Rob Ford, internationally renowned nemesis of the livable streets movement, was removed from his post as mayor of Toronto today after being found guilty of violating local ethics laws. Ford will have an opportunity to appeal the ruling.
As villains go, Ford was actually sort of ideal: brash, unthinking, and prone to embarrassing himself. The Canadian press dubbed him “Toronto’s clown mayor.” When he wasn’t finding ways to undermine the city’s plans for surface transit and bikeways, he was finding new and inventive ways to star in the wrong kind of viral YouTube videos.
There’s a chance Ford’s appeal will succeed and he’ll end up back in the mayor’s office. But today, we’re enjoying the moment and paying tribute to Rob Ford with this retrospective of his most memorable antics.
#1. “Cyclists are a pain in the ass”
Ford made headlines as a mayoral candidate and City Council member when he said that “cyclists are a pain in the ass” and they should ride on the sidewalk. That Ford never even seemed to consider that this would inconvenience pedestrians as well as cyclists encapsulated his “cars above all” philosophy.
After he was elected, Ford made good on his promise to end the “war on the car” by removing bike lanes, which attracted international attention to the city for all the wrong reasons and prompted some memorable acts of civil disobedience.