What’s the deal with the dressed up moose on Moore Avenue?
Her name is Florence Moosengale, but employees at Integracare call her “Flo”.
The 10-year-old moose statue sits majestically on the lawn in front of the private nursing office located at Bayview and Moore.
You may remember Mel Lastman’s Moose in the City campaign of the year 2000. Well, Flo is one of the few remaining survivors of Lastman’s failed attempt to boost tourism and bring the 2008 Olympics to Toronto.
The former mayor filled the city with 325 of these Canadian landmarks decorated by local artists, and sold off to private sponsors with the profits going to charity. Mark Selkirk, the Etobicoke entrepreneur who’s company Merlinworks created the moose, died on Nov. 24.
A decade later, Flo is one of only 20 of the moose still standing in the GTA as part of his legacy. She was originally dressed as a nurse to cheer up Integracare patients.
However, as managing director Philip Russel explains, a simple Halloween costume led to her expanded wardrobe.
“We dressed her up as a witch for Halloween,” Russel said. “Ever since then, we’ve been changing her clothes based on suggestions from the staff and community.”
Integracare’s office is adorned with pictures of Flo’s different looks over the years, including time spent as a chicken and a bunny during Easter, or wearing bathing suits to celebrate summer heat.
And where does one find an outfit for a moose? She currently stands wearing black and white checkerboard blouse, a jet black skirt, accented by a pair of ruby red slippers and a matching red scarf, an outfit designed by volunteers from the Junior League of Toronto organization.
Now you know.
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