Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn




Toronto's Failure of Caricature Permits


Response - Task Force SPARTACUS

super caricatures in ontario

 parties toronto caricatures caricaturist
Current Dysfunctional 21 artist permit spots as of 2016



It's no surprise to most people that in many cities worldwide we are failed by most political leaders and often by reckless civil servant policy makers - mostly because we just watch them.

Basically their idea of being servants to the people has been thrown away and instead they strive to perpetuate the myth that citizens should just sit back and be played like stupid pawns.

Shamefully we the people are treated that way intentionally and insipidly by those at City Halls involved in this betrayal of the democratic process; they have only contempt and lame excuses.


There is a myth that 'you can't beat City Hall'. People forget their rights in society unfortunately and do not commit themselves to making arrogant incompetent civil servants accountable.

The typical incompetent arrogant civil servant will never admit to screwing up and will rely on not being properly punished when caught screwing up in ways that they would be fired if acting similarly idiotically in non civil-service jobs.

Well that'smyths only exist if people believe in them; in the past 25 years I've beaten City Halls in several cities in major feuds similar to the agenda I will describe.

As of now I intend to educate the public about my current case - and how to help those in need who get frustrated by obstacles designed by City Halls to obstruct communications, to WIN.


My agenda is related to the issue of the official City Hall permit for downtown outdoor artists who draw people -the disastrous permit system has annihilated all the artists but me now;

So here's what I will need to see get initiated.

1) to dismantle the current flawed Toronto downtown outdoor artist permits system.

2) have the ludicrously inefficient Toronto's Permit-Policy makers at the MLDS [ Municipal Licensing and Standards Division ] be told by their higher authorities to stop acting like a blundering misguided oligarchy and instead fix the disastrous permit policies messes they routinely make.

- In my issue the shabbily administered artist permit situation has annihilated over 30 artists from the streets.

This has cost the City $25,000 - $40,000 in potential lost fees in the past 10  years.

3) I have a full plan to fix the situation but that would require some time to officially implement seen here.

But for now I need to have a speedier temporary fix in place because April 1st is when annual permits for the next season is due for purchase.

Temporary fixes are easy to implement for 2017 - especially since the current wrecked artist permit system has dissuaded most artists from registering.

The current system was disastrously conceived 10 years ago; ridiculously overpriced [ as if artists are affluent vendors ] and unworkable garbage-like assigned locations literally - placed on narrow sidewalks, weather exposed areas, dangerous locales, - and obviously discriminating against female artists who want to work in safe areas.


Current permit cost is $500 for these disgusting unregulated assigned spots measuring around 8' by 6'; compare this to Montreal where similar artists are located in the perfect tourist-trap setting of Old Montreal where artists can set up kiosk tents measuring 8' x 8'. Toronto busker entertainer permits are $47 ! They also have the option to pay for insurance - typical procedure of most cities..... however Toronto artist permits astonishingly mandates requiring artists to buy $2 million liability insurance each year!!! These spots were never even marked out and many permit enforcement officers had no clue where they existed???

Such things makes the average Toronto citizen gasp out in shock hearing such stupidity exists. But to MLS policy makers in their obvious inability to create sensible policies they are arrogantly comfortable in ignoring and/or delaying correctly overhauling the current system.


Of course I have grounds to take MLS to court in small claims and lawsuit actions. I can also initiate court injunctions against them.

This is what they're impudence in not properly serving the public has lead towards. And cloaked in such public disregard they have no concern for lawsuits - because the City Hall lawyers are paid by taxpayers money, and again when the City loses the civil servants responsible for instigating public court actions, they will still get to keep their 'golden-handshake' jobs.

I've made many earnest attempts in the past year to directly connect with MLS chiefs but at each time they have either ignored me, blown me off, responded to me dismissively - all the while indicating they felt they had no accountability to anybody but their own whims and wishful thinking in the idea of total control.


So now, they choose jeopardize their current employed roles as a result of costing the City tens of thousands of taxpayers dollars in legal fees - not including awards of damages in likely court actions; made around election race time - 2018. And if a new justice/ ethics oriented Mayor takes over from Tory's sham leadership one can imagine the widely controversial MLS chief policy makers will stir up a priority for investigation regarding job reshuffling.


I have many supporters at City Hall outside the MLS policy maker hub - most agreeing the artist system is a laughable flop.

Politicians and grassroots citizen support are vital in pushing the plan into an effective timely reality since these methods bring back arrogant municipal policy-makers to reality of their jobs being in jeopardy.


