It all started early Thursday morning, when people began notifying 311 Toronto, the City of Toronto's contact center, about the roadkill. The center quickly responded that they were on the job.
@311Toronto There’s a dead raccoon on the sidewalk outside 819 Yonge (at the SE corner of Church).— Jason Wagar (@jasonwagar) July 9, 2015
@jasonwagar Thank you for letting us know. This was reported a short while ago and Animal Services has been notified. ^de— 311 Toronto (@311Toronto) July 9, 2015
As the day progressed, though, the raccoon remained on the street. After someone placed a piece of paper reading "#DeadRaccoonTO," the critter began getting attention on both the side of the road and online.
Things took a turn for the hilarious when Councillor Norm Kelly joined the party.
Residents are being asked to keep their green bins open tonight in honour of #DeadRaccoonTO.— Norm Kelly (@norm) July 10, 2015
The dead raccoon phenomenon continued to bring people in Toronto and around the world together. The memorial continued to grow. Condolences were made, and songs were written on behalf of the fallen raccoon.
I don't really understand how the magic that is #DeadRaccoonTO is happening, but it is fantastic that our city can come together for this.— JSON Statham (@sachasayan) July 10, 2015
It seems to me you lived your life, like a raccoon in the trash Never knowing what bin to eat from, when the lane got dark #DeadRaccoonTO— Andrew Tumilty (@AndrewTumilty) July 10, 2015
Someone in a nearby building posted a video of pedestrians approaching the raccoon. One was a city worker, the video uploader said, who took stock of the raccoon and then drove off.
Tap to watch if on the News app.
By nightfall, someone had added candles to the shrine.
At the end of the day, the roadkill was collected by city officials, freelance reporter Kris Pangilinan tweeted.
Pangilinan told ABC it had been there 18 hours.
"It's amazing how Torontoians can embrace roadkill and turn a city problem into some fun," he said. "We were sad to see it go, but it couldn't stay there forever."
Councillor Kelly told ABC that the city has a high volume of raccoons and that the city has a love-hate relationship with the animal.
"The events which unfolded under the hashtag #DeadRaccoonTO are a testament to Toronto's unique, humorous and loving character," he said. "A number of themes were prevalent on Twitter as the hashtag took off. The most notable would be dark humour, the tragic nature of death and the many aspects of Toronto living."
ABC has reached out to 311 Toronto for comment but has not heard back.