Doug Ford on his brother Rob: 'I miss him like crazy'

Doug Ford said Friday his family has decided to make next week's funeral for his brother Rob open to the public because "that's what Rob would have wanted."

Family wants public to join them for Wednesday's funeral: 'That's what Rob would have wanted'

Doug Ford describes how he's dealing with the death of his brother Rob Ford. 0:49

Doug Ford said Friday his family will make next week's funeral for his brother Rob open to the public because "that's what Rob would have wanted."

Rob Ford,a former Toronto mayor and city councillor, died of cancer Tuesday. He was 46.

One of his brother's fiercest allies during Rob Ford's tumultuous term as mayor, Doug said he's stinging from the loss of his brother, who he described as "a young man who had his whole life ahead of him."

"I miss him like crazy," said Ford, fighting back tears during an interview with CBC's Shannon Martin. "I always want to pick up the phone and call him. It's tough."

Rob Ford will lie in repose at Toronto City Hall on Monday and Tuesday.

His funeral is set for Wednesday at St. James Cathedral in downtown Toronto. There will be a procession from city hall to the cathedral starting at 10:30 a.m. Doug Ford said the family wants members of the public to take part in both the procession and the funeral. Even the Ford brothers' 82-year-old mother Diane will make the walk.

"We encourage people to come out and walk with us to the church," said Doug. "That's what Rob wanted. Rob was all about the people. He's not about going in the back of a black limousine."

The public is invited inside the church for the service, but there will also be tents and video screens outside in an overflow area.

Doug Ford said his brother will be remembered as a mayor and councillor who went out of his way to call constituents and help them with almost any problem. He said many people have contacted him since Rob's death to share  memories of Rob coming to their aid, including showing up on Christmas Eve to answer a call made earlier in the day.

'Never going to be someone like Rob again'

Doug said his brother, who was elected as a council member after he withdrew from the 2014 mayoralty campaign due to his cancer, continued that service-first approach, even in his final weeks.

"Even when he was going through chemo, he had his call list in front of him," said Doug. "What person going through chemo is calling people? Right to the end he was doing that. There's never going to be someone like Rob again."

Doug Ford stepped in to the 2014 mayor's race after his brother's cancer diagnosis. He lost to John Tory.

On Friday he was asked if the Fords are planning a return to city hall, possibly with a run in Rob Ford's now-vacant Ward 2.

In addition to Doug,  Michael Ford's name has been floated as a possibility. Michael, in his 20s, is currently serving as a Toronto District School Board trustee. Doug Ford described him as a "great young man with a bright future," though Doug joked "he's a little more left than the rest of us."

Despite the speculation, Doug said the family wants to get through Rob's funeral before making any plans for putting another Ford to work at city hall.

"It's too soon but we really feel we're responsible for helping people in Etobicoke North or anywhere in the city," said Doug. "We have to carry on his legacy of helping people."

The Ford family posted this YouTube tribute video on Friday.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.