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Then-Toronto Mayor Mel Lastman gestures during his speech at a luncheon in Toronto in 2003.KEVIN FRAYER/The Canadian Press

Family and friends have gathered together to say goodbye to former Toronto mayor Mel Lastman at a funeral today.

His son Dale Lastman says his father’s health deteriorated greatly after his mother died on Jan. 1, 2020.

Dale Lastman says his father died of a broken heart.

The 88-year-old died on Saturday and the funeral is being held this morning 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.

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