10/09/2014 12:24 EDT | Updated 12/09/2014 05:59 EST

John Tory endorsed by Denzil Minnan-Wong

Three high-profile Toronto mayoral candidates hit the campaign trail early Thursday, with John Tory picking up an endorsement from a city councillor who served on Mayor Rob Ford's executive committee.

Coun. Denzil Minnan-Wong, a conservative who chaired the public works committee last term, said Tory is a better choice than the "unrelentingly divisive" leadership of the Fords.

"John Tory is the only one who is the complete package," said Minnan-Wong, who is running for re-election as a councillor. "He can command the respect of both council and the public service."

Earlier in the morning, Doug Ford held a news conference to repeat his preference for building subways over surface rail to alleviate Toronto's crushing congestion.

Ford said he will build "a world-class subway system that will make us competitive around the world."

Rob Ford 'in good spirits,' brother says

He was asked how his brother Mayor Rob Ford is doing. The mayor is in hospital undergoing a second round of chemotherapy to treat a rare form of cancer that forced him out of the mayor's race last month.

"He's doing all right. Rob is in good spirits," said Doug Ford. "He has a couple more days of chemo and he'll be back at it. It's like they say, you can't keep a good man down."

The morning began with Olivia Chow announcing that she had been endorsed by dozens of prominent women.

The women who spoke at the event held at the Free Times Café talked about Chow's commitment to women's issues, child care and poverty issues, elements they say are missing from the platforms of Tory and Ford.

The group who endorsed Chow includes councillors Janet Davis, Sarah Doucette and Paula Fletcher along with writer/activists Linda McQuaig, Naomi Klein and Judy Rebick. The complete list of women endorsing Chow is here.

Chow challenged her opponents to shift the discussion over to issues that affect families.

"How come you're not putting one penny or one nickel into a child-care platform?" she said. "Are you saying the city can play no role in supporting our families?"