UPDATE AS OF MARCH 2017; ( After a year of excruciating pains to get past obstructions and lack of proper responses from various levels of City Hall )

Finally one councillor has been acting to some extent to try and make some headway;

- and another councillor's team is being very helpful in trying to make some actual steps to start fixing the issue [ after my contacts to the LSC ].

My other options to resolve the issue are being put on hold pending the outcome of temporary fixes being put forth by LSC [ The councillors committee associated with monitoring MLS activities ]. Court actions and legal remedies are effective in initiating forced corrective changes, but best left as the last resort.





Toronto being an arts-center designated city should have a popular area for public caricature / portrait artist activities as do other major arts-cities around the world and across Canada, but shamefully the current system is biased against street artist improvements/ progress.

Except for the area of the south-west corner of the Skydome Bridge, all of the current artist-permit spots are now redundant and should be replaced with workable spots; such as the expertly ones I have proposed above.

The current spots  each have several of the following detriments; dangerously next to traffic, next to loud traffic, next to traffic pollution, in areas frequented by drunks/ street kids with dogs/ lunatics/ rudely over-zealous games fans/ wind gusts / hot sun exposure/ poorly lit at night / isolated at night / no tourists at all/ only rushing traffic / only strollers enjoying scenery.


I'm undertaking a series of methods to correct the now dysfunctional Toronto artist permit system. One of these involves 'Taskforce Spartacus' - this is my initial grassroots public awareness campaign that will expose Toronto City Hall MLS policy-makers as blundering and disastrously arrogant for citizens of Toronto; primarily local entrepreneurs.


I've chosen Spartacus as the role model. Spartacus is legend as the ultimate rebel and fighter against the loathed brutal Roman slave society. He was a gladiator blood-sport slave and escaped it and led a growing formidable army of escaped slaves to fight back against Rome. Against all odds they succeeded in beating Roman armies sent to defeat them as they marched across Italy. The revolt lasted several years - but they did earn their freedom temporarily against the cruel system. It cost all the ex-slaves their lives upon final defeat.

In the famous Hollywood movie of the historical icon - played by Kirk Douglas, the ending depicts all the captured ex-slaves shouting 'I'm Spartacus' to show their ultimate loyalty and willingness to be murdered by the Romans who seek him out specifically. As a result all these thousands of loyal followers are crucified along the long road back to Rome.


That last scene in the movie is similar to what MLS policies have done to downtown outdoor artists in the past 10 years - crucified and eliminated them one by one. And now that I'm officially the last artist who has used a permit I have the unglamorous similarity to Spartacus - the last crucified in the movie version.


But the legend of Toronto's once thriving community of downtown caricature and portrait artists won't be ended by MLS blunders - the MLS need to be reminded they serve the citizens and that they are not Roman emperors bestowing favours and handouts to skilled public entertainers that the citizens and visitors want to enjoy seeing in action on public domains - the City merely manages certain activities on public domain - they don't own it.




Because of my own start as a caricature/ portrait artist in downtown Toronto, I became a very skilled and popular master of the art - unlike the cheap silly doodles one often sees drawn without any real skill nor care at other GTA family-vacation/ fun-zone spots.

Civilized cities like Quebec City sincerely uphold their outdoor entertainers because they help attract excesses of visitors.

Why is Toronto burdened by culturally-negligent bunglers at MLS who have no appreciation or respect for supporting or enhancing the city's finest outdoor entertainers who bring pleasure to the people? Shame that such neglect has been festering up to now...... but no more if people make the overdue rectifications.




On Tuesday, February 28th, 2017 I  staged a publicity march lasting 10 hours in downtown Toronto to expose MLS policy makers destruction of Toronto's former iconic group of loved artists who entertained locals and tourists for decades before MLS intervened and ruined that dream and dozens of sustainable incomes of impoverished artists.


During the walk I  drew political cartoons 'LIVE' at around 20 stops from Yonge/Eglinton to Harbourfront and back up to City Hall on Queen St.

The satire cartoons showed my views and experiences regarding why people are rightly cynical with 'establishment City Halls' and how City Hall uses mechanisms to throw off people's efforts to fix decadence in the system.Many of my anti-Tory/ anti-Premier Wynne cartoons can be seen on this page.


It wasn't well-exposed after all because the weather was too chilly for people to stop and take interest. So I'll do it again this Spring or Summer.

An example of my political cartooning. Mayor Tory and his flock of sheepish council support gouging the public.

Help support the other progressive Maverick Councillors who stand up for the people and against gouging-policies.