An estimated 2,500 people paid tribute on Monday to Rob Ford, the former Toronto mayor who died last week, as he lay in repose at Toronto City Hall.

That estimate comes from Jackie DeSouza, the director of strategic communications for the City of Toronto.

Ford died last Tuesday at 46 after suffering from a rare form of cancer known as pleomorphic liposarcoma that was diagnosed in September of 2014. 

Dan Jacobs, chief of staff for Ford, said members of Ford's family greeted mourners who came to the main floor rotunda at 100 Queen St. W. to pay their respects.

He said members of Ford's family will be back Tuesday, when Ford will lie in repose from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. The casket arrived at Nathan Phillips Square just after 8 a.m.

Jacobs said he has been urging family members to take breaks from the "emotionally draining" process in the rotunda.

"It's really hard for them," he said. "They're saying goodbye to their brother, their son, their husband, their dad as well."

Ford Nation

A young member of Ford Nation pays respects to Rob Ford, former Toronto mayor and city councillor, at city hall. (Michael Charles Cole/CBC)

Jacobs said the show of support has lifted their spirits because they are seeing the hundreds of people that Ford helped while he worked at city hall.

He said the visitation is also hard on him as a staff member. "There's so much in front of me right now. He's a guy that I spent a lot of time with here."

The funeral is scheduled for Wednesday. There will be a procession, involving Ford family members, from city hall to the church on Wednesday morning.

Members of the public can enter city hall through the western-most main door from Nathan Phillips Square. No other main entrances will be open to the public. 

Ford made international headlines for using illegal drugs and alcohol while in office. His death was reported by media outlets around the world, and people across Canada sent condolences.

Ford condolence

Rob Ford, left, served as a Toronto city councilllor for a decade and was famous for never refusing to take a photo with anyone who asked for one. (Adebowale Omitola)

Toronto residents have displayed an outpouring of support for the Ford family, especially on social media. Mayor John Tory called him a "profoundly human guy" while former prime minister Stephen Harper said the former mayor was a "fighter throughout life."

Ford served as a city councillor for a decade before becoming mayor and was famous for never refusing to take a photo with anyone who asked for one. His cancer forced him out of the 2014 mayoral race, but he ran successfully for the Ward 2 council seat and held that office when he died.

Those images have been pouring into the CBC Toronto inbox and people are encouraged to continue sending them to tonews@cbc.ca with the subject line "Rob Ford Photo" or tweet them at @CBCToronto.