After far too long a wait, Toronto Life has finally graced the internet with Jan Wong’s “profile” of Renata Ford (the mayor’s wife) from their most recent issue. Finally non-subscribers can enjoy the harrowing tale of a reporter chasing down a woman who clearly has no interest in being in the public eye. It takes a great turn on page three when Wong convinces the Fords’ 77-year-old neighbour to let her into his home. She then peers over his fence into the mayor’s backyard. Looking for, I guess, clues.
Best of all, though, is the narrative thread woven through the article that seems to suggest that maybe Renata Ford is some sort of elaborate hoax. The article ends — no lie — with a speeding car and Wong trying to scribble down a licence plate number, as if she’s about to uncover some sort of grand conspiracy:
Ten days later, I dropped by the house for the second and last time. Again, Renata’s mother answered the door, and again, she said her daughter wasn’t home. I got back into the taxi, which was waiting in the driveway. Suddenly, the garage door rumbled open and a blue SUV backed out quickly, forcing us out onto the street. We couldn’t see who was driving. But when the taxi driver realized I was taking down the licence plate, he said helpfully, “It’s a Ford Escape.” We were both too shaken to hear the pun.
It’s the best kind of trash-hack journalism. Truly a delight.
It should be noted too that, even though Jan Wong takes an anti-Ford slant with this article, earlier this year she argued at length that weekend street festivals caused traffic chaos and were a bad thing.