Assaulted Downtown: Help Toronto Birdman Ross Ward

Have you seen an old man selling handcrafted wooden birds downtown? Help him recover from a violent assault.

For years, Ross Ward, 64, could be found at major downtown Toronto intersections selling handcrafted wooden birds. Initially whittling them for fun as a teenager, he began selling them at markets and on the street for income after leaving the construction industry due to hearing loss.

The community quickly noticed Ross’ craftsmanship, dedication, and good nature, and he was featured in coverage by Global, CTV, 680 News, and City News.

In November 2021, Ross was severely injured in a random, unprovoked attack near Yonge and Bloor. He was hospitalized with a broken jaw and ribs, among other injuries.
Ross awaits availability for further medical treatment at one of Toronto’s busy hospitals. He still carves and sells his wooden birds, but with difficulty and much less frequently. The attacker has not been arrested, and the case is at a standstill. Ross’ wife has started working more cashier shifts to try and compensate for the loss in income, but this inhibits her ability to support Ross at home and follow up with police and medical services.

This fundraiser has been launched to help pay for medical care and alleviate financial pressure on Ross and his wife during recovery, as their health insurance coverage is insufficient and there could be a lengthy wait for medical treatment and police prosecution, if at all. 

“The Birdman” has brought warmth to the streets of Toronto through his woodworking and tenacious spirit, catching our collective attention with his little birds. In the face of a cold-hearted, vicious attack, it’s time for us to show him the caring, loving side of Toronto and get him on the path to recovery.

Cover Image: CTV Toronto 

Birds and a duck made by "Birdman" Ross Ward. Photo credit: Yuluo Wei

CTV interviewing "Birdman" Ross Ward. Photo credit: CTV News Toronto

Ross Ward with a customer. Photo credit: @lllllllexi

Ross Ward with a customer. Photo credit: @Julie

Ross Ward and his wife (image cropped). Photo credit: Yuluo Wei
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Fundraising team: People who care about him (2)

Yuluo Wei
Raised $2,560 from 60 donations
Toronto, ON
Kennan Zhou
Team member
Raised $205 from 7 donations

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