Residents of a small Ontario town got a surprise glimpse of Toronto's infamous mayor Friday even as Rob Ford's lawyer insisted his client is still in rehab.
Dozens of people spotted Ford outside a shopping plaza in Bracebridge, a community in the province's cottage country, said resident Brody Lisle, 19, who posed with the mayor for a photo.
"I was so excited, I'm still shaking after seeing him," Lisle said in a phone interview. "He seemed a lot thinner and he was really happy and cheerful."
Ford said rehab was "really good," recalled Lisle, a long-time fan of the confessed crack-smoking mayor.
"He's done two weeks so far and he's got six more weeks left and he's feeling really good about himself, and health-wise, he's lost a few pounds."
It's not unusual to see celebrities in the region, but "none just walking about the town, normally," Lisle said. "They're normally in a car just driving by or whatever."
The Bracebridge Examiner first reported it received a tip Ford was in the area Friday afternoon and posted cellphone photos of the mayor posing with residents.
More photos of Ford posing with construction workers and staff at a dry cleaning store were posted later on Twitter.
Ford's lawyer Dennis Morris wouldn't confirm his client's whereabouts.
"I cannot tell you where the mayor is, unfortunately," Morris said. "The good news is, he's in rehab, and you know, it's always nice to leave him alone."
Ford announced late last month that he was seeking treatment for an alcohol problem, after new allegations of substance abuse surfaced in the media.
He told the Toronto Sun last week that rehab is "amazing" and compared it to football camp.
Friday marked a year since the Toronto Star and the U.S. website Gawker first reported seeing a video that appeared to show the mayor smoking crack cocaine.
Months later, Ford admitted to trying the drug while in one of his "drunken stupors" and to using drugs while in office.
That led council to strip him of most of his mayoral duties.
The mayor publicly swore off alcohol, saying he had cleaned up his act and was working out.
However, he was forced to admit drinking after another videotaped incident in which he used Jamaican swear words and slagged the city's chief of police.
The Globe and Mail said last month a drug dealer had shown two of its reporters video of Ford allegedly smoking what was said to be crack in the basement of his sister's home. The paper said it paid $10,000 for frame grabs showing Ford holding a copper pipe.
The Toronto Star also published details of "two nights of utter debauchery'' involving Ford at a Toronto nightclub.
Police began investigating Ford after a guns and gangs probe turned up wiretaps that allegedly captured conversations about the first "crack'' video.
A friend of Ford's has been charged with extortion related to attempts to retrieve the video.
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Toronto's controversial mayor has said sorry an awful lot over the last year. Here are just a few of his more memorable apologies. With files from The Canadian Press
May 27: Apologizes To Reporters
Shortly after the crack video scandal broke, Ford says sorry for calling journalists a "bunch of maggots'' during his radio show. "I'm sure you understand this has been a very stressful week for myself and my family, but that doesn't justify using the terminology I did in describing the media,'' Ford said. "I sincerely apologize to each and every one of you."
Nov. 3: Apologizes For Getting Too 'Hammered'
Ford apologizes on his now-cancelled weekly radio show on Newstalk1010 for making mistakes including appearing in public while "hammered'' and texting while driving.
Nov. 5: The BIG Apology
Ford admits he had indeed smoked crack cocaine, likely in one of his drunken stupors. "I know what I did was wrong and admitting it was the most difficult and embarrassing thing I have ever had to do,'' he said. "To the residents of Toronto, I know I have let you down. And I can't do anything else but apologize, and apologize.''
Nov. 8: Apologizes For 'The Murder Rant'
Ford appears ashamed while delivering a statement in response to a video that surfaced of a rambling, enraged Ford in a profanity-laced tirade in which he threatens to kill someone. "Obviously, I was extremely, extremely inebriated,'' he said. "I've made mistakes. I don't know what to say.''
Nov. 14: Apologizes For 'Enough To Eat' Remark
The mayor apologizes for crude remarks he made earlier that day in which he denied offering a former female staffer oral sex, saying he is happily married and had "more than enough to eat at home." "I want to apologize for my graphic remarks this morning," he said.
Nov. 18: Apologizes For Collision
Ford says sorry for running into Coun. Pam McConnell and knocking her over during a council meeting to strip the mayor of most of his powers. "It was a complete accident," Ford said. "I do sincerely apologize to you, Coun. McConnell."
Dec. 17: 'Super, Super, Super Sorry'
Reluctantly apologizes for suggesting members of council were "corrupt." He initially said he withdrew his comments, but speaker Frances Nunziata said he needed to apologize. "How about, 'I am so sorry,'" Ford said sarcastically. "Is that as good as I apologize? Or, 'So sorry?' Which one do you want, Madam Speaker? Like, 'Super, super, super, super, super, super, super sorry? So sorry?'"
