Plaque honouring Muhammad Ali proposed for Ossington Ave. site
By Maryam Shah
, Toronto Sun
First posted: Saturday, July 09, 2016 02:50 PM EDT
Councillor Mike Layton wants to install a tribute to Muhammad Ali’s time in Toronto.
Layton will ask council this week to create and install a plaque in Toronto to commemorate “The Greatest.”
Ali died last month at the age of 74 following a battle with Parkinson’s disease.
The proposed plaque and its future maintenance would cost around $6,500, according to Layton. It would be located at a site currently under development at 109 Ossington Ave. — the same place Ali trained before he famously fought Canadian heavyweight George Chuvalo in 1966.
“I think it’ll be a long time till we see someone with the same skill and the same charisma that we did in Muhammad Ali,” Layton said.
Ali also had a “significant anti-war message” during his career, he added.
He ended up fighting in Toronto that year because major American boxing centres turned him down based on his objection to the Vietnam war.
“Given Canada’s and Toronto’s historic position leaning on the side of peace over war, I think that it’s fitting that we can commemorate him in this way in Toronto,” said Layton.
The councillor said half the cost for the plaque would come from the city and the other half from the community that has raised funds through the site’s developer.
He doesn’t anticipate a fight over his motion on the council floor.
“This is the community celebrating their local heritage and it’s a fairly small sum of money,” he said.
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