A different facet of Rob Ford’s complex character shone through Wednesday in a eulogy delivered by his 11-year-old daughter Stephanie.
“My dad was a great man, he helped a lot of people,” she told mourners attending her father’s funeral at Toronto’s St. James Cathedral.
“He would buy us the best toys and take us to amazing places. But what matters is we were happy together,” she continued as her mother Renata and eight-year-old brother Douglas stood nearby.
Stephanie Ford speaks at her father's funeral, standing with her mother and brother. (Photo: The Canadian Press)
On his deathbed, she said her dad asked her and her younger sibling to be strong for their mother.
“I know my dad is in a better place now. And he’s the mayor of heaven now,” she said.
For all the scandal and intrigue Ford stoked during his time in public office, contentious feelings seemed to be put aside for the downtown funeral service for the late former mayor.
One-time political foes Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and current Toronto Mayor John Tory were among the attendees at the cathedral where Stephanie delivered her eulogy.
Former Toronto mayor Rob Ford's widow Renata and their children Stephanie and Dougie are seen next to her husband's casket. (Photo: Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press)
Earlier, as Ford’s casket was put in a hearse, shouts of “We love you” were heard from the crowd gathered at city hall to pay their final respects.
Ford died on March 22 after battling a rare, soft-tissue cancer for 18 months.
He was 46.
Read Stephanie’s full eulogy below:
Thank you so much for being here today. It means so much to my brother Dougie and I.
My dad was a great man, he helped a lot of people. He was also an amazing dad.
He was so happy whenever he was with us. And he was so nice to us. But also strict sometimes, like a dad should be.
He would buy us the best toys and take us to amazing places. But what matters is we were happy together.
I remember at the hospital, he smiled at me and he said, ‘Stephanie, I might not be here for too much longer.’
He said, ‘I want you to remember that I’ll always love you. I need you and your brother to be strong for your mom.’
I know my dad is in a better place now. And he’s the mayor of heaven now.
Dougie and I know that he will be with us forever. I love you so much, and I just want to thank everyone again for all your support.
Thank you so much.
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