Former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Passes Away After Lengthy Battle With Cancer.

News has just broken that current Toronto City Councillor, and former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has passed away at the age of 46, after an 18-month battle with cancer.

He leaves behind his wife, Renata, and two young children.Rob Ford

The Ward 2 City Councillor’s Chief of Staff had released a statement late Thursday night last week saying Ford’s family was by his side and that he would be in palative care while waiting for his body to strengthen enough before another round of chemotherapy.

Ford was diagnosed with cancer in September 2014. He then pulled out of the mayoral election campaign, opting to run for City Councillor instead which he easily won.

During Ford’s tenure as Mayor of North America’s 5th largest city, he gained worldwide noteriaty for his appearance, his strong fiscal conservative stance and his enjoyment of alcohol and drugs which were exposed by The Toronto Star.

Once under the microscope, Ford was regularly recorded when in public, and in his private life, reporters were stalking him at his home, peeking over his fence and taking pictures of him and his family inside.

He continued to make headline-grabbing comments about his sex life, and he admitted to crack cocaine and alcohol abuse which resulted in him being admitted to a rehab facility.

The Ford family has released the following statement:

With heavy hearts and profound sadness, the Ford family announces the passing of their beloved son, brother, husband, and father, Councillor Rob Ford earlier today at the age of 46.

A dedicated man of the people, Councillor Ford spent his life serving the citizens of Toronto.

The family asks that you respect their privacy and join them in their grieving and their prayers.

The family will not be making any statements to the media or taking any questions.

Information will follow at a later time regarding memorial services.


Current Mayor John Tory released the following statement:

I am saddened to learn of the passing of Rob Ford: husband, father, city councillor, and former mayor of Toronto.

The City is reeling with this news, and my thoughts are with his wife Renata and their two children, as well as Rob’s brothers Doug and Randy, his sister Kathy, his mother, Diane, and the rest of their tight-knit family, including TDSB Trustee Michael Ford.

I have known Rob Ford for many years. He was a man who spoke his mind and who ran for office because of the deeply felt convictions that he had. As a councillor, mayor and private citizen, Rob Ford reached out directly to people across the city with a phone call, an offer of advice or support, and I know there are many who were affected by his gregarious nature and approach to public service.

I had a chance to visit him not long ago and while he was clearly not well, he was happy to hear me say I looked forward to his return to City Hall. Sadly, that won’t now happen but whatever differences we had, he knew I meant it.

His time in City Hall included moments of kindness, of generosity to his council colleagues and real efforts to do what he thought was best for Toronto. He was, above all else, a profoundly human guy whose presence in our city will be missed.

On behalf of the people of The City of Toronto, I offer my sincere condolences to his loved ones at this time.”



Lemmy from Motorhead has died! His Life Comes with a Parental Advisory: Kids Don’t Try This At Home!

Here is an example of how parenting evolves as our kids get older;

Just before the new year came news that Motörhead frontman Ian Kilmister, simply known as “Lemmy” had died after a brief battle with an aggressive form of cancer.  Kilmister – famous for his handlebar moustache, villians cowboy hat, mutton chops and a mole on his face was 70-years-old.

As I sat down to write this post, I realized at that time that I was not a Motorhead fan.  I didn’t really like their “big” hit, “Ace of Spades” and to be honest, I really knew nothing about the band until they penned the theme song for then WWE superstar Triple H / Now CEO of WWE, Hunter Hurst Helmsley.

Doing some research I learned and interesting fact about Lemmy, that he was once a roadie for legendary guitarist Jimi Hendrix, and that he formed Motörhead in 1975 after being kicked out of a band named Hawkwind.  I learned that Hawkwind was a space-rock outfit so warped, that their lead singer/poet once came onstage in a witch’s hat and attacked Lemmy with a sword.  I can’t see how he would have fit in with an outfit like that.

After all, Motörhead did okay for themselves, releasing 22 studio albums over 38 years.

