The Gravy Train

Frequency Podcast Network

The tragic life and enduring legacy of Toronto's crack-smoking mayor

All Episodes

This is the story of how our subject goes from the outskirts of the city to a seat in the building at the heart of its power. Before he was the Mayor of Toronto, and before all the insanity that came in the years following that, Rob Ford was just a young man working at the family business in the suburbs, looking for a spark. An unlikely business request led Rob and his family into politics, and Toronto hasn’t been the same since. 

E

Oct 2019

39 min 31 sec

Rob Ford’s colleagues laughed off his campaign for mayor. They shouldn’t have. They assumed the numerous scandals he’d already suffered through, and the fresh ones that would dominate his campaign, would crush his chances. They shouldn’t have. They ran traditional campaigns and counted on Torontonians to make a relatively traditional choice, the kind they’d always made. They really, really shouldn’t have. The post 2: City Hall appeared first on The Gravy Train.

E

Oct 2019

47 min 38 sec

As Rob Ford began his term as mayor by ending taxes and cancelling transit plans, his colleagues on city council and the reporters who covered them were starting to gossip. As his first weeks turned to months, Ford was around less and less, and people were starting to wonder: What was going on with the mayor? And then, two high-profile nights out added fuel to that fire… The post 3: Whispers appeared first on The Gravy Train.

E

Nov 2019

42 min 45 sec

After months of absences and whispers and rumours, all of Mayor Rob Ford’s private life started to go public. It began with one story, which led to more, and more. The mayor’s response was denial—and to paint the media as the enemy and attack them by name. There’s a reason this strategy has become so popular. It works. The post 4: Headlines appeared first on The Gravy Train.

E

Nov 2019

42 min 38 sec

The whole world was talking about whether or not Toronto’s mayor smoked crack. You might think that the mayor would change his behaviour following the headlines about his drug use. But he didn’t. We know this because the police were watching him with a secret investigation named Project Brazen II. The post 5: Brazen appeared first on The Gravy Train.

E

Nov 2019

39 min 33 sec

Mayor Rob Ford publicly admitted to smoking crack “in one of my drunken stupors” on Nov. 5, 2013. And then all hell broke loose. The post 6: The Circus appeared first on The Gravy Train.

E

Nov 2019

44 min 52 sec

More than a year after the first stories about a ‘crack video’ broke, and months after the mayor admitted he’d tried the drug ‘during one of (his) drunken stupors’, Rob Ford admitted to the public that he had a substance abuse problem, and that he needed help. And he went to rehab. For a few weeks. Then he returned to the race for reelection. A race he very much expected to win. So Toronto had a choice. Four more years of this…or something else. The post 7: Rehab appeared first on The Gravy Train.

E

Dec 2019

44 min 37 sec

Toronto never got the chance to reelect Mayor Rob Ford. Nor did it get the chance to kick him out of office. It wasn’t the ending anyone wanted, it’s just what happened. And over the next few years, it would become clear just how profoundly Rob had changed politics, at home and around the world. The post 8: Legacy appeared first on The Gravy Train.

E

Dec 2019

42 min 39 sec

In 1994, a small church next to Toronto Pearson International Airport suddenly became one of the city’s “Top Tourist Attractions”. Why did millions of Christians flock from around the world? Was something truly supernatural happening? 25 years later, join Tara Jean Stevens as she revisits the unusual spiritual movement she was a part of as a teenager. The post Heaven Bent: The Revival appeared first on The Gravy Train.

Jun 2020

37 min 40 sec

Amir Omidvar left Iran during the revolutionary crisis in 1982. For twenty months after leaving his home, Amir did everything he could to cross the Atlantic ocean. While taking refuge in Spain, he made three failed attempts to enter the US; a fake passport in Heathrow, a Mexican jail, and a beating by customs officers in Milan — until a fourth and final attempt brought him to Canadian shores. Amir speaks to his daughter, Shayda, about why he decided to leave and how arriving in Canada has impacted his life and the life of his family. Listen and subscribe to The Hopeful wherever you get your podcasts. The post The Hopeful: Heirloom appeared first on The Gravy Train.

Oct 2020

34 min 33 sec