Lawyer who abandoned $200K Ferrari in Toronto storm ready to laugh it off

Matthew Coutts

An Ontario lawyer who abandoned his $200,000 Ferrari during the recent destructive Toronto storm has captured the hearts and minds of those looking for a silver lining in the dark clouds.

With the city still fighting to regain full power and facing further nasty weather, there are more troubles ahead. An abandoned sports car can perhaps help us keep focused on what's important.

There is a score of memorable images of the recent Toronto storm — be they of overflowing commuter trains, bogged subway stations or drivers trapped on river-like highways.

Among those images are some of a gorgeous silver Ferrari California, a vision, sitting abandoned in the middle of a road, glowing under the lights of an overpass.

[ Related: Toronto area due for more rain as region dries out ]

Not another car insight, its owner gone; the car was slowly consumed by dark floodwater. Twitter went berserk. How could someone abandon a $200,000 sports car, they asked?

The car's owner has the answer, and it’s a good one: priorities.

Howard A. Levitt, a prominent employment lawyer, told the Toronto Star that he was on his way to appear in court with a client in Ottawa when the car became bogged down in a pool of water spewing up "like a geyser" from the sewer.

With no way to rescue the car, and tow trucks completely AWOL, he made the decision to bail on the car. When Levitt left, his car was slowing filling with flood water and police were on the scene - the road was being shut down. He rushed to Pearson airport and managed to get on a flight to Ottawa, where the next morning he won a motion for his client.

[ More Brew: Toronto mayor calls for post-storm energy conservation ]

As for the fate of his car, Levitt says it comes back to priorities.

“I don’t want to sound cavalier, but at the end of the day you’ve got to see the humour in it and not sweat the small stuff. And it really is all small stuff,” he told the Star. “Nobody’s dying, nobody’s sick. The car gets fixed up and there’s insurance for that. I made it for my case and succeeded on my client’s behalf.”

It would be inappropriately superlative to call Levitt a hero. The emergency crew members that helped evacuate a stranded commuter train are perhaps more worthy of that moniker.

But you've got to give it to Levitt for underlining what's important in life. Or perhaps more accurately, what isn't important.

A car is just a car. Even a knee-weakening 2010 Ferrari California is just car. It can be replaced.

A good lesson for us all to remember.

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