Jack Layton Statue Unveiled

Ontario Federation of Labour President Sid Ryan, Trinity-Spadina MP Olivia Chow and Toronto Mayor Rob Ford help unveil a bronze sculpture of Jack Layton. (Screen capture from YouTube)
Ontario Federation of Labour President Sid Ryan, Trinity-Spadina MP Olivia Chow and Toronto Mayor Rob Ford help unveil a bronze sculpture of Jack Layton. (Screen capture from YouTube)

More than a thousand people met on August 22 at the foot of Bay Street for the naming of the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal and the unveiling of a great sculpture of Jack on a tandem bike. It was donated through fundraising by the OFL on behalf of the working people of Ontario and is valued at approximately $350,000. The artist is the well-known David Pellettier of Toronto. It depicts the late Jack Layton, who was an avid cyclist and Toronto MP, riding on the back seat of a tandem bicycle. The front seat welcomes visitors to sit and have their photo taken “with Jack at their back.”

Olivia Chow, our MP for the Waterfront and Jack’s partner through their long private and political life together, said:

“Jack loved the city of Toronto, Toronto Islands, and most of all, the people of Toronto. How fitting that this sculpture will serve as a reminder to the people of Toronto and visitors to the waterfront that Jack always had their back.” She was met with great applause.

Councillor Pam McConnell praised her former colleague and introduced the many speakers and musicians as well as the Layton’s extended family. Emotions ran high, as many in the large crowd remembered this very popular MP and his generous nature. Mayor Rob Ford spoke of his first year as city councillor. He and Jack sat side by side in Council, and although they had different political views, Jack was always kind and ready to help him with advice.

Take a stroll to the ferries and hop on the bike with Jack! This will probably become the most photographed work of art in Toronto.

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