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Toronto Honors Former Mayor Rob Ford with Renaming of Centennial Stadium

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City officials in Toronto recently paid tribute to the late former mayor, Rob Ford, by renaming the football stadium at Centennial Park. The stadium, previously known as Centennial Stadium, has now officially been designated as Rob Ford Stadium in honor of the former mayor’s contributions.

The ceremony, attended by Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow, Ontario Premier Doug Ford, and members of the Ford family, took place at the stadium located near Renforth Drive and Rathburn Road. Both Chow and Ford shared heartfelt sentiments about Rob Ford’s love for football and his dedication to coaching young players during the unveiling event.

Rob Ford, who passed away at the age of 46 in 2016, had previously coached high school football at the stadium both before and during his tenure as mayor of Toronto from 2010 to 2014. The renaming coincided with what would have been Ford’s 55th birthday, further signifying the significance of the tribute.

In a speech at the ceremony, Mayor Olivia Chow reflected on the friendship between Rob Ford and her late husband, Jack Layton, underscoring the connection between the two former mayors. Notably, chow shared how Ford honored Layton by renaming the Toronto Island Ferry Terminal after him following Layton’s passing in 2011.

Members of the Ford family, particularly Rob Ford’s children Douglas and Stephanie, expressed their gratitude for the renaming of the stadium. Stephanie Ford emphasized the emotional importance of the stadium to her father, citing his deep ties to Etobicoke and his passion for mentoring young athletes from Don Bosco Catholic Secondary School in the area.

The decision to rename the stadium followed a debate within Toronto City Council, with Coun. Paul Ainslie spearheading the motion in recognition of Rob Ford’s service and dedication to both his constituents and football. Despite differing opinions among council members, the final vote in favor of the renaming underscored the enduring impact of Rob Ford’s legacy in the community.

As Toronto continues to remember the late former mayor, the renaming of Rob Ford Stadium stands as a symbol of his enduring commitment to public service and his love for the game of football.

Rachel Adams

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