A mysterious Rob Ford statue has been appearing all over Toronto
It's hard to forget Toronto's boisterous, crack-smoking mayor Rob Ford, who saw over Toronto in a tumultuous term lasting from 2010 to 2014.
The former mayor passed away in March 2016 after a battle with cancer, but his legacy is living on through a travelling statue that has been spotted all over the city since mid-June.
The statue first appeared in Trinity Bellwoods Park on June 20, its unannounced debut and somewhat official-looking design confusing parkgoers.
He led a city, he led a nation - his name was Rob Ford.— Infamous6ix (@Infamous6ixTO) June 20, 2022
Meet & Greet now at Trinity - Bellwoods, Toronto, Ontario
Entire card series set available at https://t.co/7o0rUgSdfy#robford #toronto #trinitybellwoods #the6 #infamous6ix #TOpoli #torontonews #localnewstoronto #art pic.twitter.com/yYJRm4Brbl
A few days later, the mysterious statue appeared in Christie Pits Park, once again confounding those who encountered it.
He’s large, he’s in charge and he’s greeting all his fans in #ChristiePits Park today!— Infamous6ix (@Infamous6ixTO) June 24, 2022
Come say hello and take a photo with #RobFord - one night only! #toronto #topoli #infamous6ix #toronto #the6ix #thesix #runningthroughthesix #art #graphicart #comicart #design #installation pic.twitter.com/D2o2ZhJIEK
Perhaps the most out-of-place appearance for the late former mayor, his statue was brought along to "march" in the Toronto Pride parade. During his mayoral term, Rob Ford famously defended his refusal to attend Pride events in the city, saying, "I'm not going to change the way I am."
Pride Nation, baby!!!— Infamous6ix (@Infamous6ixTO) June 27, 2022
Rob Ford is officially doing Pride Toronto!
As well as an Infamous6ix luminary, the Slayer Swimmer.
Please be sure to wave hello if you see our group! #pride #robford #infamous6ix #the6ix #torontopride #pridetoronto #Toronto #pride2022 #topoli pic.twitter.com/NOEmgKxH4y
It took a full six years after Rob Ford's death for his likeness to finally relent and attend the parade.
Hello from @PrideToronto!— Infamous6ix (@Infamous6ixTO) June 27, 2022
Xoxo, love #RobFord & #TheSlayerSwimmer (Chris LaRocque) #pride #PrideMonth #prideparade2022 #PrideParade #PrideTO #toronto #infamous6ix #the6ix #thesix pic.twitter.com/IPGfyFq42j
The project is the brainchild of Cabibble Cards CEO Tim Matheson, the same mind behind the "Infamous6ix commemorative trading card set" featuring Toronto anti-heroes like Chair Girl, PeePeePooPoo man, the subway accordion Despacito players, and many more.
Matheson tells blogTO that "the Mayor RoFo statue was created to coincide with the release of Infamous6ix series 3 cards, a set devoted entirely to Mayor RoFo."
"People have been screaming for a Mayor RoFo card, and we felt his exploits couldn't be summed up with a single card, so we commissioned a whole set. It was difficult to narrow it down all his greatness into just eight cards."
"The statue is a tribute to failing upwards, that our mishaps and gaffes are smaller than our individual selves, and we have the power to rise above them and turn things around. In the halls of Toronto infamy, there is no one greater than our Mayor RoFo."
Matheson commissioned artist Christian Aldo to create the sculpture, explaining that "It is made of wire, strips of denim and a secret goo whose formulation Christian will not divulge."
Matheson says that reactions to the statue have been "interesting," adding that while "people laugh and take pics," others have been "vocally angry" and "protest that such a monstrosity has been mounted in their neighbourhood park."
"At Pride, he got a lot of high fives atop his 'Cottaging Float.'"
As for the statue's future, Matheson says, "Our creative collective has been busy planning a summer packed with exciting thrills and treasured memories for the statue."
"Expect an island adventure and CNE appearances, among others. If you wish to commune with him this weekend, he'll be on display at the Something Strange Oddities market at Revival 783 College all day Sunday, July 3rd."
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