The things he says in press conferences are just mind-blowing. Like after his admission of using crack, he said he felt 1000 pounds lighter. One look at Rob Ford and that doesn't even need a punch line.
But we should hardly be shocked by Rob Ford; Toronto has a history of electing whacky mayors. Remember Mel Lastman, Mayor of Toronto from 1997-2003? Here is what Wikipedia has to say about him:
Having adopted the nickname "the Bad Boy" for himself and developed Bad Boy Furniture into a chain of stores around the Toronto area. "Bad Boy" Lastman was associated with many publicity stunts, including travelling to the Arctic in the 1960s to "sell a refrigerator to an Eskimo."
In 1993, Lastman saw Clinton impersonator Tim Waters on television, and shortly afterwards contacted him and arranged for a commercial to be shot. The commercial featured Waters dressed as Clinton delivering the classic Nooooooobody! line. While merely a mildly amusing commercial to most of the viewing public, Lastman's move attracted attention, as he soon received a letter from the White House requesting that he "cease and desist all unauthorized use of the likeness of the President of the United States of America in advertising of commercial services and products". Lastman refused to stop airing the commercials, and even produced several more, featuring both Waters and a Hillary Clinton impersonator. "Last time I checked," Lastman quipped, "this was Canada, not the 51st state."
Lastman gained national attention after multiple snowstorms, including the Blizzard of 1999, dumped 118 cm of snow and effectively closed the city. He proceeded to have the Canadian Forces (Army) aid in helping to shovel snow, and use their equipment to augment police and emergency services.
In June 2001, shortly before leaving for Mombasa, Kenya to support Toronto's bid for the 2008 Summer Olympics, he jokingly said to a reporter "What the hell do I want to go to a place like Mombasa?... I'm sort of scared about going out there, but the wife is really nervous. I just see myself in a pot of boiling water with all these natives dancing around me." The remarks sparked a firestorm of controversy, with much speculation that they would offend African IOC members and endanger Toronto's bid. Lastman apologized profusely for those remarks. IOC Vice-President Dick Pound later stated that the comments did not affect the outcome of the bid.
In January 2002, Lastman was ridiculed for hugging and shaking hands with members of the Hells Angels motorcycle gang when they held a convention in Toronto. Lastman later claimed that he didn't know that the Hells Angels were involved in selling illegal drugs.
During the 2003 SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) crisis, Lastman did an interview on CNN. When he was asked what the World Health Organization was doing about the crisis, Lastman replied "They don't know what they're talking about. I don't know who this group is. I've never heard of them before."
After his wife Marilyn was caught shoplifting from an Eaton's store in Toronto, he threatened to kill CITY-TV reporter Adam Vaughan unless he stopped reporting on his family.
During his reign as mayor, Lastman and his wife held a surprise news conference announcing that he had a 14 year long extramarital affair with Grace Louie, a former Bad Boy employee. Louie, along with her two sons by Lastman, sued for 6 million dollars claiming that they were his illegitimate children but had not received sufficient child support. Lastman denied responsibility for the two children and successfully fought them off when they tried to claim a share of his estate, although it was already revealed that he was indeed their father.
To be fair, he did accomplish some things. Among his accomplishments as mayor of Toronto, Lastman brought World Youth Day to Toronto in 2002. He also succeeded in pushing the construction of the TTC Sheppard line, the first new subway line in decades. He played a key role in the negotiations that had the Empress Walk condominium complex developed and two leading schools refurbished, all without using public funds.