The Ford family’s request was denied after a 24-11 vote by city council against renaming the stadium Rob Ford Memorial Park.
Doug Ford initially put forth the suggestion to rename the stadium in his brother’s honour. Michael Ford, who represents Ward 2 Etobicoke North, was “disgusted” by city council’s vote. Doug Ford added that “this was not a surprise.” He said he knew the councillors would vote personal, rather than political.
Councillors who were in favour of renaming the stadium included Mayor John Tory, Ward 3 Councillor Stephen Holyday, Ward 1 Councillor Vincent Crisanti and Ward 38 Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker.
In a letter outlining his recommendation to rename the stadium, Tory said, “In light of his many years of work on football programs in Etobicoke, it is fitting that city council should rename the football stadium at Centennial Park.” Although in favour of renaming the stadium, Mayor Tory acknowledged Rob Ford’s wrongdoings while in office that were disrespectful and hurtful to some in the community.
Before the vote took place, Councillor Jon Burnside of Ward 26, who was against the idea of renaming the stadium, said there should be a five to 10 year waiting period before memorializing someone. He went on to say that although he appreciated the intention of the proposal, the city’s attention should focus on everyday citizens “who have dedicated hours of their lives to make our city better.”
One resident of Etobicoke North, Hareda Fakhrudin, a third year Ryerson University student, said she wasn’t surprised by the vote. “People in this city either loved Rob or hated him. There was no in between.” She said that she wouldn’t have been in favour of renaming the stadium because of the backlash Ford received during his time as Mayor. “As a popular public figure, even if you do great things for your community, the rest of the people will only remember the bad things.”
Five days after the vote, Doug created a petition asking city council to revisit their decision and to allow Centennial Park Stadium to be renamed after the late Rob Ford.
Doug Ford announced on Sept. 8, 2017 that he would be running for Mayor of Toronto for the second time in the next election, which is set to take place on Oct. 20, 2018.