Rob Ford, Dead at 46

Rob FordRob Ford was 46. He was Mayor of Toronto from 2010 until 2014.


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Derrick

By no means was he my favourite mayor/politician, and what he did as mayor/councilor embarrassed me as a Toronto resident.

But many in the city supported him, and they found in him a voice that represented their views and vision. And this city is a little bit poorer because of his death.

I will miss him.

March 22, 2016 @ 12:03 PM

fourteen

Ya, so?

March 22, 2016 @ 12:15 PM

and

Found this tweet by Jeet Heer I can sympathize with: 'Our thoughts & sympathy should be with Rob Ford's family, especially his wife & two children, whose lives have not been easy.'

Tough to lose your father at a young age.

March 22, 2016 @ 12:20 PM

Jody Thornton

I'm right with you there Derrick. In fact, I'm hoping that Jimmy Kimmel will say something nice and tasteful on his show. Rob Ford did provide a lot of fodder fro Jimmy's monologues and interviews.

So fourteen, what do you mean by "Ya, so?"

March 22, 2016 @ 12:27 PM

Argie

Regardless as to what you thought of Rob Ford, the fact remains his kids have lost their father. That truly sucks.

March 22, 2016 @ 12:38 PM

Jody Thornton

That's how I see it Argie. I wasn't a supporter of his, but that's not for today to discuss. The Fords have a lost a family member.

March 22, 2016 @ 12:41 PM

The Voice of Reason

Today a family lost a Husband, a father, and a son. The age of 46 is far too young.

March 22, 2016 @ 1:28 PM

McNulty

@ Jody

Kimmel posted a nice tweet about him.

He was only 46 and had two kids. It's a sad day for his family.

March 22, 2016 @ 1:30 PM

James Edgar

Not a fan of the man or his politics but My sympathy certainly goes out to him and especially his wife and kids.

The last few years must have been horrific already without losing a husband and father as well.

46 is way too young

March 22, 2016 @ 2:38 PM

Justin

God bless Rob Ford.

Whether it was cutting the waste, standing up for the little guy, stopping the gravy train, or making City Hall more accountable, he was politically all I've ever wanted in a Mayor. But even more significantly - his ability to connect to everyday Torontonians and make them feel included in the political process was extraordinary. He was truly the people's mayor and he cared more about doing the right thing for the people of this city than all the other self-serving politicians at City Hall.

After starting out great Rob unfortunately let his addiction issues get the best of him towards the end (and he became a *very* divisive figure), but if there's one thing that's clear to all of us it's this: Rob Ford loved the city of Toronto more than anyone I've ever seen and will ever see.

Rob - you were one tough guy and I never thought this day would come. Rest in peace.

March 22, 2016 @ 4:28 PM

Disgusted

History has been reinvented. If Hitler had died of cancer, we'd all be talking about how hard he worked for his beloved Germany.

March 22, 2016 @ 10:22 PM

city haul

We have hit Godwin's Law after 11 comments concerning the late Rob Ford.

March 22, 2016 @ 11:41 PM

Cheryl

It's sad. I didn't like him, but he was too young and these kids lost their father at a very young age.

March 23, 2016 @ 5:36 AM

elvis

The brevity of this post says a lot.

March 23, 2016 @ 8:04 AM

Cambo

Whether you agreed with him or not (and TM certainly didn't hide his opinion), the family has lost a brother, father, and son. And he was only 46.

Let's all grow up a bit and put the behavior/politics thing aside and think of his two young kids, who now don't have a dad.

Rob was a spectacle for sure. much of it his own doing. But no one deserves cancer- and the excruciating pain that can go along with it.

March 23, 2016 @ 8:14 AM

Irv

The flip flop from some media just demonstrates how utterly pathetic mainstream media has become. They reveled in destroying Ford for his addiction. Now he dies and suddenly he’s some folk hero who they admire for his courage & for fighting for Toronto. The wide coverage of this is only about selling papers or clickbait online.

If anything comes from this I hope it’s that both political sides of the spectrum grab a bit more empathy toward drug addiction.

Right Wing: The “right” has lost one of their own. As Ford was an admitted drug addict & alcoholic, perhaps the right wing can lay off on the simplistic “Just Say No” bullshit. And maybe grab some empathy along the way. Drug addiction does not discriminate. The “right” needs to stop imaging the world runs on clichés. It's not that simple. I do hope all of the right wing now mourning Ford will extend the same courtesy to the REST of society with addiction issues. Somehow I doubt that.

