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In 2015, Toronto Truly Revealed Its Enduring Love For Raccoons

Official mascot of the 6.

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Residents of Toronto have always loved to hate raccoons. But the truth? Torontonians have a low-key, enduring affection for trash pandas.

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Yes, they break into our garbage bins. They make messy homes in our roofs. They occasionally carry scary diseases. That's all true.

Anolis01 / Getty Images

But we love them all the same. Like that somewhat dysfunctional family member who's actually your favourite. Torontonians loves raccoons as our own, and never has that been more evident than in 2015.

Like remember that time a raccoon scaled a 700-foot crane to take a poop? We loved that shit.

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This was news in Toronto.

Or when this cutie snagged a ride on a GO train. Like it was a person. We named it Rocky and wrote news stories about it, because that is what we do.

Judging by the dark circles around his eyes, this little guy could have used some extra sleep. #GOTrain

In the spring, the city announced that new compost bins were coming. They released videos showing their painstaking research making sure raccoons couldn't get in. Mayor John Tory made a reference to "raccoon nation." It was beautiful.

City of Toronto / Via youtube.com

But, naturally, the finest example of Toronto's abiding fondness for raccoons was Conrad, also known as #DeadRaccoonTO.

@311Toronto It’s now after 3 pm and I guess Animal Services hasn’t been by, because someone’s having some fun now:

Sure, Conrad's memorial and subsequent viral coverage was a comment on a slow, overworked city service. It was also for the laughs. But it was more than that.

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It was about sadness of losing a neighbour. The indignity of a loved one being left lying on the side of the road. The grief of a life extinguished too soon.

BREAKING: City of Toronto has arrived to remove the dead raccoon. #DeadRaccoonTO

Those lil' bandits are family. And we take care of our own.

Toronto Police/Twitter

So in 2016 let's resolve, as a city, to openly and shamelessly embrace them with open hearts and full garbage bins. 🚮🐼💕

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