Grinch spotted cleaning up the streets in Mississauga

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Published December 22, 2023 at 2:37 pm

grinch cleaning mississauga
This grinch-like character was spotted cleaning the streets in Mississauga. Photo: Blair Comfort

A Grinch-like character is growing his heart while helping keep Mississauga streets clean.

Anyone who has done some Christmas shopping in Port Credit may have spotted the man dressed in green with a broom in hand.

The Grinch-like character is a new Port Credit Business Improvement Area (BIA) initiative, in addition to the nutcrackers, Santa and festivities happening through December to the end of January, Kelly Ralston, executive director of the Port Credit BIA, tells insauga.com.

“We wanted to try something new and fun on our main street,” Ralston said.

Port Credit BIA Streetscape Ambassador Peter Manthei mentioned he would love to play the Grinch, Ralston said. And they thought this was a new spin on the holidays and something that had not been done before in Port Credit.

“We surprised Peter with the costume and he was overjoyed to take on the role and bring some levity to the Port while performing his duties as a PCBIA Streetscape Ambassador,” Ralston said.

And Manthei tells insauga.com he has thoroughly enjoyed the role.

“It’s a pleasure being the Grinch and I would do this all over again,” Manthei said.

The response to this new initiative has been overwhelmingly positive, Ralston said.

“People light up when they see him,” she said. “It is a busy time of the year and people are bustling around. Seeing the Grinch on the street gives them a pause and moment of joy.”

Several people posted on the Port Credit Friends Facebook group about a recent sighting.

“It sure brings excitement and happiness seeing the grinch around. My kiddos loved it, though I’m not sure they loved it more than me,” one person wrote.

Manthei said he didn’t mind when people stopped to take photos.

“I just like to make people that are in their car, that are taking the pictures, to make them happy, to make them have a wonderful Christmas,” said Manthei. “I’m the kind of person in real life to make people happy.”

grinch cleaning mississauga

Photo: Port Credit BIA

Manthei is generally very happy as an ambassador, and this has elevated his joy exponentially, Ralston agreed.

“Our mandate is to beautify Port Credit and to attract people to our main street. This has certainly created a sense of pride in our community and supports our businesses who have him come in to take photos and interact with visitors to the Port,” she added.

Typically, Manthei cleans streets on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in the morning. The last day he will clean as the Grinch is Dec. 23.

Sweet Stops #INThePort will also be on Dec. 23 with participating stores in Port Credit giving away free funnel cake, deep-fried Oreos, cookies, and hot chocolate.

“…so you may see him photo bombing or stealing a few of the treats!”

grinch cleaning mississauga

Photo: Port Credit BIA

After Christmas, Manthei will be on call until March as streetscape cleaning is weather dependent during the winter months. Then he will return to regular ambassador duties in the warmer weather. He may return as the Grinch character next year.

“I think Peter will be quite sad to hang up the costume for a year so we will have some more surprises for him and our community in 2024,” Ralston said.

Ralston said Manthei encompasses everything that you could want as an ambassador — works very hard keeping the streets clean, but he goes the extra mile by creating a sense of community by greeting people with a warm smile and friendly conversation.

“He has a great deal of pride in his job and that really shows, even through a Grinch mask,” said.

For more information on the Port Credit BIA and upcoming events, see the website here.

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