john tory pearson

Someone covered John Tory's face with a paper bag at Pearson Airport

The smiling face of now-former Toronto Mayor John Tory will no longer greet people entering Canada's largest city via Pearson International Airport.

Not for long, anyway — and not at all, if mischievous critics of the scandalized politician keep up their hijinks.

A Reddit user who goes by the handle shawnhuntersbackpack noticed when leaving Pearson's Terminal 3 on Sunday night that someone had made a rather hasty-looking alteration to the big blue "welcome" sign that traditionally bears the mayoral portraits of leaders in Toronto, Brampton and Mississauga.

"The Mayors of Toronto's Pearson community welcome you," reads the sign, in both English and French, above photos of Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie, Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown and, before last week, Toronto Mayor John Tory.

Tory, who stepped down as the leader of Canada's largest city under scandalous circumstances on Friday, is obviously no longer Toronto's mayor — but it could take months (and months) to organize the by-election that will determine his replacement.

Deputy Mayor Jennifer McKelvie is currently overseeing operations at City Hall until a new mayor is elected, but has confirmed that she will not be running for the position come election time.

This leaves Toronto in a semi-mayorless sort of limbo, and just four months after electing Tory for his third term. Some had been hoping that he would rescind his resignation, while others were happy to see Tory go.

At least one person felt strongly enough about the matter to cover up Tory's photo at Pearson with looks like a brown paper bag or a strip of kraft paper.

Tory, 68, formally resigned at 5 p.m. on Feb. 17, one (confusing and dramatic) week after news broke that he'd had an affair with a former City Hall staffer.

It's not clear who put paper over his photo at Pearson or precisely when it happened, but the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) confirmed to blogTO on Wednesday that it wasn't their doing.

"Upon seeing the Reddit thread, we investigated and learned that the Mayor's likeness was covered by a non-GTAA employee," said a representative for the transport company, which operates Pearson.

"The paper covering has been removed, but of course, the signage will eventually be revised and re-installed to account for the change in leadership."

Redditors got a kick out of the image of Tory's covered-up airport sign either way, using the situation to reminisce about people taking pictures with the exact same sign when it still bore the face of late, former, infamously scandal-plagued Toronto Mayor Rob Ford.

"I'll never forget arriving at Pearson in the middle of the Rob Ford crack scandal and a giggling American couple got their photo taken next to Ford's photo," reads the most-upvoted comment on the post.

"When I visited the city hall in 2016, I saw a guy next to Ford's framed picture in the hallway and pointing at it as someone took his picture with a phone," wrote another. "Huge smile on his face too!"

As for the person who took the original photo of papered-up Tory at Pearson, they simply want their fellow Torontonians to vote in the upcoming election. By doing so, says the Redditor, we might "avoid future situations where the mayor embarrasses themselves and the city enough to warrant the paper bag treatment."

Lead photo by


Latest Videos

Latest Videos

Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in City

Global's parent company Corus cutting hundreds of jobs in huge round of layoffs

Toronto is the top Canadian city for Americans looking to relocate

Here's what the next generation of TTC subway trains will look like

We raced to see if walking is faster than taking the TTC King streetcar in Toronto

This predatory Ontario animal looks like a creature from Stranger Things

Toronto's Joker is being trolled after getting busted by police while on TikTok live

Huge share of Toronto residents confused by enormous or missing water bills

Toronto intersection will fully close for entire week and the timing couldn't be worse