Rob Ford sightings case of mistaken identity, says Doug Ford

Doug Ford is quelling rumours that his brother Mayor Rob Ford appeared at a west-end Tim Hortons while he was supposed to be in alcohol-related rehabilitation.

Doug Ford says man spotted in west end coffee shop was him, not the mayor

Coun. Doug Ford says his brother is 'nowhere' near the GTA. 2:19

Doug Ford is quelling rumours that his brother Mayor Rob Ford appeared at a west-end Tim Hortons while he was supposed to be in alcohol-related rehabilitation.

The councillor is saying it was him who was spotted at a Junction coffee shop on Tuesday, not the mayor.

"That was me at Tims," said Coun. Ford. "That was me at the Junction. That was me. I walked in there with my suit, talked to everyone, took some pictures outside."

Several people claimed to have seen Rob Ford around Toronto. Two Tim Hortons employees and a customer told CBC News they saw Ford at the Junction neighbourhood coffee shop on Tuesday morning.

Grade 11 student CaylaClarkson said she saw the mayor at a Tim Hortons on Dundas Street West, in the Keele Street and Runnymede Road area, in the city’s west end.

According to Clarkson a large, black sport-utility vehicle pulled up and the mayor got out and entered the coffee shop.

“He was wearing a suit,” Clarkson said. “Then when he came out of the Tim Hortons, he was wearing a grey sweatshirt and grey sweatpants.”

Clarkson later Tweeted in response to Coun. Ford, writing, "it wasn't Doug. The only reason I looked back was because I saw Rob's face. Definitely Rob."

Two off-duty Tim Hortons employees told CBC News they served Ford. According to them, he ordered a coffee and a sandwich, and then talked to customers before leaving.

Clarkson told her classmates about the apparent Ford sighting as she arrived at school, and that was when she learned the mayor was supposedly away, undergoing treatment for substance abuse.

"When I got to school I said, 'Hey guys, I saw Rob Ford' and they’re like, 'He's supposed to be in a rehab,'" she said.

There have been other alleged sightings of the mayor on social media, including a tweet of a man in an SUV in Richmond Hill.

At Toronto City Hall, councillors appear divided about whether the public has a right to know the mayor’s whereabouts if he is, indeed, seeking treatment.

“I personally don't need a doctor's note. I think we just leave it to him to tell the truth,” said Coun. Kristyn Wong-Tam on Tuesday.

Coun. Josh Matlow said while the mayor has never "demonstrated to be honest," he believes Ford should be left alone if he is undergoing rehabilitation.

Ford's leave of absence came after two new recordings — one of unruly behaviour, the other of apparent drug use — were revealed in newspaper stories last week.

It was reported that Ford flew to Chicago late last week, but on Monday, CBC News confirmed that Ford turned back before officially entering the United States.

Ford’s lawyer and brother have said that he is rehab, but they have not disclosed where.

Comments

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.