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Mayor Ford diagnosed with rare form of cancer, doctors ‘optimistic’

Michael Talbot | posted Wednesday, Sep 17th, 2014

Rob Ford has been diagnosed with a rare form of abdominal cancer, but the mayor’s Mount Sinai colorectal surgeon said he’s “optimistic” it can be treated and says it hasn’t spread to any organs.

Initial treatment will consist of two rounds of chemotherapy, starting within the next 48 hours.

“The diagnosis is a malignant liposarcoma,” Dr. Zane Cohen confirmed. “It’s fairly aggressive, but we are treating this very aggressively in order to eradicate the tumour.”

Cohen said he’s “optimistic about this tumour” because it is responsive to chemotherapy, and Mount Sinai has one of the largest centres in Ontario to deal with sarcomas.

“This particular liposarcoma is more sensitive to chemotherapy than most sarcomas,” he said. “We will be able to say more after the (chemotherapy treatment).”

The type of tumour Ford has “comprises about one per cent only of all cancers,” Dr. Cohen revealed, adding that it originates in soft tissue, like fatty tissue, rather than organs.

The abdominal tumour is 12-by-12 centimetres and Dr. Cohen said it has likely been growing for several years, although a CT scan in 2011 for a kidney stone didn’t reveal any masses.

“These types of tumours are often slow growing, to get to the size that it is now, it is often several years,” he added.

A small two centimetre cancerous nodule has also been found in the mayor’s buttock behind his left hip, and Dr. Cohen called it “part of the same tumour.”

The cancer diagnosis was made with a second biopsy on Monday, after the first one from last week proved inconclusive.

“Depending on his (response to chemotherapy we’ll decide) what we do next,” he added. “He may require further cycles of chemotherapy.”

Cohen said other possible treatment options following chemotherapy include radiation and surgery.

In the meantime, political strategist Jim Warren says Ford insiders tell him Doug Ford will remain in the mayoral race.

“He will remain in the race because it gives Rob hope to fight through the chemotherapy … and literally have the fight of his life,” he told CityNews.

Doug Ford released a statement shortly after Dr. Cohen made the diagnosis public.

“Rob will beat this,” he said.

“He is an incredible person, husband, father, brother and son and he remains upbeat and determined to fight this.”

“Rob has always been so strong for all of us and now I ask us to be strong for him.”

Doug Ford’s rivals in the race to be Toronto’s next mayor were quick to respond to the cancer diagnosis.

Olivia Chow, who lost her husband Jack Layton to cancer in August 2011, said Ford should embrace the public’s support as doctors work to fight the aggressive disease.

“I know what it’s like when a family receives bad news, but I also know the strength that the support and warm wishes can give to you,” she said. “I hope the Ford family can feel that warmth that envelopes them right now.”

“I know that Rob Ford is strong, he’s a fighter.”

John Tory, who leads the mayoral race in the latest polls added: “Mayor Ford is a husband, a son, a brother a father, and I extend my best wishes and my continuing deep concern and my thoughts and prayers for a full and speedy recovery.”

EXCLUSIVE: iPhone 6 & iPhone 6 Plus review

Mike Yawney | posted Wednesday, Sep 17th, 2014

On Friday, Apple will begin selling the highly anticipated iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in Canada. CityNews technology specialist Mike Yawney was the only Canadian broadcast journalist to get his hands on the devices early to put them through their paces. Here is his exclusive review.

Week of Sep. 15, 2014

BT Toronto | posted Sunday, Sep 14th, 2014

Coming up on Breakfast Television this week:

From signed jerseys to street signs, and Stanley Cup replicas, we’re launching the Shopping Channel’s highly anticipated NHL merchandise on Monday!

Former professional wrestler and fitness guru Trish Stratus is in on Wednesday.

Plus, on Friday, Canadian rock band Simple Plan stops by the BT studios.

Be sure to watch BT weekdays 5:30 to 9 a.m. on City, right here at BTtoronto.ca, or on our Breakfast Television mobile app for iOS and Android!

Rob Ford running for Toronto council; brother Doug running for mayor

CityNews | posted Friday, Sep 12th, 2014

Rob Ford’s brother Doug Ford has jumped into the Toronto mayoral race after the ailing mayor dropped out just an hour before the nomination deadline closed on Friday afternoon.

Rob Ford, 45, is now running for a council seat in Ward 2, Etobicoke North, one that he held for a decade before he became mayor in 2010. His older brother filed his nomination papers to run for mayor shortly after at city hall and had only this to say: “I’m good. I’m signed in and 100 per cent running for mayor.”.

Their nephew, Michael Ford, who was running for councillor in Ward 2, withdrew his nomination and filed to run as a Toronto District School Board trustee in Ward 1.

The mayor, who remains in hospital with an abdominal tumour, withdrew from the Toronto mayoral race shortly before 1 p.m.

