09/21/2011 02:06 EDT | Updated 11/21/2011 05:12 EST

Toronto city council pays tribute to Jack Layton, a former councillor

TORONTO - Toronto city councillors paid tribute to the late Jack Layton as their first order of business today.

Wearing orange ribbons, the mayor and councillors looked back on the impact the former federal NDP leader had on Toronto when he was a city councillor.

Mayor Rob Ford said despite their political differences, Layton welcomed him to council and encouraged him.

Coun. Mike Layton was given a standing ovation when he told councillors his father would want them to work together and not get bogged down by political sniping.

Layton also called the thousands of chalk tributes left by the public in Nathan Phillips Square "the most resilient celebration" of his father's life.

Jack Layton died Aug. 22 after a battle with cancer.

"I had the utmost respect for Jack, for teaching me the ropes and giving me the confidence to stand up and say what I believe," Ford said.