norm kelly six dad toronto

This is what the 6ix Dad Norm Kelly is up to next

"I sometimes feel like putty rolling through the river of life." 

Those are the sage words of former Toronto city councillor Norm Kelly—more lovingly known to the internet-inclined as 6ix Dad—on how life has been since losing his seat in last month's municipal election. 

With a lengthy political career that exceeds 25 years and includes, among other things, acting as Deputy Mayor during the tumultuous Rob Ford era, the 77-year-old retiree says he's only now adjusting to a day-to-day routine outside the political sphere.

"Some days it feels great, I can sleep, I feel like a teenager again," he says. "Other days it’s disconcerting." 

October's municipal election was always intended to be Kelly's last campaign—the twilight term before a comfortable retirement.

But amidst Premier Ford's controversial cuts to city council, it turned out to be a failure of a finale: Kelly ultimately came out empty handed in a battle of incumbents that pitted him against longtime politician Jim Karygiannis for the newly consolidated Scarborough-Agincourt ward.

And despite what his healthy Twitter account might suggest, the former councillor does not spend his time online or handling his 6ix Dad merch sales (that's what a team of young staffers are for). 

These days, Kelly's schedule consists mostly of sorting through boxes. 

"Right now my priority is closing my City Hall office," he says. 

What that means is offloading decades-worth of internal documents, mementos, and invitations from his former office at Suite C43 in City Hall to his home in Port Union, where he says boxes now fill up every hallway of his home. 

Compiling all that material and turning it into a book is something that's crossed his mind, he is a former historian after all. There's no doubt the notes he jotted down in his daily diary during his tenure as Deputy Mayor would make a juicy read.

Aside from that, Kelly is going with the flow. Like most former politicians, he's been approached by foreign companies looking to move to the 6ix (he wouldn't say which) to act as a city consultant.

There's also the possibility of teaching a city politics course, but not the "boring municipal politics 101" kind—more the "dynamic of political life" kind of curriculum. 

But until he gets his boxes all sorted out, Kelly is playing it by ear.

Unlike other politicians who've receded from the public eye, the 6ix Dad still has an internationally recognized brand that, if nothing else, offers a larger platform than any other Toronto politician has had to date. 

Now that he has more time, maybe Norman will actually start writing his own Tweets.

It would be refreshing to get a glimpse of the real 6ix Dad—he's more the type to drop philosophical gems like "History is a recreation of the past" than retweet a meme—mixed in with all those odes to Drake.

Lead photo by

@norm


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