While we might disagree on specifics, I think that Kevin Bracken is on the right track about promoting Toronto’s naughtier side, something which he proposed in the Torontoist article titled Toronto the Naughty and to which I quickly linked in an article titled Kevin Bracken: “You say ‘ecstasy-fueled sex tourist hellhole’ like it’s a bad thing.”.
Naturally, we’re going to have different perspectives, but that’s to be expected: Kevin’s a twenty-something single guy who seems to go clubbing every week, while I’m a married 40-year-old whose regular clubbing days are behind him (although I had a pretty good run; plus, I was a paid go-go dancer, something which I’ll bet Kevin never was). But I think we’d both agree that any good tourist burg can — actually, make that should — have a “fast and loose” side peacefully co-existing with a prim and proper one. New York, London, Paris, Prague, Tokyo and many other must-go places have mastered this yin-yang balance quite well, and there’s no reason that Accordion City couldn’t do the same.
The real problem is that the promotion of Toronto’s naughty side is something that can’t be done by the folks at City Hall or the people they commission to promote tourism. Anything they’d produce would simply be a reflection of themselves: a melange of Mayor David Miller’s Doris Day-esque leadership (by the bye, Mr. Mayor, that’s not a compliment) and councillor Rob Ford’s special brand of dickishness (which I must admit does have the silver lining of his reputed frugality with public funds). The sort of promotion is better done by the people who actually go out and enjoy Toronto’s nightlife: people like Kevin, and to a lesser extent, me.
With that said, here’s my first attempt at contributing to the promotion of Toronto the Naughty: