FAMILY, FRIENDS SAY GOODBYE TO FORMER MAYOR MEL LASTMAN AT FUNERAL
Family and friends have gathered together Monday to say goodbye to former Toronto mayor Mel Lastman.
His son Dale Lastman says his father’s health deteriorated greatly after his mother died on Jan. 1, 2020.
“I only know that my dad’s love for my mom was so strong, so powerful, that he really could not bear the thought of living one single moment without her,” Dale Lastman said at the funeral.
“My dad stopped living on Jan. 1. He was physically healthy, but his mental faculties began to deteriorate almost immediately and progressed with alarming speed.”
The 88-year-old died on Saturday and the funeral is being held at the Benjamin’s Park Memorial Chapel.
Lastman made headlines throughout his career for a series of gaffes and scandals, pleading with the Spice Girls to stay together and suggesting he was concerned about a diplomatic trip to Kenya because of his fear of snakes.
As beloved as he was brash, Lastman served as mayor of North York for 25 years before the suburb was amalgamated into Toronto.
He then spent six years at the megacity’s helm – winning re-election in 2000 with 80 per cent of the vote – before retiring in 2003.
Current Toronto Mayor John Tory and Premier Doug Ford were among those who offered condolences upon Lastman’s death.
His other son, Blayne Lastman, said family came first for his father.
“My father taught us that nothing and no one is too big or too small,” he said.
Mel Lastman owned and ran Bad Boy, a furniture store, before he focused on politics in 1972.
Blayne Lastman said Monday even as a kid he long dreamed of reopening Bad Boy and did so 30 years later.
“I opened a new relationship with my dad that didn’t know existed,” Blayne Lastman said.
“He worked with me, gave me hell many times and the odd time gave me compliments.”
Story by: CP24