But with all that what people were really talking about was the fact that Lemmy loved being on the road – claims he slept with over 1000 women – but he also claimed he was going to sell his facial warts on eBay (UGH!).  He loved the drugs and the booze and I remember reading somewhere that by 1980, his doctor told him, “You don’t have human blood any more. And you can’t give blood, either. Forget it, you’d kill the average person because you’re so toxic.”

He did “claim” in recent years to have given up his daily regimen of a bottle of Jack Daniels with Coke – in favour of vodka with healthy orange juice.

Yes, Lemmy passed away at 70-years-old, and by all accounts because of his partying and lack of attention to his health, its amazing that he did.  I feel it’s important to have that conversation with our children who hear about people like Lemmy and think that it’s okay to treat their bodies this way, because it’s just not true.

Word on the street was that Lemmy died sitting at home in front of his favourite video game.  He played rock music and he loved WWII memorabilia.  He might seem to be a rock g-d to adults who grew up thinking that was cool – but to the younger generation I think we owe it to them to also let them know both sides of everyone, and that as he aged, Lemmy had to cancel shows due to a hematoma, respiratory issues, and a heart condition for which he was fitted with a defibrillator.

Years of abuse caught up to him.  He forgot lyrics to songs, and walked off stage at concerts because he couldn’t do it anymore.

Fans of the band from back in the day and fans from their recent WWE success will mourn the musician and curious fans will read about Lemmy, the rock legend.  Hopefully there are articles about him which present both sides of the man and comes with a warning message to children…

Kids.  Don’t try this at home!

First Movember, Now Manuary: Taking Men’s Health Seriously!

Hey men!  You have heard of, and possibly participated in Movember, but how about Manuary?

Manuary Canada
For those who cannot grow one…

Manuary is a chance to raise awareness about, and money for, Head and Neck Cancer research which is the 6th most common cancer worldwide!  Participants grow a beard for the month of January, aka “Manuary” and get sponsored to do so.  Can you think of a better excuse to grow a beard?  I know some dudes who have a full beard by noon, and some, like myself, who cannot grow a beard to save my life.

At the end of the month of “Manuary”, a “Facial Hair Face-off” awards the crown of Manuary to the person (male or female) with the most creative facial hair.

For those unable to grow their own facial hair (ahem), no problem.  They do not discriminate and all you have to do is email a photo of yourself to and they will beard your photo with some creative (and humorous) photo editing for posting to their Facebook page; Facebook:  Head over there, “like” it and get ready to grow!

Alternatively, there are lots of beards out there for purchase!

So why Head and Neck Cancer?

Head and Neck cancer is a devastating disease as it affects some of the most personal aspects of life, including facial appearance and the ability to speak and eat. While affecting both sexes, men are 4-times as likely to be affected. In particular, this disease is rapidly becoming more common in younger patients due to newly discovered associations with human papillomavirus (HPV).

Head and neck cancer is a type of cancer that is very well treated early in the course of the disease.  Unfortunately, the majority of cases present at an advanced stage – something that could be prevented with increased awareness.

Participants can sign up by clicking on the links below, or can contact them at and how cool is this!  Any participant who raises more than $400 will receive a beardhead hat from

Do you need a better excuse to grow a beard in January!?!?!

Now, Manuary is being run in London, Ontario and Edmonton, Alberta and you can sign up through the links below if you are in or near those areas, but you can also donate at any time by following the links below.

London Participants

Click here to sign up today!

Edmonton Participants

Click here to sign up today!


Please also follow Manuary on Twitter @ManuaryCa

You Gotta Fight… Beastie Boys Adam Yauch Passes Away at Age 47.

It’s always surprising when someone so young dies, especially when famous, but the death of Beastie Boys Adam Yauch today, May 4th after a 3 year-long battle with a rare form of cancer, salivary gland cancer, caught me by surprise.

Yauch, 47, also known by his rap moniker “MCA” co-founded the Beastie Boys with Mike “Mike D” Diamond and Adam “Ad-Rock” Horowitz in 1979 in Brooklyn, N.Y.  The Beastie’s smashed onto the music scene in 1986 with the album “Licensed to Ill” and from that the anthem “Fight for your right to Party” which was a massive hit for the band putting them on the charts and bringing hip hop into the mainstream.