In a statement, he said, “My heart is heavy when I tell you that I’m unable to continue my campaign for re-election as your Mayor.

“Now I could be facing a battle of my lifetime, and I want the people of Toronto to know that I intend to face this challenge head on, and win.”

But he said that while he was unable to commit to the heavy schedule required of a mayoral candidate he would still run for councillor in Ward 2 while focusing on getting better.

Doug Ford said he’d speak about his mayoral bid at 7 p.m. from his mother Diane’s home in Etobicoke. Mayoral rivals Olivia Chow and John Tory weren’t immediately available for comment. But they both planned to speak later in the afternoon.

On Wednesday, doctors discovered the mayor had a “fair size” abdominal tumour after he went to Humber River Hospital for unbearable abdominal pain, an issue he faced for about three months.

It remains unclear whether the tumour, which was biopsied on Thursday, is cancerous. Results wouldn’t be available for about a week, his Mount Sinai Hospital Dr. Zane Cohen said after he was transferred there for further tests.

Dr. Cohen, an internationally recognized colorectal surgeon, said Ford was resting comfortably and had some pain, for which he was receiving medication. Ford had abdominal surgery in 2009 to remove a tumour on his appendix. His father, Doug Ford Sr., died of colon cancer in 2006.

Ford has faced a series of drug, alcohol and other scandals over the past 18 months but had been a viable contender for mayor.

He was trailing rival candidate Tory in the most recent polls by Forum Research and Nanos Research.

Voters head to the polls on Oct. 27.

Click here for CityNews’ special on mayoral candidates and here for the official candidates list.

With files from The Canadian Press

Statement

As many of you know I’ve been dealing with a serious medical issue, the details of which are unknown. But I know that with the love and support of my family, I will get through this.

I want to thank the residents of Toronto for your wishes and prayers and I also want to thank the amazing staff at Humber River Hospital and Mount Sinai Hospital for the care and compassion you have shown, not just me, but all the people who come here to get better.

People know me as a guy who faces things head on and never gives up, and as your Mayor I have done just that. I derailed the gravy train, cut unnecessary spending and made government more accountable. I did this by facing these challenges head on.

Now I could be facing a battle of my lifetime, and I want the people of Toronto to know that I intend to face this challenge head on, and win.

With the advice of my family and doctors I know I need to focus on getting better. There is much work to be done and I can’t give it my all at this point in time.

My heart is heavy when I tell you that I’m unable to continue my campaign for re-election as your Mayor.

While I’m unable to commit to the heavy schedule required for a Mayoral candidate I will not turn my back on Ward 2. I will be running as Councillor of Ward 2, to represent the fine folks that have become my neighbours and friends over these past 14 years.

Four years ago we made history. With your help we started a movement that would take back our city.

I was not alone in this, my big brother Doug was by my side, sharing my vision, fighting for the great people of Toronto. I never could have accomplished what we did without him.

Doug loves our city as much as I do. He believes that standing up for the average person and watching the bottom line are what matters most at City Hall.

Doug also believes in standing up for his family no matter what. His loyalty and willingness to be there for anyone, anytime is just who he is.

I’ve asked Doug to finish what we started together, so that all we’ve accomplished isn’t washed away.

I have asked Doug to run to become the next Mayor of Toronto, because we need him. We cannot go backwards.

I love our city and I love being your Mayor. It has been an honour and a privilege to serve you.

For the past four years I have gotten up everyday thinking about our great city and how to make life just a little bit better for each of you.

To anyone facing a serious health challenge, I wish you strength and courage on your journey, you are not alone.

Hope is a powerful thing. With hope, support and determination I know I will beat this, not just for my family, but for YOU, Toronto.

My family and I thank you for your continued support and prayers. God bless.

–Rob Ford

Road & TTC closures in Toronto for events & construction: Sept. 12-14

BT Toronto | posted Friday, Sep 12th, 2014

Below is a list of road and TTC closures in Toronto for events and construction Sept. 12-14, as well as upcoming and ongoing closures due to road work.

Events

TIFF 2014
King Street will be partially closed in each direction between John and Duncan streets Sept. 8-11, and will reopen on Sept. 12. Streetcars will be on diversion in the area.

Click here for full coverage of TIFF.

Bloor West Village Ukrainian Festival
Bloor Street, from Jane Street to Glendonwynne Road, will be closed from Sept. 12 at 9:30 a.m. to Sept. 14 at 11:59 p.m. Some road closures will take place on local roads.

Polish Festival
Roncesvalles Avenue, from Grafton to Boustead avenues, will be closed in both directions from Sept. 13 at 6 a.m. to Sept. 14 at 11 p.m.

