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Toronto Mayor Rob Ford arrives at Ford Fest at Thomson Memorial Park in Toronto July 25, 2014.Mark Blinch/Reuters

Ford Fest, the community barbecue hosted by the mayor's family, will not take place this Friday as planned now that Rob Ford is ill and his brother has stepped in to run in his place in the mayoral race.

"It's been rescheduled," said Jeff Silverstein, the spokesman for Mr. Ford's now abandoned re-election campaign.

No new date has been set for event, he said.

On Friday, Toronto's controversial leader – in hospital awaiting a diagnosis on an abdominal tumour discovered last week – stepped out of the race for mayor and registered instead to run for his former Etobicoke council seat. Councillor Doug Ford, the mayor's brother and campaign manager, registered to run for mayor the same day.

The switch by the Ford brother comes just six weeks before the Oct. 27 election day and brings a new dynamic to the widely watched race.

While Doug Ford has promised a campaign kickoff, Mr. Silverstein could not say when that event will take place.

Ford Fest, the second of the year, was to take place at a privately owned site in North Etobicoke, traditionally a stronghold of the Ford family.

A similar barbecue was held in a city park in Scarborough in July, but election rules prevent the Fords from holding their party on city property so close to voting day.