Long before crack-gate turned him into the meme that just keeps on giving, Rob Ford was an inspiration/target to many local graffiti artists and other creative types who appropriated his likeness to make political statements or just outright mock him. And naturally, that tendency has kicked into overdrive now that the mayor-in-name-only has taken up permanent daily residence in the headlines—not a day goes by that we don’t receive some creatively Photoshopped Ford picture or comical caricature in our inboxes.
However, there seems to be an equally fervent response from those who are genuinely saddened by the situation at City Hall and the ridicule it’s inflicted upon Toronto, and who—rather than assail Ford once again—want to invest their creative energies into presenting more positive portraits of our city. Last week saw the launch of the We Are Toronto Tumblr, essentially a visual phone book listing off anyone from this town that’s accomplished anything of note, from Margaret Atwood and Bruce Mau to Drake and The Weeknd. And now, in the wake of the #MoreThanFord hashtag campaign that’s gaining traction on Twitter, there’s a namesake film from director Shelley Lewis that promotes aspects of the city that have nothing to do with what’s-his-face. (The new video follows a similarly titled clip that appeared online and went viral last week, but was quickly removed due to copyright issues.) We’re not sure if dreamy images of Glory Hole Doughnuts and the Royal Cinema will be enough to ward off Jon Stewart and Jimmy Kimmel’s joke-writing departments, but, unlike the video for Liona Boyd’s recently released civic-pride anthem, this one at least doesn’t look like it was filmed in 1973.