Image by Piper MacFadyen
I don’t mean to brag, but I was born and raised in Toronto. And, I am of a certain age that if, as a teenager, I had really wanted to, I probably could have been a cast member of Degrassi: The Next Generation. I have no acting experience, but you’ve seen the show, I’m pretty sure that would not have been a serious obstacle.
So, occasionally, I like to imagine an alternate universe in which I was a teenage cast member on Degrassi and am now, in my mid twenties, a casual friend of Drake.
Not good friends, obviously, but close enough that I would have his phone number. After Degrassi, Aubrey Graham goes on to become a universally loved hip-hop superstar (his universal appeal is an indisputable fact). I follow the life path of the typical Degrassi alumnus and pursue a rewarding career in bartending. And even though Drake spends his days jet-setting across the trottable globe, playing concerts for adoring fans, he would still occasionally text me when he was in town.
DRAKE: im lonely
ME: Hey bud!! Great to hear from you. You wanna go out? Hit the town?
DRAKE: Four gorgeous women literally just accosted me as I walked down the street. We’re going to the club.
ME: Awesome! You da man! Where you guys headed?
DRAKE: *no response*
My harmless and not-at-all-weird fantasy of having Drake’s phone number came to mind the other day as some very interesting news crossed my desk: Casa Loma has been losing money for years and the city is seeking an outside operator.
Casa Loma — if you are somehow unfamiliar — is Toronto’s iconic castle built on Davenport Hill, smack in the middle of the city, over a three year span from 1911 — 1914 by Canadian industrialist Sir Henry Pellatt. In 1933, after years of financial upheaval, the City of Toronto seized the castle for $27,303 in back taxes. But even under city control, the place has never quite stood on solid financial ground. Casa Loma only brings in about $1 mil in revenue per year, but is in need of about $20 mil in exterior repairs.
If the city is looking for a credible custodian with the fiscal sense and the creative acumen to run Casa Loma as a profitable enterprise, they need look no further than Drizzy himself. He is, after all, 25 sitting on 25 mil.
Call it Casa YOLO.
At Casa YOLO, Drake would throw the most lavish New Year’s Eve parties where the public could mingle with his glamorous international friends like 2 Chainz.
At Casa YOLO, we would all dress in burgundy sweat suits and drink Diet Coke out of gigantic brandy snifters.
At Casa YOLO, Drake would regale us with parables about the danger of false friends at his annual Halloween levée.
Casa YOLO would be the perfect place for Drake to record his vocal tracks, shoot music videos, and brood. He could breed raccoons and baby owls in the stables. He could live there until he died and his ghost would haunt the hallways, warning visiting teens about the perils of not embracing the short time we are granted on this earthly plane. “YOOOooooolllLLLLLLOOOoooooo,” he would coo. (Admittedly, Drake’s second ‘life’ as a ghost would cast the name Casa YOLO in an ironic light. You only live once. That’s the motto, reader: YOLO.)
Bottom line: Drake could make Casa Loma a place people wanted to be. And people would travel from around the world to see it.
It’s a perfect fit. If I had his phone number, like in my normal fantasy, I would call him myself and suggest it. But I don’t. That’s why I’ve launched a public campaign called “Convince Drake to buy Casa Loma and Rename it Casa YOLO.” There is a Facebook group and a Twitter hashtag (#CasaYOLO). I urge you to join the movement.
I’ve never felt this strongly about anything in my life. Please Mayor Ford, to whom this seemingly open letter is actually addressed, we need your help.