* The Globe will cover Rob Ford's press conference live from city hall at 3:30. Click here for coverage.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has dropped eight pant sizes while in rehab and is ready to return to work on Monday, his brother says.
On the eve of the mayor’s return to city hall, his brother and campaign manager, Councillor Doug Ford, dropped few hints of Mayor Ford’s physical and emotional state, but said the mayor will address all questions when he’s back at work.
“He’s had a lot of time to do what he needs to do,” Councillor Ford said on Sunday. “And he’s going to be back and he’ll be hungry and looking forward to meeting the people.”
Mayor Ford returns to work Monday afternoon after 60 days away from city hall at a Muskoka rehab facility, where he said he was seeking treatment for his “problem with alcohol.” He is expected to address the media Monday afternoon.
On Sunday, members of the Ford family, including brother Randy Ford and the mayor’s mother, Diane Ford, reopened a playground in Etobicoke named after the mayor’s late father, Douglas Ford. The family spent about $50,000 on the playground.
The event came the same day as Toronto’s WorldPride parade, which the mayor has always said he cannot attend because the family traditionally spends the Canada Day long weekend together. Councillor Ford said they held the event to reopen the Douglas B. Ford Park on Sunday because it was the only time they could get most of the family together.
“We also did it the day before Rob came,” he said. “We didn’t want the media zoo. This is about my dad, not about Rob returning.”
Councillor Ford greeted more than 100 supporters, posed for pictures and shook hands. The Ford family hosted a barbecue in the park.
Dieter Kahl, who has lived in the neighborhood for 37 years, said he attended to show his support for the Ford family. He said Rob Ford’s time in rehab will help with the mayor’s public image. “That’s what I’m hoping, that many people will say, ‘He looks better. He looks fit,’” Mr. Kahl said.
Councillor Ford said his brother will resume campaigning in the mayoral race soon after he returns, on a platform of building subways and reducing the size and cost of government.
“He’s looking forward to coming back, that’s for sure,” Councillor Ford said. “He’s probably more fit than me. I’m getting heavier. He’s losing the weight. Rob told me the other day he went from a 52 size waist down to a 44.”
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