Mayor Mel Lastman
As the former Mayor of Toronto, Mel Lastman was certainly a hard act to follow with his 25 years of mayoral experience as the mayor of former city North York. He went on to become the first mayor of the new ‘mega-city’ of Toronto after four other municipalities amalgamated with Toronto to create the mega-city.
Toronto-born Mel Lastman, who was affectionately known as “Mayor Mel”, was a businessman before getting into politics. People best remember him as the flamboyant owner of bad Boy Furniture (which is now operated by his son and former partner). He endeared himself to the public with his crazy antics that involved his trademark commercial spots and stunts like travelling to the Arctic so that he could sell a refrigerator to an Eskimo. His antics for Bad Boy Furniture weren’t the only things that helped get the public’s support though. Mel Lastman played a large role in the development of the Yonge and Sheppard area, building it up to the thriving hot spot that it is today. As a result of his memorable run as the Mayor of North York, Mel Lastman Square was created in his honor at the North York Civic Centre.
During his stint as the Mayor of Toronto, Mel Lastman managed quite a few accomplishments that he is still credited for today, such as being responsible for the creation of the Sheppard subway line which was the first new subway line to be added to Toronto’s transit service in several decades. He is also remembered for bringing in the military to assist with snow removal during the blizzard of 1999 that dumped well over one hundred centimeters of snow on Toronto. While not everyone looked too kindly on that decision it certainly did manage to get him national attention and help him to go down in history as one of the most memorable mayors that Toronto has ever had.