Dec 12, 2021
By Steve Kee
Former Toronto Mayor Mel Lastman has died. He was 88.
Known for his wit and his outspokenness, Lastman was the first mayor of ‘megacity’ — the name given to Toronto after the amalgamation of six municipalities in 1998.
He was known to be a brash, outspoken pitchman-turned-politician whose array of gaffes, missteps and personal scandals did little to diminish a remarkable career as mayor of Canada’s largest city.
Lastman once summoned the Canadian army to help during a snowstorm, pleaded with the Spice Girls to stay together and even threatened to kill a journalist.
But today, politicians from all levels are praising Lastman. Premier Doug Ford and Mayor John Tory sent condolences through social media.
“Mel was a true leader and builder for (the City of Toronto.) He was a great mayor and he touched many lives,” Ford wrote.
Tory has ordered that all municipal buildings and Toronto City Hall will fly flags at half-staff to honour the former mayor.
“He was a kind, good-hearted man with a larger-than-life personality who always wanted to do the right thing for people,” Tory said in a statement.