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A History Of Toronto's Sick And Hilarious Obsession With Rogue Animals

An official homage to Ikea Monkey, White Squirrel, High Park Peacock and now Dead Raccoon.

by ,

Winter 2012: A stylish monkey in a shearling coat and a diaper wanders into an Ikea in Toronto.

Umm saw a monkey in the #ikea parking lot.

There was a moment of concern and fear.

But then Torontonians just chalked it up to it being a trendy and illegal species of monkey shopping at Ikea — any, really.

Well-dressed monkey follows up IKEA trip with visit to top of Toronto landmark.

And ran with it.

Natch, someone created a Twitter account.

way overdressed for this animal shelter

The #IkeaMonkey made its way around the Internet, eventually falling out of fashion, but Toronto folks never forgot. When crack scandal hit, #IkeaMonkey helped them deal.

Someone in Toronto even started a Twitter campaign to elect the monkey as mayor instead.

Another reason I should be mayor? Because even the mayor wants to be me! #ElectIkeaMonkey #RobFord

Could have easily done a better job, tbh.

Winter 2013: People downtown begin spotting and documenting their encounters with a mysterious and mythic white squirrel.

White Squirrel in Trinity Bellwoods Park, Toronto

(Although sights of the mythical creature date back to 690 BCE.*)

*Not historically accurate, but it's been a long-ass time.

Toronto is instantly and oddly fascinated and dubs the creature a city "legend." It's not a joke.

After Ford, the White Squirrel gave hope to Toronto when there was none left.

White squirrel wrestles baby black squirrel in my front yard! This is pay per view worthy action right here. #Toronto

A Canadian radio and TV personality, Strombo (a legend in his own right), sprang back to life by a White Squirrel sighting.

Someone opened a coffee shop named "The White Squirrel."

"White Squirrel Way" is an actual street named after the squirrels (although the naming and origins of the street are unknown).

Google Maps

Summer 2015: The death of a White Squirrel shook the city silent.

The city mourns.

RIP white squirrel of Trinity Bellwoods. long live white pigeon of St. Patrick's Square. #toronto

But a White Squirrel Twitter account continues to live on and in denial (like, to this day).

Please stop telling me that I'm dead, it's giving me a complex. #hurtsquirrelfeelings

Spring 2015: A peacock escapes the local zoo and runs around the city with its woes. People are finding it in their backyards.

The fugitive peacock is on the loose for several days. No one can catch it. The Toronto Peacock Twitter account tweets Erykah Badu lyrics.

If you were worried about where I've been or who I saw or What club I went to with the homies Baby don't worry, you know that you got me.

BuzzFeed Canada is concerned.


Officials finally catch the Toronto Peacock, but, as always, Toronto never forgets.

RT @TorontoStar "Toronto's peacock returned home but he'll never be the same. "

People find and start RT'ing a city councillor's old Halloween costume to commemorate.

"@JProskowGlobal: Halloween at city council! It's @doucetteward13 in disguise! ". I am a peacock from High Park Zoo

And someone puts the peacock on Tinder.

So apparently the #TorontoPeacock is on Tinder. 😐

Summer 2015: Someone creates a memorial for a dead raccoon after the city forgot to pick it up.

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

That evening, a candlelit vigil was held.

SECOND UPDATE: Someone put a cigarette in his paw #blessCanada #deadraccoonTO

And people left their green bins open to honour the #deadraccoonTO.

The Dead Raccoon of TO tweets about the good times.

And the city comes together — once again.

Fact: #DeadRaccoonTO strengthens my theory that Torontonians only unite behind rogue animals. #IkeaMonkey #TorontoPeacock #WhiteSquirrel 🐒

The Usual Suspects - A Casey O'Neill Doodle. #CaseyONeillart #torontopeacock #Toronto

To our dearly beloved furry and feathered friends of Toronto: You came and went, but you live on forever in all of us. Nvr4get, Un!tedWeSt4nd.

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