Our good friends from north of the border, Dave, Vanessa, Maeve & Owain Seto, shared a really neat piece of news from Toronto, Canada with us this past week.
Jack Layton to be honoured with statue and ferry terminal
The Jack Layton Ferry Terminal is now an official part of Toronto, but residents will have another reminder of the beloved former councillor and federal NDP leader.
Councillor Pam McConnell told city council, which voted unanimously Wednesday to rename the Toronto Islands ferry terminal, that the Ontario Federation of Labour plans to donate a whimsical statue to honour Layton.
It will portray the longtime cycling advocate on the back seat of a tandem bike, she said. Kids and adults will be not only allowed but encouraged to sit on the front seat and “take a ride with Jack.”
Layton, who was felled by cancer last Aug. 22, sometimes rode a tandem bike with his wife, MP Olivia Chow.
Nancy Hutchison, OFL secretary-treasurer, said the statue is in the planning stages. She hopes it will be put in Harbour Square Park East, near the terminal, so Torontonians and visitors can have photos taken with it.
“The theme is ‘Jack has your back,’ and we think he always had our back,” Hutchison said, adding the OFL is raising funds for the project.
Mayor Rob Ford introduced the ferry terminal renaming as his key item at the council meeting, saying: “He was a father and he was a husband, and to all of us he was a friend; whether we agreed or disagreed with his politics, he never took it personally.
“I’m proud to call him my friend, Jack Layton.”
Layton’s son, Councillor Mike Layton, abstained from the vote but thanked the “supportive and kind” mayor and councillors for the fitting tribute.
A ceremony unveiling signs for the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal is expected in early July, with more being added in August.