Font Size


One of the thousands of anonymous posters put up to destroy me asked, “What would Jane Jacobs do?”

Jane Jacobs would do exactly what I have done and what I continue to do.

She would stand up to this.

Ed Keenan, of THE STAR, wrote a helluva piece. Read it here:    .

Coming through my door Ed Said, “Reg, you are the only person in Toronto who stands up.”

I said, “I am not but there are not enough.”

All posters in Toronto are required to have contact information for at least one owner of the poster.

These anonymous smear posters do not have that information.

They are illegal.

James Jacobs said to me one day, “My mother loved you.”

I replied, “I love your mother.”

Jane has gone the way of all flesh.

I’m 75 and will be joining her sooner rather than later.

Over twenty of those 75 years have seen me the target of hate.

What has sustained me through this gauntlet is the immense love that has been and continues to be showered upon me.

As long as her health permitted it Jane Jacobs was a regular at my programs.

One day she invited me into her home for coffee or tea.

Inside she said, “I think you’d prefer this.”

Around the third or fourth beer she said, “The best part of what you offer is what you have to say.”

I thought of all the folks who have told and tell me they would come to my programs if only I did not speak.

Had I listened to them I would not have heard her say that.

A TV network called to say they had heard great things on the web about my work and wanted to do a story.

I surfed the web to see if I could find what led them to me.

I found this: .

I learned that the voice so many have been and continue to be determined to silence is numbered among the greatest voices ever.

That’s not too shabby.

If I am there (and I am) it is because, like Jane Jacobs, I do my homework.

Drop by my place.

Wrote Lawrence Solomon in THE FINANCIAL POST, “(Reg) Hartt has been a credit to Toronto for decades. His CineForum, which screens noteworthy films for small study groups in his living room, has long won acclaim from critics in Canada and abroad and endorsements from Canadian icons such as author Pierre Berton and urban guru Jane Jacobs.  Lonely Planet lists 463 Bathurst St, his modest abode on a major Toronto thoroughfare, as among the top 30 sights to see in Toronto and in the top 30  sights to see in Ontario. That’s quite a credit to the city. Yet although neighbours don’t complain, the city’s Municipal Licensing and Standards department periodically shuts him down. MLS regulates freedom in Toronto, everything from the activities of major retailers down to an individual’s garage sales. It can investigate how well you are prepared to look after your pet in an emergency, whether you are mowing your lawn properly, and whether you are operating a pedicab without a license. And – in the case of Hartt — whether you can screen films in your living room for small gatherings. MLS’s answer was “no” – Hartt’s screenings of everything from modern classics to Nazi propaganda from the 1930s to Betty Boop cartoons, it claimed, somehow threatened the common weal.” 

Joe Fiorito wrote, “And you will permit me an observation: if Martin Sheen can come to town and stand on the picket line with striking hotel workers, why won’t our senior cineastes stand up for Reg Hartt, as the city moves to strike him down?”

What makes me everything Jane Jacobs wrote are the constant efforts to destroy me.
By standing up to this bully I am doing what Jane Jacobs would do.
In THE DEATH AND LIFE OF GREAT AMERICAN CITIES Jane Jacobs wrote that the powerful arrange sex scandals to destroy those who oppose them.
For me they have arranged a doozy.
It helps show I’m made of far better stuff.
What I am standing up for here is what the Supreme Court of Canada stood up for: freedom of speech for the poor.
That is an important thing to stand up for. Drop by The CineForum.
–Reg Hartt







« »