Now the 72-year-old veteran councillor holds a series of responsibilities that he never expected.
Toronto City Council passed a series of motions in recent days to limit the powers of Mayor Rob Ford amid a drug-related scandal that has made headlines around the world.
Those same motions have passed new powers on to Kelly, who will now lead the city should an emergency arise. He will also be taking the mayor’s place on some committees.
Kelly is also now responsible for most of the mayor’s office budget and staff.
Click on the video above to see a full report from the CBC’s Steven D'Souza.