Rob Ford spotted in Bracebridge
Doctor, lawyer say Ford is in still in rehabilitation program
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford was spotted Friday afternoon in Bracebridge, Ont., a town about two hours north of the city.
Photos of Ford posing with people on the street also emerged on social media sites Twitter and Instagram.
The mayor's personal physician told CBC News that Ford is still in a rehabilitation program, and that his off-property activity was approved and considered essential to his continuation in the program.
Ford was under the constant supervision of a senior member of the rehabilitation centre's staff, the doctor said, and the purpose of the trip was to address a matter that would have been a "major distraction" to Ford.
The doctor did not specify what the matter was, but Coun. Doug Ford told CBC News that his brother is a Bank of Montreal customer, and may have been out to do some banking.
According to the Bracebridge Examiner, Ford was first seen outside a BMO, "chatting with passersby and telling people that rehab is going well."
Doug Ford went on to say that he has not spoken with his brother, and it is his understanding that the mayor is permitted to leave the rehab facility as long as he's accompanied.
Dennis Morris, Ford's lawyer, said he doesn't know the particular rules of this facility, but says rehab is not the equivalent of incarceration. Morris said it's not a surprise to him that Ford is out doing things, and it would be unfair to track him.
Ford visited Fabricare Cleaning Services and spoke with employees there.
"I walked in for my afternoon shift at 2 o'clock and Mr. Ford was at the counter," said Erine Strength, who works at the dry cleaners.
"He brought in a suit to be dry cleaned. We asked if he wouldn't mind taking a picture with staff and he was more than happy to do that for us."
Strength said the visit was brief and enjoyable.
"He looked very good," she said. "He was happy and jovial and was a pleasure to speak with."
The Ford family is known to have a cottage on nearby Fawn Lake, about halfway between Huntsville and Bracebridge.
On May 9, CBC News confirmed with Ford's personal physician that the mayor was receiving treatment at a professional rehabilitation facility.