Dec. 17: Apologizes For Vile Suggestion
Apologizes to Toronto Star reporter Daniel Dale, who served him with a libel notice saying the mayor suggested in a televised interview that the reporter was a pedophile. Dale says the mayor's apology didn't even come close to what he sought. "I do not believe Mr. Dale is a pedophile nor did I intend to suggest that in my comments," Ford said in a statement read during a council meeting. "I wish to sincerely apologize again to Mr. Dale if my actual words have caused him any harm or personal offence."
Dec. 18: Apologizes To Dale Again
Apologizes for a second time and retracts the comments he made about the Toronto Star reporter during an interview with Conrad Black. "I wholly retract my statements and apologize to Mr. Dale without reservation for what I said," Ford said in a statement. "Finally there was absolutely no basis for the statement I made about Mr. Dale taking pictures of children, or for any insinuations I made. I should not have said what I did and I wholly retract my statements and apologize to Mr. Dale without reservation for what I said."
Feb. 10: Apologizes For Lying About Drugs
Ford admits he lied about his drug use in the past because he was "embarrassed." Ford had previously said he had been truthful in the midst of the crack cocaine scandal, and that reporters had simply not asked the "correct questions/" "Did I experiment with drugs? Yes I have. Why did I lie? I think everybody in the world has lied, because I was embarrassed," Ford said on his new YouTube show, "Ford Nation." "I didn't want to tell the truth. That's the only answer I can give. That's as straightforward as I can be."
UP NEXT: The Best Rob Ford GIFs
Drinking And Driving
We saw that, Rob. <a href="http://www.buzzfeed.com/bennyjohnson/let-wrecking-ball-show-you-the-true-beauty-of-rob-ford" target="_blank">From Buzzfeed</a>
Ford blows us a kiss. <a href="http://twitchy.com/2013/11/08/the-gif-that-keeps-on-gifing-15-hilarious-must-see-rob-ford-moments/" target="_blank">From Twitchy</a>
Ford vs. Hulk Hogan
We still can't believe he won, either. <a href="http://www.buzzfeed.com/bennyjohnson/let-wrecking-ball-show-you-the-true-beauty-of-rob-ford" target="_blank">From Buzzfeed</a>
<a href="http://o.canada.com/news/rob-ford-toronto-summer-of-ford/" target="_blank">Best summer ever</a>. <a href="http://i.imgur.com/AiflEHJ.gif" target="_blank">From Imgur</a>
He's got the moves like Jagger.. He's got the moves like Jagger. <a href="http://www.postcity.com/Eat-Shop-Do/Do/November-2012/In-tribute-of-GIF-being-the-word-of-the-year-heres-our-favourite-Toronto-GIFs/" target="_blank">From PostCity</a>
Invisible defenders take down the mayor with an invisible tackle.
Foiled By The Jedi
<a href="http://i.imgur.com/JrKal.gif" target="_blank">From Imgur</a>
Falling Off The Scale
Did we mention this <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2011/12/12/rob-ford-ballet-nutcracker-toronto_n_1143708.html" target="_blank">man once performed in a ballet</a>? From <a href="http://robfordfalls.tumblr.com/">Rob Ford Falls Tumblr</a>
That's one way to deal with reporters. <a href="http://fordfortoronto.mattelliott.ca/misc/ford-ani/all-ani.html">From Ford For Toronto by Matt Elliott</a>
Muhahahahaha <a href="http://fordfortoronto.mattelliott.ca/misc/ford-ani/all-ani.html">From Ford For Toronto by Matt Elliott</a>
Maniacal Laugh II
Muhahahahahahahahahahaha <a href="http://fordfortoronto.mattelliott.ca/misc/ford-ani/all-ani.html">From Ford For Toronto by Matt Elliott</a>
Robbie Boo Boo
<a href="http://www.cbc.ca/22minutes/videos/clips---season-20/robbie-boo-boo.html" target="_blank">"22 Minutes" strikes again</a>. From <a href="http://thishourhas22minutes.tumblr.com/post/34114355293/22-minutes-discovers-mayor-rob-fords-new-honey">This Hour Has 22 Minutes</a>
Who needs words when you can just <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/04/02/rob-ford-vomit-noise-video_n_3001086.html" target="_blank">pretend to vomit</a>? <a href="http://imgur.com/gwV7q2h" target="_blank">From Imgur</a>
Time For His Close-Up
Rob Ford proves you can run <em>from</em> the media, you can run <em>into</em> the media, and sometimes, you can do both at the same time. <a href="http://imgur.com/r/funny/nATPNJb" target="_blank">GIF from Imgur</a>
Bonus image. Want. <a href="http://imgur.com/xtxz2" target="_blank">Thank you Imgur</a>
NEXT: The Many Faces Of Ford
Toronto Rob Ford, right, gestures to Councillor Paul Ainslee in the council chamber as councillors look to pass motions to limit his powers in Toronto on Monday, Nov. 18, 2013. Blasting what he called a "coup d'etat," Ford said voters should be able to pass judgment on him, not his fellow councillors.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford (centre) dances with participants ahead of the Toronto Caribbean Carnival in Toronto on Saturday July 30, 2011.
