Dec 13, 2021
By Jane Brown
Mel Lastman will be laid to rest Monday in North York, the city he championed all his life.
The former North York and Toronto mayor died on Saturday at the age of 88.
As beloved as he was brash, Mel Lastman served as mayor of North York for 25 years before it was amalgamated into Toronto.
He then spent six years at the helm of the megacity winning re-election in 2000 with 80 per cent of the vote before retiring in 2003.
Current mayor John Tory says it wasn’t an easy time bringing all parts of metro Toronto together as one city, “because most of the people in the marriage had been forced by the provincial government and didn’t want it, and he had the job of doing that, and it’s a big job and he had to pull everybody together, and he did it with that sense of genuineness with a sense of speaking from the hip and trying to do what he thought was right.”
Mel Lastman also made headlines throughout his career for a series of gaffes, including during SARS, when he got his facts wrong on CNN and said he knew nothing about how many people in the city were in quarantine.
He also questioned the validity of the World Health Organization, whose members had warned people to stay away from Toronto because of SARS.
His funeral will be held at 10am Monday at Benjamin’s Park Memorial Chapel near Steeles and Dufferin.