Spirits were high at Rob Ford's campaign headquarters Wednesday after supporters threw a small party to celebrate their leader’s birthday – even though the guest of honour wasn’t there himself.
While Ford well-wishers were tucking into fistfuls of Cheetos and slices of sheet cake in the city, the mayor, currently enrolled at a rehab treatment facility, dined at a Muskoka-area bar with his two children.
He was reportedly not served alcohol, choosing instead to sip on diet soda.
Unnamed employees of Crabby Joe’s Tap & Grill told CBC News Ford was also accompanied by two unidentified women. The party dined for about an hour before leaving, which proved to be enough time for Ford to be recognized.
My wife just took this Pic of Rob Ford at her work in Muskoka... Celebrating his 45 Birthday... Cheers Rob lol pic.twitter.com/mPFjLRLcH5— PATMAN (@Towerriggers) May 29, 2014
According to Toronto resident Victoria Thompson, the mayor was “dumbfounded” when she approached him for a photo.
“He seemed pretty good though, pretty content,” she told CP24.
— Justine Lewkowicz (@JustineLewkowic) May 29, 2014
Ford is currently on a leave of absence from city hall, enrolled in a rehab program at GreenStone, a residential treatment facility in Bala, Ont. He is seeking help with substance abuse issues.
GreenStone’s CEO confirmed Ford has been given special permissions for a previous day trip and explained supervised trips off grounds are sometimes allowed for patients, according to CBC News.
Back in Toronto, mayoral candidate John Tory also threw a birthday party – for himself. The two men share the same day of birth, 15 years apart.
Tory celebrated his 60th birthday with more than 100 paying guests at a North York hotel party who paid $10 each at the door. However, the cheerful occasion was not immune to knocks from the mayor’s brother, Coun. Doug Ford.
“What is he, 70? Or 75? Did he decide what sort of cake [he’s] going to have or has he changed his mind 15 times?” he quipped to the National Post.
Despite the stark differences in tone and atmosphere this time around, Ford hinted to Sun News’ Joe Warmington the best is yet to come – the real celebration will be after the mayor wraps up his treatment.
“Just wait until this summer’s Ford Nation party," Doug teased. “That will be an event and you will see more people.”
Also on HuffPost