01/01/2013 05:52 EST | Updated 03/03/2013 05:12 EST

Ford Welcomes Torontonians To Annual Levee


Mayor Rob Ford was both praised and criticized during his New Year's Day Levee.

A statement from the mayor's office announcing the levee said it "marks the start of the New Year and gives residents an opportunity to exchange greetings with the mayor and city councillors."

For about two hours Ford and members of council shook hands and exchanged pleasantries with members of the public.

Many people were there with words of encouragement for the embattled politicians, but some showed up with the message that it's time to go.

"I'm going to tell the mayor he needs a rest," said Toronto resident Mary Hynes as she waited in line. "He's earned a rest by his actions."

It was a tumultuous 2012 for Ford, culminating in a judge ordering the mayor removed from office over a conflict of interest finding.

Ford is appealing that ruling.

But Ford did have his supporters in the line with some people even coming from outside Toronto to show their support.

"We came to tell him we support him and despite all the things that happened we believe he has good intentions," said James Hui from Oakville. "I like the way he handles City Hall."

Hui said he sees Ford as "one of the honest politicians. We don't see too many about these days."

But even if Ford wins his appeal against the conflict of interest charges he still faces more legal challenges in 2013.

A forensic audit into his 2010 campaign finances is expected to be released in early January.

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