds of fans, ranging from cheering taxi drivers to young people scrambling for selfies.
From the moment he arrived in Nathan Phillips Square, Trudeau was surrounded by a practical mob of fans. The prime minister took it all in, stopping to shake hands and pose for photos en route to a 45-minute meeting with the mayor.
“It’s like he’s a rockstar,” one onlooker said as Trudeau passed by the Toronto sign.
The mayor’s office noted Trudeau’s visit is the first time a sitting prime minister has come to City Hall since amalgamation in 1998. Others have met with mayors and visited the city but not its seat of government.
Trudeau thanked Tory for welcoming Syrian refugees to the city, noting Toronto has “opened its homes, hearts and wallets to people fleeing extraordinary circumstances.”
Tory returned the compliment, saying Trudeau’s election heralds a new era of co-operation between Toronto, Ottawa and Queen’s Park.
“Working together, all three levels of government will achieve results,” the mayor said.
While many were hoping Trudeau and Tory would use the event to announce how – and how much of –the Liberals’ promised $20 billion in infrastructure investment would flow to Toronto, not everyone was disappointed.
“I’d rather not see a knee jerk announcement just to fill the void,” said Liberal-leaning councillor Josh Matlow. “It means that when an announcement comes, it will be the right one.”
Wearing their Trudeau love on their sleeves
Even in a gathering of ardent Justin Trudeau fans, Nicholas Montgomery and Elise Darmanin stood out.
The pair sported sweaters emblazoned with an image of the prime minister riding a horse as they waited for his arrival Wednesday in Nathan Phillips Square.
“We’re huge fans of Trudeau,” said Montgomery, who managed to get Trudeau to sign his sweater.
“He’s young, he’s got new ideas and he’s bringing them to the table. He’s someone we can get excited about and Canada can get excited about.”
It wasn’t all about fandom, however. The sweaters are part of Montgomery and Darmanin’s Shelfies clothing brand and can be bought online for $60.
Darmanin said the design is known as the “Dreamy Trudeau.”
“I mean look at him,” she said. “He’s like prince charming.”
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