City of Toronto ‘a social experiment’, scientist admits

TORONTO—Even casual observers of the developments in Toronto over the years must at some time have thought, “Is this for real?”  Now, we can definitely say, “No. It wasn’t.”

Dr. Tobias Chicaner, Professor Emeritus at University of Toronto’s Department of  Psychology, today revealed that Toronto is a living, social experiment meant to evaluate the effects of physical and psychological stressors on human subjects.

“The Toronto Project is a longitudinal study, complex and multiphasic,” Chicaner explained. “It began rather modestly, analyzing the evolution of the settlement under the control of various groups—the Iroquois, Huron, French, and British. Then, around 1812, the Project leaders started a war just to see how that would shake things up. Wow! That really gave us a sense of what was possible if we were willing to gamble, I mean, alter the experimental conditions.”

While modern social experimentation is tightly regulated, requiring evaluation and approval by ethical review boards, The Toronto Project preexisted those regulations, and was thus grandfathered in.

“The conditions have been periodically relaxed at times, but the overall strategy has been to increase racial and cultural diversity, population density, and political strife in order to gauge the outcome on societal functioning,” he continued. “In recent times we’ve been most interested in the crime rate, and then it hit us… what if we put a criminal in charge of the city?”

Our questions to the Mayor’s office were answered with “Any other questions?”

Sebastian Panache

Sebastian Panache

Editor-in-Chief. Follow him on Twitter @SebPanache. Or don’t. It’s okay, really.

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