Left Wing: Nothing is worse than the sanctimonious dribble of the “left”. On one hand they champion helping those who are troubled. And when helping them they proudly declare what wonderful humans they are. “We’re there for the poor, for the addicts, for the people society left behind”. That is until one of those people doesn’t buy into their politics. Then he’s a “fat pig that deserved it”. Many saw Ford’s cancer as “karma”. Ha ha, he “deserved” it. To start, there is no karma. Cancer is a disease.

There. Now I've pissed everyone off, I'll get to work.

March 23, 2016 @ 10:31 AM

Former Ford Foe

Good points Cambo, Irv.
You're right Elvis.
Which says something good I think.

March 23, 2016 @ 10:35 AM

Argie

@Elvis
You're deep, man.

March 23, 2016 @ 10:48 AM

hypocrisy at its finest

Rob ford wasn't a good man. He was an abysmal mayor, despite Justin pretty much referring to him as the messiah. He was a bully, racist, homophobic, sexist, drug and alcohol addled human being. Even if you take the addiction out of the mix, you are left with a small man with a grandiose vision of himself wrapped up in a lie, wrapped up in white privilege. He derided his opponents, belittled his detractors and made those who sought the truth out to be scum. He railed against those who did drugs and voiced an opinion for tougher sentences, while he moonlighted as a crackhead. Just watch the video of him pushing over the woman in council meeting so he can run to get into a fight and you see what kind of man he was.

Cancer sucks. End of. The only people I wish it on are paedophiles and terrorists. Otherwise anyone who is on the receiving end of having it and their family members who have to watch them waste away I have sympathy for. But do people really have all that sympathy for his family? It's easy to write it on a blog or a comments section of an on line newspaper. Once we get up from our computers I'm pretty sure the sympathy disappears and changes into what we are having for supper or what's on netflix. I won't judge the people saying they have sympathy for him as harshly as I do those that say they are praying for his family or sent a prayer. What a bunch of hogwash, go back to your FB posts of sending a prayer for a kid with cleft lip by typing AMEN.

We shouldn't be rewriting history here, is what it boils down to. The star's reporting has be abhorrent. Based on the articles that came out yesterday you would have thought they had always been on his side and that they always thought he was a great man. At least the prime minister was of a strong enough character to send his regards Ford's family along with a positive message to a man that once referred to him as a fag....

Rob Ford the man who loved Etobicoke more than he loved Toronto
Rob Ford the not so great man who died from a terrible disease. End Of

I know the criticism will come, but I think it was 3 days before Fred from Humble and Fred went after Jack Layton after his passing.

March 23, 2016 @ 10:49 AM

anonymous

I'd imagine his wife and kids are better off, and possibly even relieved. No more having to stomach angry drunk daddy hit mommy.

He was almost a complete piece of shit.

Don't want tasteless comments eulogising you? Don't lead a tasteless life. Fuck'im.

March 23, 2016 @ 11:01 AM

Last Train to Sharksville

Rob's eyes are opened now to what he never imagined in this life. What it is I have no idea. Does one feel regret in the next world over 'not smelling the rose garden' every day (as Ann Landers, or was it 'Dear Abby' used to say). Cuz Rob didn't do too much smelling of rose gardens.

March 23, 2016 @ 11:14 AM

Jody Thornton

One thing I notice is we are becoming SO divided now and so hateful. On Facebook, I notice this more than anywhere. There is no middle ground at all. Take anonymous' last comment for example. Yes he/she has the right to say it. But we used to attempt to be a society that said "Should we say or do something - just because we can". Now it's all oui left vs right despising each other.

I was not a Ford supporter, but suffering from cancer is a horrible thing. Why can't everyone just agree with that stance, and if you don't want to provide empathy and support, just say nothing> Yes I know you have the right to say what you want, but sometimes, common sense would dictate that you just shouldn't.

March 23, 2016 @ 11:20 AM

...

Rob Ford telephoned Olivia Chow after Jack Layton died and offered (sincere) words of sympathy.
She mentioned that in the last mayoralty election campaign. She thanked him.

I'm not whitewashing anything. Everything everybody has said is true. But today this is what I'm going to remember.

March 23, 2016 @ 11:31 AM

Quote

'People make mistakes, they say things they should not have said, they behave in ways they regret. There is no reason to expect perfection from human beings and there are many circumstances under which we should forgive mistakes. But these behaviours, exhibited by Ford, repeatedly, were not simply “flaws” or “mistakes” so much as they were a deep sense of entitlement and a bigoted ideology. And if Ford was simply “an ordinary man,” as the media is fond of saying, what does that say, then, about “ordinary men?”

