Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Everyone loves a Levee: A look at the personalities who came out to meet Rob Ford

The Mayor’s New Year’s Levee is billed as an opportunity for ordinary citizens to meet with politicians and share some goodwill. This year, of course, the event unfolded under the cloud of a court case that could see Rob Ford booted from office. His hardcore supporters turned up in droves, as did the occasional detractor. They mingled with a mix of fringe characters, a handful of homeless people who wandered in off Nathan Philips Square and, yes, even some ordinary citizens. Adrian Morrow offers a look at the different personalities who queued up at the Clamshell to meet the chief magistrate.

1 of 3

The character: Jason Relunia, 33, spends his days spinning fire and playing music in Kensington Market. He came to the Levee to “try to connect more to the community” and because, not knowing much about Mr. Ford, he wanted to meet the man himself. “I’m always like ‘give people a chance,’ ” he said. “I disagreed with taking the personal shots at him and stuff.”

Chris Young/The Globe and Mail

2 of 3

The fans: A handful of Mr. Ford’s backers brought him gifts. Elizabeth and Vicente Ventimilla placed an Ecuadorean sombrero on his head as they wrapped their arms around him. The pair work for the Toronto Community Housing Corporation and support Mr. Ford’s changes to the agency – he purged much of its leadership after an audit revealed lavish spending. “Before, the big guys, they would never shake hands with people,” Mr. Ventimilla said. “The new CEO, he goes out and listens to tenants.”

Chris Young/The Globe and Mail

3 of 3

The regular citizens: Young Hamid Cassamali was hanging out with his parents at Nathan Phillips Square when he found out the Levee was happening, and determined to shake hands with the mayor. “It’s nice for him to see the city hall,” said his mother, Anna. “It’s important to be part of these events.”

Chris Young/The Globe and Mail

Report an error