TORONTO — Flags are at half-mast across the city and there is a growing memorial outside city hall in the wake of the death of former mayor Rob Ford.
Torontonians shared their memories and condolences in chalk messages at the foot of the “TORONTO” sign at Nathan Phillips Square Tuesday.
“You may be gone but your voice has been heard,” Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti wrote in white chalk.
“My message on the square is very simple. It’s a message that reminds everybody that he has been heard and that he’s going to continue to be heard,” Mammoliti told Global News.
“I’m just one small voice — sometimes louder than the rest — but one small voice that will contribute to what he wanted the city to be.”
Other anonymous messages of support were written in colourful chalk to commemorate Ford’s legacy.
“RIP Mayor Ford you will not be forgotten!” one message read. “You will be missed Rob,” read another, beside a message that said “RIP Ford the people’s mayor.”
Members of the public also took the time to write messages of remembrance and sign a book of condolences at city hall.
“I told him I really respected how he kept going to work after council took away a lot of his power,” said Toronto resident Cindy Rossi.
“It turned me around. At first I was really shocked at the behaviour, but when I saw him go to work every day like that and how hard that must have been, I gained a new respect for him and I feel quite sad that he didn’t make it, because I know what a fighter he was.”
READ MORE: IN PICTURES: Rob Ford’s controversial career
Pedro Pessoa said Ford’s death was a stark reminder to “take care of our bodies” and said he would remember Ford as a dedicated politician who worked hard for the people of Toronto amid his personal struggles.
“I think we should remember him as a man who was passionate about the city,” he said.
“How do you remember anybody that passes? You remember them as honestly as you can. I knew him as a mayor. I knew him as somebody who was controversial, but somebody who seemed to care.”
The City of Toronto has also created an online book of condolences to commemorate the life of the city councillor and funeral arrangements will be announced at a later date.
With files from Peter Kim, Madeline Campbell, Lowgan Pertout and Sasha Campbell
© 2016 Shaw Media