I am not celebrating his death, but I find myself unable to mourn respectfully, as I am expected to. Rather, I am saddened that so many allowed him to mistreat those around him, throughout his life. I am sad that his wife and other women suffered his wrath. I am sad for the prostituted women he paid. I am sad for the women he sexually harassed. I am sad that men like him exist and prosper in our society. But apart from that, I am not able to muster an ounce of sadness at the loss of yet another abusive, entitled man. I will not pretend away reality simply because he is dead. I won’t respect men who showed so little respect for humanity

Meghan Murphy from an article about mourning abusive men

March 23, 2016 @ 11:56 AM

Irv

@Quote

Where does it say you have to mourn Rob Ford? Contrary to what the media tells you, you don't have to. Just like you don't have to mourn the next time some famous rock star dies. This is just a good example of our societies fascination with "celebrity".

@Jody

We are not really anymore divided than we were 20 years ago. It's just now we have an "anonymous" conduit (social media) to say what we want. This allows our inner evil to come out. Look no further than this forum. Almost ALL the posters are using anonymous aliases (you are not).

Pulled a quote from Battlestar Galactica where a cylon addresses Adama. I think it's very accurate. Leoben: (laughs) I'm an observer of human nature. When you get right down to it, humanity is not a pretty race. I mean, we're only one step away from beating each other with clubs like savages fighting over scraps of meat.

March 23, 2016 @ 12:56 PM

Jason from Sudbury

While I don't live in Toronto I actually liked Ford. The sad part is, he actually did do good while he was in office, but sadly won't be remembered for it.
I've had close friends/family that have dealt with addiction issues, and last year my mother beat thyroid cancer. Both addiction and cancer suck. So yeah I do feel for him and his family. 46 is still young.

March 23, 2016 @ 1:52 PM

Ellebee

The last few years as Mayor were full of controversy and embarrassment and I personally did not like his politics. He made city hall a nightmare for the councillors and staff. But I am still sad at his passing from cancer. Deep down inside, I was hoping he would come around, express regret for his behaviour and get back to business. He just wasn't done yet.

March 23, 2016 @ 3:46 PM

Anthony

@TorontoMike some of the posts here are absolutely hateful and disgusting.

Truth be told I'm disappointed, for a man who preaches peace and love, this post has become a refuge for evil trolls. Not rebutting the likes of hypocrisy and anonymous is condoning it.

A husband, father, son, brother, uncle lost his life to a horrible disease. Imagine his kids reading this post about their father!

March 23, 2016 @ 4:59 PM

e.

One of those famous Russian writers was taken out to face a (fake) firing squad. He said later that nothing like death concentrates the mind wonderfully. We don't know who Rob Ford reached out to, who he apologized to, who he made peace with, as he knew he was facing the end.

March 23, 2016 @ 5:29 PM

Ben V

@anthony: I don't think Ford's family would be any less/more shocked than the stuff that was written about him when he was alive.

Death by cancer does not make a bad man any more bad or a good man any more good. It sucks either way.

Those who loved him before his death and those who hated him won't really change their minds now. The extremes on both sides will continue to be extreme with his followers treating his death as if it was the end of a better world and his haters being happy. The people in the middle end up getting piled to one side or the other.

I don't take the posts of anyone on this entry to come across celebrating his passing. Some just are indifferent to it all after the man he was in life.


March 23, 2016 @ 5:35 PM

Andray

In the fall of 2014, while campaigning against the Fords for councillor of Toronto’s Ward 2, I knocked on the door of a lady I’ll call Carmen. By this time the 2014 mayoral race had taken a turn for the bizarre, even by the standards of Rob Ford’s four years as mayor. For the first half of the campaign, Rob Ford’s nephew, Michael, was running for the seat until Rob was hospitalized in September with an abdominal tumour. Michael withdrew from the council race, and Rob subsequently withdrew from the mayoral track to campaign in Ward 2, the neighbourhood he'd represented for 12 years as a city councillor. In order to win the Ward 2 council race, I would have to defeat the mayor of Toronto.

At first Carmen refused to open the door, so I stood there in the hallway taking questions through a peep hole in patois-accented English about improving public housing. Eventually Carmen recognized my voice from a radio interview she’d heard, and invited me into her living room for a chat. I expected she was going tell me a story about meeting the ward’s longtime incumbent, Rob Ford, as many working-class Caribbean residents I’d spoken with in the area had. That’s precisely what she did, but her story was far from what I expected.

