In a rare honour, former Toronto mayor Rob Ford's casket will be on display at City Hall for two days next week to allow citizens to file past and pay their respects before a street procession and then a funeral at St. James Cathedral March 30.
A statement from the family distributed by Mr. Ford's council office outlined the plans, which were prepared in consultation with Mayor John Tory's office. The family made a point of thanking the mayor for allowing Mr. Ford, who was serving as councillor for Ward 2 before he died, to lie in repose at City Hall.
No Toronto mayor has died since amalgamation, so there is little in the way of recent precedent to follow.
However, as part of the arrangements for federal NDP leader and former city councillor Jack Layton's state funeral, his body was also allowed to lie in repose in City Hall's rotunda in 2011.
At 9 a.m. on March 28, the Ford family will come with the casket to City Hall, where it will be displayed between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. The following day, the public will be allowed to pay their respects from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
A procession will leave City Hall around 10:30 a.m. on March 30 – a route has not yet been released – and the former mayor's body will be taken to St. James Cathedral on Church Street for a funeral beginning at noon. A private family service will follow.
That night, the Ford family "welcomes members of the public to join them" at the Toronto Congress Centre on Dixon Road for a "celebration of Councillor Ford's life," which will run from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. The family is asking members of the public to send in short video tributes or memories of the late councillor.
Since his death on Tuesday, members of the public have been lining up to sign books of condolences on display at City Hall.