06/06/2013 07:19 EDT

House In Rob Ford Photo Linked To Drug Trade: Reports [UPDATED]


The house where Rob Ford was photographed with a slain Toronto man has been linked to the drug trade in reports in The Toronto Star and The Globe And Mail.

The U.S. website Gawker first reported details about the house in the photo on Wednesday night, followed by a front page story in The Star on Thursday. The original photo had been given to both outlets several weeks ago by a man who later showed reporters a video in which Toronto's mayor is allegedly seen smoking what appears to be crack cocaine.

UPDATE: The CBC reports that the victims in the attack were "a 31-year-old female and a 44-year-old male" and that they "suffered minor injuries, including a cut on the left cheek and a blow to the head."

Gawker has published a story that says a man wielding a lead pipe beat up two people in the Etobicoke home. The assailant was reportedly looking for the alleged video of Rob Ford.

Read the full story

Canada.com also confirmed with Toronto Police that an assault call was made from that address on May 21.

The photo shows Ford with slain Toronto man Anthony Smith and two other unidentified young men. Smith, 21, died in hospital after he was shot in downtown Toronto on March 28. Hanad Mohamed, 23, of Toronto, was charged with first degree murder in Smith's death two weeks ago in Fort McMurray, Alta. In April, another 23-year-old man was charged with first-degree murder in the case.

Gawker sent their Toronto operative to the house in question. While there, the Gawker operative found another reporter, likely from the Star, already at the location. The Gawker operative reported few other details, mentioning only that the house was overrun with cats.

Details came soon after from The Globe, and later The Star.

The Star identifies the house as 15 Windsor Rd. in the Toronto suburb of Etobicoke and the Globe reports that the home was the scene of an "alleged armed home invasion" just days after news of the purported Ford video broke.

You can see images of the house in two screengrabs from Google Maps here.

Ford has denied that the video exists and says he does not use crack cocaine.

Both The Star and Globe quote neighbours who say the house is a notorious source of problems in the area and is linked to the drug trade.

The home is just 300 metres from the apartment complex that a Ford staffer had identified as the one-time location of the alleged video, according to the Globe.

Story continues below slideshow

Twitter On House In Rob Ford Photo

The home's proximity to the apartment complex led the mayor's brother, Councillor Doug Ford, to champion the construction of a fence to help keep youths from the building off Windsor Rd. The fence has not prevented young men from continuing to use the house, The Globe reports, and neighbours have frequently seen police cruisers there, including on the night of May 21 when police responded to an alleged home invasion.

The Star identifies the owners of the house as the Basso family and was able to contact one Elena Basso who was quick to defend Ford.

“Rob Ford’s the greatest mayor ever. You guys are scavengers,” Elena told the Star. “You come back to my house, I’ll call the police.”

Neighbours interviewed by The Star said they have long been concerned about activity related to drugs at the home and that criminal activity from nearby apartments spills over onto their street.

On Wednesday, Ford's Twitter account posted that he was in the Toronto neighbourhood of Thorncliffe to talk about "property standards issues."

With files from The Canadian Press

15 Windsor Rd.

15 windsor rd etobicoke

15 windsor road toronto