Carmen was a longtime tenant in a well-maintained Toronto Community Housing building in the Rexdale neighbourhood, an inner suburb in the northwest corner of the city. She was well-known among the building’s residents. On weekends when the maintenance crew was off duty, she’d mop the lobby floor — a way of keeping busy after her daughter left for college. Because she worked full-time and earned a decent income, she paid full market value for her rent. That is, until she was diagnosed with cancer.

Unable to work due to her condition and subsequent chemotherapy, Carmen had to file for disability income, which meant that her market-value rent was no longer affordable. When she requested that her rent be geared to her lower income, she told me the answer she received from Toronto Community Housing was that she could no longer live in that building. She would instead have to move with her daughter to one of two other addresses, both of which were dilapidated buildings in high-crime neighbourhoods.

After several frustrating conversations with TCH administration, Carmen turned to the one person with a reputation for coming through for Rexdale residents: then-councillor Rob Ford. While she was able to get in front of Ford and plead her case, he was having none of it. “He told me ‘beggars have no choice,’” she said. “I’ve been paying full rent here for over 10 years, and he called me a beggar.” Luckily, after Carmen’s doctor wrote a letter on her behalf, she was able to keep the apartment. She is currently cancer-free, and looking for work.

Unfortunately, Rob Ford’s own battle with cancer did not end well. It’s been little more than a day since the former mayor passed away, and there are more than enough stories occupying digital and print real estate testifying to his brash, pugnacious nature. There are as many that stridently condemn him for the divisiveness and sheer embarrassment he brought to the mayor’s office. There is validity to all of this, but there’s a deeply problematic consensus that Rob had one redeeming quality: his willingness to fight for the little guy. The idea of Ford as a guardian of the public purse, that he fought valiantly against Toronto’s freewheeling elite on behalf of the voiceless and disaffected, remains despite being patently untrue — especially for the Rexdale community he represented for the majority of his 16 years in politics.

It’s a common impulse to speak well of the dead, but the mythology building around Rob Ford speaks much less to who he really was, than what Toronto at large refuses to confront. It is simply not possible to speak honestly of Ford without speaking of the wreckage he left in his wake. Not just the political sideshow, or the public relations black eye Toronto suffered under his disastrous term, but real lives affected — some ruined — as a consequence of Ford lurching from one disaster to another while holding public office. I have lived and grown up in the ward Ford represented until his death, and it’s been impossible to watch this happen in silence.

For example, we speak of Ford’s preoccupation with “gravy” and “waste” without discussing the vital community programs he believed Torontonians should do without. While Ford was always eager to dance in the streets and mug for cameras during Caribana, he had no qualms about casting votes in council against funding the parade. Ford maintained his brand of retail politics by answering phone calls from constituents and visiting them at their homes, yet ignored the wider needs of Rexdale – poor transit access, food deserts and an embarrassingly high child poverty rate – and offered no viable remedy while the neighbourh

March 23, 2016 @ 7:24 PM

Andray

(con't)

ood slid into dereliction. Ford diverted development dollars to the high school where he coached football, yet blocked access for the rest of the neighbourhood to similar funds, instead staking the financial future of Rexdale on a failed casino project. Rexdale was Rob’s fiefdom, and he was loath to allow us anything not offered from his own wallet.

We speak of Ford Nation — a collection of the aggrieved, the disillusioned, the fed-up taxpayers of Toronto – as though they constitute a legitimate political bloc. Yet we failed to collectively confront and reject what Rob Ford created: a final enclave for open bigotry in Toronto. Ford Nation was in many ways a prototype for the Donald Trump brand; the dying scream of nativism against the corrupting forces of multiculturalism and political correctness. As individuals, members of Ford Nation spoke fiercely of their respect for tax dollars. As a group, they spoke in blatantly racist language against mayoral candidate Olivia Chow during municipal debates. As a mob, they physically attacked protesters at Ford Fest, ripping up signs and even targeting a gay man for physical assault.

We speak of Rob Ford’s crack addiction somewhere between pity and anger, yet forget the name of Anthony Smith. Smith was one of the young men pictured with Ford in front of that infamous house on Windsor Road. He was later shot to death outside a downtown nightclub. Most articles mention Smith’s possible ties to the bombshell crack-smoking video, but it’s rarely mentioned that he was a bright student at Seneca College, well-liked by his peers. In any other context the story of a young man from around the way, working hard and making it into college, only to be killed in a shooting, would be tragic. Smith’s proximity to Ford erased that tragedy. Instead, he became little more than a visual marker for how far the mayor had fallen, an unwitting set-up to the “Mayor Hug-a-Thug” punchline.