Toronto 5K Race
Road closures will be in effect in the area bounded by St. Clair Avenue, Christie Street, Davenport Road, and Russell Hill Road/Macpherson Avenue Sept. 14 from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Ukrainian Festival and Parade
Bloor Street West, from Jane Street and Glendonwynne Road, will be closed from Sept. 12 at 9:30 a.m. to Sept. 14 at 11:59 p.m.

Construction projects

York Street watermain work
York Street, between Queens Quay and Harbour Street, will be closed from Sept. 15 to Oct. 3 for watermain construction work.

Parkside Drive road & sidewalk repairs
Only one lane of Parkside Drive, between Bloor Street to Lake Shore Boulevard, will be closed for around eight weeks for road resurfacing and sidewalk repairs.

Adelaide Street West road, watermain & TTC work
Adelaide Street West, from Simcoe to York streets, will be partially closed starting on Sept. 15 for watermain work, TTC track removal and road reconstruction. The work is expected to be completed by mid-November.

Don Mills Road closure for watermain work
The southbound curb lane of Don Mills Road, from York Mills Road to Lawrence Avenue, will be closed from Sept. 1 to Nov. 30 for watermain relining.

An additional southbound lane on Don Mills will be closed from Mallard Avenue to Bond Avenue from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. every day.

Bridge repair on York Mills Road
One eastbound lane and one westbound lane on York Mills Road, from Lesmill to Scarsdale roads, will be closed for bridge repair.

The work started on Aug. 11 and will continue for around 11 weeks.

Watermain projects on Richmond Street
Richmond Street will be reduced to two lanes between Church and York streets for watermain work. The work started on Aug. 11 and will run through to October.

Utility cut repairs on Yonge Street
One lane on Yonge Street from The Esplanade to Bloor Street will be closed in each direction during non-rush hours for utility repairs. The work began on Aug. 13 and will run until mid-September.

TTC work

Weekend subway closure
Subways won’t be running between St. Andrew and Union stations on Line 1 (Yonge-University-Spadina) on Sept. 13-14 for platform construction.

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Drivers can stay up-to-date on construction details and updates by visiting the City of Toronto website.

Upcoming construction can also be viewed on the T.O. INview map.

Entertainment City: TIFF 2014

BT Toronto | posted Thursday, Sep 11th, 2014

Follow along with our TIFF correspondents below:

See below for an interactive map of the red carpets, theatres, venues, and hottest locations to spot the stars!

Click here to watch a live stream from the Toronto International Film Festival red carpets. For a full list and schedule, see the list below.

Date Time Movie Red carpet host
Sept. 4 5 pm – 6:15 pm The Humbling Susie Wall
Sept. 4 7 pm – 8:15 pm The Judge Tracy Moore
Sept. 5 5:30 pm – 6:45 pm Boychoir Melanie Ng
Sept. 5 8 pm – 9:15 pm Nightcrawler Colin & Justin
Sept. 5 8:30 pm – 9:30 pm Ruth and Alex Susie Wall
Sept. 6 2 pm – 3:15 pm Black & White Brad Smith
Sept. 6 3:45 pm – 5 pm Manglehorn Kevin Frankish
Sept. 6 5 pm – 6:15 pm Men, Women & Children Tracy Moore
Sept. 6 6 pm – 7:15 pm While We’re Young Melanie Ng
Sept. 7 2 pm – 3:15 pm The Good Lie Brad Smith
Sept. 7 5:15 pm – 6:30 pm Time Out of Mind Melanie Ng
Sept. 7 5:30 pm – 6:45 pm This is Where I Leave You Melanie Ng
Sept. 7 8:30 pm – 9:45 pm The Equalizer Tracy Moore
Sept. 8 2:30 pm – 3:45 pm Cake Brad Smith
Sept. 8 4 pm – 5:15 pm Still Alice Susie Wall
Sept. 8 5 pm – 6:15 pm Fox Catcher Melanie Ng
Sept. 8 5:30 pm – 6:45 pm Rosewater Tracy Moore
Sept. 8 8 pm – 9:15 pm Wild Melanie Ng
Sept. 8 9 pm – 10:15 pm 99 Homes Colin & Justin
Sept. 9 5 pm – 6:15 pm Imitation Game Melanie Ng
Sept. 9 8:30 pm – 9:45 pm Maps to the Stars Colin & Justin
Sept. 10 5:30 pm – 6:45 pm Polar Bear Susie Wall
Sept. 10 8:30 pm – 9:45 pm Laggies Susie Wall
Sept. 11 5:30 pm – 6:45 pm Pawn Sacrifices Melanie Ng
Sept. 11 8 pm – 9:15 pm The Cobbler Brad Smith
Sept. 11 8 pm – 9:15 pm The Voices Melanie Ng
Sept. 12 8:30 pm – 9:45 pm The Forger Brad Smith
Sept. 13 7 pm – 8:15 pm A Little Chaos Brad Smith
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