It should be known by now that Toronto is an incredibly diverse and unique city with tons of interesting characters and individuals. Sometimes this reflects on the news stories that come from all over the city, so we compiled a list of some of the most unusual news stories that have happened in our beloved city in the last few years. Be warned, if you're not a animals or a certain former mayor...they appear quite frequently.
Photo Cred: YouTube
1. The 'Rob Ford Crack Scandal'
When again in your lifetime will you hear a story about your mayor smoking crack? And not just smoking crack but having ties to gangs, having his name come up in police raids, denying he smokes crack only to admitting months after the fact when Toronto Police find video evidence on a broken hard drive. The timeline of the infamous Rob Ford crack scandal and, as well as the former mayor's alcoholism, makes this likely one of the most bizarre stories in Toronto HISTORY!!
Photo Cred: News.com.au
2. Darwin the 'IKEA Monkey'
You walk into IKEA to furnish your apartment and all of a sudden an exotic animal enters the store and starts screaming. That's what happened in December 2012 when a monkey, simply named Darwin, wearing a winter coat, escaped from its owner's car at a North York IKEA, wandered around the parking lot shocking shoppers and finding its way into the store. It then lead to a long custody battle and the owner surrendering 'Darwin' but not before this story made international headlines because simply...a monkey, a winter coat and IKEA. That doesn't happen every day.
Photo Cred: Banjo
3. The Dead Raccoon Memorial
It was all over social media under the hashtag #DeadRacoonTO and spawned its own Twitter account. The story goes that a memorial was created for a dead raccoon at the corner of Yonge and Church Street earlier this month after it took nearly 12 hours for Toronto Animal Services to rid of it. The whole story was bizarre but at least showed Torontonians have a special place in their heart for animals, even the ones that go through our garbage.
Photo Cred: CityNews
4. A Hydro Pole Installed In Front of A Million-Dollar Home
It's not clear as to why a Toronto Hydro pole being installed in front of a millionaire couple's home and blocking the view from their windows is news, but it was. Last month a story broke on local news station, CityNews, where a couple in the city's west end complained of a Toronto Hydro pole being installed in front of their home. We all wondered why this was considered news, and why a couple of millionaires in Bloor West Village, one of Toronto's nicest neighbourhoods, were complaining about their view, while the rest of us scrambled to pay rent for our more modest abodes.
Photo Cred: CTV News
5. The 'High Park Zoo Peacock' Escaping
It seems 2015 is the year of out of this world news about Toronto animals. In between the IKEA monkey and Dead Raccoon Memorial, came a story in late May about a peacock escaping from its cage at the High Park Zoo and roaming the rooftops of homes in Roncesvalles Village, before finally making its way home a few days later. It then sparked a frenzy of jokes and memes on social media including one from Mayor John Tory. This peacock was apparently notorious for escaping from the zoo but, like us Torontonians, needed a little time away from home once in awhile. We're not so different after all.
Photo Cred: Newstalk 1010
6. A Scarborough Library, An Indecent Act, and a Cucumber
It's bizarre to the point many of us aren't sure what to make of it. In June 2014, a man in his late 40s was arrested at the Agincourt Library, in the northeast end of the city, after a man sat down at a table where a woman was seated and performed an indecent act with a cucumber. The same man was reported to have done this in front on two occasions in front of different women, but why was there a cucumber with him in the first place? I think we'd rather not know.
Photo Cred: London Free Press
7. The 'Fake Pregnant Belly Cocaine Bust'
The words 'fake pregnant belly' and 'cocaine' aren't something you hear together that often. In September 2013, a London, Ontario woman travelling from Bogota, Colombia to Pearson Airport in Toronto was caught with a rubber pregnant belly filled with two kilograms of cocaine. But how did she get caught? Apparently when going through airport security, the suspect was asked by uniformed officers how far along she was in her pregnancy and after expressing her anger over the question was searched by an officer who found her pregnant belly to be too hard and cold for it to be real. The woman, at the time, faced a 5 to 8-year prison sentence in Colombia for trafficking.
Photo Cred: CBC.ca
8. Rob Ford Calling Police on a CBC Television Personality
One of the lesser shocking stories about Rob Ford during his time as mayor. Basically, in 2011, comedian Mary Walsh and a camera crew from the CBC program 'This Hour Has 22 Minutes' ambushed Ford at his Etobicoke home with Walsh dressed as a show's recurring character Marg Delahunty, a Newfoundlander who's act is interviewing and sometimes embarrassing politicians across Canada. However, Ford took things a little far, calling police and berating them when they weren't quick enough to protect him from...a CBC personality dressed as a warrior princess.
Photo Cred: Toronto Savvy
9. The Edited 'Neighbourhood Watch' Signs
In May 2014, pictures of certain neighbourhood watch signs with Sailor Moon or Batman logos on them were seen across Toronto. It turns out a puppeteer and artist from the city's west end, Andrew Lamb, put pictures of iconic 80s and 90s movies and TV shows in replacement of the regular Neighbourhood Watch symbol. This move was praised by those running crime prevention programs in the city as art installations bringing positive attention to the city's neighbourhood watch movement.
Did we forget any stories that you may remember? Let us know in the comments below!!