Toronto City Mayor Rob Ford, left, celebrates after defeating wrestler Hulk Hogan in an arm-wrestling match to promote Fan Expo in Toronto on Friday, Aug. 23, 2013 .
Twenty-two month-old Micah MacMilan reacts as he is picked up by Toronto Mayor Rob Ford while Ford was signing bobblehead dolls in his likeness at City Hall in Toronto on Tuesday November 12, 2013.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford holds up a replica Grey Cup as he attends the Toronto Argonauts and Hamilton Tiger-Cats CFL Eastern Conference final football game in Toronto on Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford laughs with fans as he attends the Toronto Argonauts and Hamilton Tiger-Cats CFL Eastern Conference final football game in Toronto on Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013. Ford showed up at Sunday's Canadian Football League playoff game, despite a request by the league's commissioner that he stay away.
Canadian recording artist Drake, left, and Toronto Mayor Rob Ford laugh at a news conference announcing that Toronto will host the 2016 NBA All-Star game, in Toronto, Monday, Sept. 30, 2013.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford displays a milk moustache as he takes part in voting with city council members in Toronto on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford watches from the sidelines near the Argos bench during a CFL football game between the Toronto Argonauts and Calgary Stampeders in Calgary on Saturday, August 18, 2012.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford poses for photographs inside a giant shark mouth while attending the grand opening of the Ripley's Aquarium of Canada in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013. After two years of construction, delays and (Canadian) $130 million in costs, Ripley's Aquarium of Canada opened to the public Wednesday.
City of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford poses for a photo opportunity with other dignitaries in a shark's jaws at the opening of Ripley's Aquarium of Canada in Toronto on Wednesday, October 16, 2013.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is hoisted into the air by his Don Bosco Eagles team after winning the Metro Bowl quarter-final at Birchmount Park in Toronto, Thursday Nov. 15, 2012. A civil trial hearing in which the mayor is accused of libel against a restaurant owner went on without him.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford (center) smiles as he officially opens the refurbished Sunnydale rink with Toronto Maple Leafs' coach Ron Wilson (right) and other dignitaries who were on hand as well as the Toronto Maple Leafs who practiced on the outdoor rink in Toronto on Wednesday, January 4, 2012.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford grabs the Grey Cup by the handles during a parade celebrating the Toronto Argonauts victory in the Grey Cup final in Toronto on Tuesday November 27, 2012 .
Rob Ford Meets Butter Rob Ford
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/08/31/rob-ford-butter-sculpture-ex-cne_n_1846616.html" target="_hplink">Toronto Mayor Rob Ford comes face to face with a butter sculpture of himself at the Canadian National Exhibition</a>.
Butter Rob Ford
As part of an exhibition at the CNE, Toronto-based artist Olenka Kleban has made a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/08/24/butter-rob-ford-sculpture_n_1828527.html" target="_hplink">butter sculpture of Toronto's mayor</a>.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford hoists the Grey Cup on stage with Toronto Argonauts players while celebrating the team's Grey Cup victory in downtown Toronto on Tuesday, Nov.27, 2012.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford stands at the door to his office as he waits for an elevator in Toronto on Thursday November 14, 2013.
Mayor Rob Ford speaks at city council in Toronto on Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013.
Nov. 13 2013. Toronto mayor Rob Ford during the afternoon session as councillors continued to debate a motion asking mayor Rob Ford to apologize to Torontonians for misleading therm about his use of crack cocaine.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford speaks to his Don Bosco Eagles team during the Metro Bowl quarter-final at Birchmount Park in Toronto, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012.
In this Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013 file photo, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford holds a bobblehead doll depicting him at Toronto City Hall. An electoral map of the 2010 mayoral election shows that Ford's voter base resides mainly in a more conservative constituency than the downtown electorate.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford (left) and city councillor Michelle Berardinetti (right) smile on stage during a performance of the Nutcracker in Toronto on Saturday, December 10, 2011. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Pawel Dwulit)