What if Toronto got itself a mascot?
Meet Haechi, the cheerful little mascot of Seoul, South Korea. The yellow and brown cartoon creature was launched (or born) in May 2009 at a time when the local government felt the city lacked a defining image. Thus the critter now appears on official "documents, promotional materials, mugs, cars, badges and business cards." Haechi gives "dreams and hopes" to its citizens (apparently) even if it does look a bit like Peter Griffin in its formal representation.
Lots of other cities have mascots. So too do the Olympics and just about every major sports team. Japan's local leaders in particular seem to specialize in creating bonkers civic characters, from a lobster-human hybrid in Oshamanbe to the city of Sasebo's giant sailor burger. So, just for fun, what if Toronto got itself a mascot to unite and entertain us all in this time of transit battles and division at city hall? What should it look like? What should we call it?
Here are a few quick ideas:
Carlton the Condo
Carl (to his friends) is tall and shiny and represents the recent vertical development in the city. He's young, hip, and a modern representation of the way people are increasingly living in the city. His name is also a complete rip off of the Maple Leaf's Carlton the Bear.
Stephanie the Streetcar
Stephanie embodies that classic icon of Toronto, the streetcar. I considered a sidekick/nemesis for Stephanie called Allen the Auto just so the pair could spend every public event blocking each-other and fighting. Also, I have no idea how to make a person fit inside a streetcar costume - maybe some kind of two-person suit?
Larry the Lake
This one's a bit of a cop out. Basically just bucket of lake water with a happy face drawn on the front. A willing city hall intern could chauffeur Larry around and make sure there are no spills. Great for these thrifty times!
Now over to you. Here is a selection of your suggestions from Twitter this morning. Add more ideas in the comments section.
Photo: Seoul Metropolitan Government
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