Ontario Federation of Labour

Ontario Federation of Labour

August 22, 2013 12:00 ET

OFL Unveils Life-Sized Bronze Statue of Jack Layton at Toronto's Waterfront

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Aug. 22, 2013) - The Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) marked the second anniversary of the passing of Jack Layton by unveiling a life-sized bronze sculpture of the beloved NDP Leader riding in the back seat of a tandem bicycle. Entitled, "Jack's got your back. Stronger Together: The Layton Memorial," the monument was erected on Toronto's Waterfront to welcome visitors to the newly minted Jack Layton Ferry Terminal and remind them of Jack's legacy of love, hope and optimism.

"It is fitting that the centrepiece of the statue is an empty front seat that invites visitors to climb on the tandem bicycle and take a ride with Jack," said OFL President Sid Ryan. "Visitors will immediately understand the significance of Jack riding in the back seat because Canadians know that Jack always had their back."

The memorial was initiated two years ago by a labour union resolution served to the OFL convention just months after Jack's death. The OFL worked closely with MP Olivia Chow to bring the project to life, but it was the generous donations of labour unions, organizations and individuals that made it a reality. The fundraising goal of $350,000 was easily surpassed and the City of Toronto resolved to support the project through the donation of land. The beautiful crafting of master sculptor David Pellettier and the renowned team at MST Bronze Limited rendered a stunning monument.

"I have raised many donations in my time, but none have been as eagerly and enthusiastically contributed as the donations to this monument," said Ryan. "Workers across the country were inspired by Jack's leadership and felt that it was important to share his message with future generations."

Today, OFL Officers Sid Ryan, Nancy Hutchison and Irwin Nanda and a group of principal donors presented the statue to members of Jack Layton's family and representatives of the City of Toronto, as a gift from the labour movement to the people of Canada. In a touching tribute, the first person to take a seat on the new statue was Jack's granddaughter Beatrice.

"Jack's love for Canadians was surpassed only by his love for his family. In so many ways, Beatrice embodies the promising future that Jack wanted for the next generation," said Ryan. "We hope that this statue serves as a reminder of Jack's positive message that inspired so many ordinary working people to dream of a better life, a better world and a brighter future."

The Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) represents 54 unions and one million workers in Ontario. For information, visit www.OFL.ca and follow the OFL on Facebook and Twitter: @OFLabour.

Contact Information

  • OFL
    Joel Duff
    Communications Director
    416-707-0349 (cell)