In other words, we choose to believe a myth, rather than confront the reality of who Rob Ford was.  There was no crusader in the Mayor’s office, and there never was in the councillor’s seat. There was only the man who watched impassively as 14-year-old Anika Tabovaradan pleaded in tearful anguish to prevent her library from closing. There was only the man who believed the police have a duty to stop and question black and brown Torontonians without suspecting them of any crime. There was only the man who spoke patois slang at some times, then used the word “nigger” freely at others.

There was only the man who dismissed Carmen, who came to him in need, as a “beggar.”

Every life that cancer claims is a tragedy, and Ford’s is no different. His family deserves every warm thought and prayer sent their way, but the people he harmed deserve more than convenient lies by omission about the legacy he’s left. 

March 23, 2016 @ 7:26 PM

e.

re: above from Andray. I remember that 14 year old girl begging for her library to stay open. She was most definitely 'the little guy' but I don't recall any help for her from the Fords.

An Honest Assessment of Rob Ford’s Legacy
Rob Ford's impact on Toronto includes harm inflicted on some of the city's most marginalized residents, and a worsened political discourse. We shouldn't forget this.
The Torontoist
By Christopher Bird • Photos by Christopher Drost and Nancy Paiva

online

March 23, 2016 @ 8:04 PM

McNulty

I don't think we should dance on a dead man's grave.

Andray's article is well written and accurate but I question the timing. He was all those things but he was also a father and a son and a brother. Let them mourn and then discuss his legacy.

March 23, 2016 @ 11:04 PM

*sigh*

*sigh* Most people want to be quietly respectful when someone passes.

But it is dishonest to honour Ford's "accomplishments" when , in reality, the vast majority of his term as mayor was an absolute trainwreck & an embarrassing disaster for Toronto.

Frankly, having Rob Ford lie in memorial at city hall is distasteful. The path of destruction he wrought vastly eclipsed his contributions.

My best wishes to his children & wife and hope that time & finally being freed of living within the ongoing "Ford Tornado" will provide them with peace & relief.

March 24, 2016 @ 12:14 AM

Irv

I find it very amusing seeing this "love in" from the Ford crowd given they're the "tough on crime" type.

Do you forget this man's association with the Dixon Bloods aka Goonies? This is an organized crime syndicate on the radar of police in Toronto, Edmonton & even Calgary. Millions in drugs, prohibited weapons, etc, etc. A neighborhood so terrorized it wouldn't go out at night. Rob Ford associated with these people and you're willing to let him off? Are you that politically partisan? If the guy hung out with ISIS would you have told said "oh, don't worry about that, he's a good guy".

March 24, 2016 @ 8:36 AM

Sorry

But I feel nothing. Absolutely nothing.

March 24, 2016 @ 9:11 AM

fourteen

So, Jody Thornton, I will just leave it at "ya, so?".

March 24, 2016 @ 11:13 AM

Justin

Andray Domise's article is in very bad taste. This guy was the darling of the left during the election campaign as a "challenger" Rob Ford is own ward. Instead he lost in a ridiculous landslide 11,629 - 1620. Now he comes out with this mean-spirited article the day after Ford tragically dies?

Sounds to me like it's thinly-veiled attempt to get his name back in the news and capitalize on Ford's death. I severely question Domise's motives coming out with this. Stay classy, Andray.

March 24, 2016 @ 1:35 PM

point of order

Actually it's a political rebuttal to the political and civic history now being rewritten about Robert Bruce Ford as some sort of messianic figure in the City of Toronto.

Hey, here's a 'darling of the Left:'
The night before his assassination in April 1968, Martin Luther King told a group of striking sanitation workers in Memphis, Tennessee: “We’ve got to give ourselves to this struggle until the end. Nothing would be more tragic than to stop at this point in Memphis. We’ve got to see it through." King believed the struggle in Memphis exposed the need for economic equality and social justice that he hoped his Poor People’s Campaign would highlight nationally.

March 24, 2016 @ 2:02 PM

fourteen

So, Justin, instant bullshit hagiography is acceptable but it is wrong to lay out the truth? What is worse, hypocrisy or bad manners?

March 24, 2016 @ 2:32 PM

Mike

Everybody on both sides need tissue to cleanup the overwrought, emotional jizz sprayed on your keyboards? Will a Deco label do?

March 24, 2016 @ 4:55 PM

Jody Thornton

I do wish that Joe Warmington would stop saying that people who disagreed with Rob Ford's policies are giving "fake sentiment" or insincere thoughts when expressing our sadness for the Ford family. There are opponents to Ford who do care about what he endured as a person. I think that Warmington is just adding to the divisiveness.

March 26, 2016 @ 3:20 PM

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