After transforming the hip hop industry – white guys don’t rap, let alone Jewish ones (Yauch was born to a Jewish mother and Catholic father but was a practising Buddhist) – Yauch turned his attention to Buddhism and Tibetan independence in which he helped set up the Tibetan Freedom Concerts, which helped raise money for Tibetan independence.  He felt that he needed to give a voice to the Tibetan cause and help them get free from Chinese rule.

Yauch also helped form the successful production company Oscilloscope Pictures, which many did not know about him, which released acclaimed films such as “Wendy and Lisa,” “Burma VJ” and “We Need to Talk About Kevin.”

Under the pseudonym “Nathanial Hörnblowér” (his middle name was Nathanial), Yauch directed many of the Beastie Boys’ music videos, making his televised debut as Hörnblowér at the 1994 MTV Video Music Awards as he stormed the stage in costume to protest after R.E.M. won the award for Best Direction over the Spike Jonze-directed Beastie Boys video “Sabotage”, which was a great video and a really good song.

I suspected he was starting to lose his battle with this disease when the Beastie Boys were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last month, and Yauch was not there – the award was accepted by Diamond and Horowitz although they read a letter written by Yauch and them, nad the other bands dedicated their performances to Yauch.

Yauch leaves behind his wife and daughter who would be around 14-years-old.

Did you know this fact about the Beastie Boys; According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the term mullet – the hairstyle which is short on the top and long on the back – was “apparently coined, and certainly popularized, by the Beastie Boys who used “mullet” and “mullet head” as epithets in their 1994 song “Mullet Head”.  The Beastie Boys’ fanzine Grand Royal Magazine was the first to use the term in print

Beastie Boys' Adam Yauch dies at age 47
Beastie Boys’ Adam Yauch dies at age 47 (Photo credit: rusty-boxcars)

Check out for more!

Lilah’s Fund – 2011 Lil Monkey Jam – put the “fun” back in “fundraising”.

This was another fun-filled, yet very hectic weekend in the Urban Daddy household, and we ended this weekend in a special way unlike all other weekends (and no I’m not referring to 3 crazy children jumping up and down until we order them to bed kicking and screaming – that still went on), when on Sunday afternoon all five of us went to a fundraising event called the Lil Monkey Jam.  This fundraising event was for Lilah’s Fund.

If you are not aware of what Lilah’s fund is, it is a registered family fund at the Hospital for Sick Children here in Toronto. The purpose of this fund is to create more effective treatments for neuroblastoma (cancer) patients, especially children as the treatments used on adults is much to strong for children. 

This was our first, but not last event with Lilah’s fund.  In the 5-years that Lilah’s fund has been around, it has raised over $600,000.00.  Impressive, eh?

Lilah’s Fund is named after Lilah Petersiel, who herself went through treatment for neuroblastoma after being diagnosed within the first few weeks of her life.  If you saw this bubbly, nervous little girl, standing on the stage today, thanking everyone for attending the event today you would want to donate too. 

I’m going to pull a quote for the Lilah’s Fund website that I really liked; “[Lilah] shares our dreams of solving neuroblastoma so that all children who face this disease can do so with the knowledge that they, too, will get healthy soon.” 

So you, like I, probably need to know a little more about neuroblastoma, so I did some research and here is what I uncovered.  Neuroblastoma is a cancerous tumour that is most commonly diagnosed in children younger than 5-years-old and it is not preventable.  It is very hard to detect, which can mean that by the time the cancer is noticed, it has spread making it that much more deadly.   Neuroblastoma hits a nerve network that carries messages from the brain.  It is a solid, malignant tumor that manifests as a lump or mass in the abdomen or around the spinal cord in the chest, neck, or pelvis.  It is often present at birth, but is most often diagnosed much later when the child begins to show symptoms of the disease.  As discussed earlier, that is one major problem.

The event itself was a blast.  As this was their first ever Lil’ Monkey Jam, it couldn’t have turned out better.  It was at St. Michael’s school and the seating capacity was 440 and there was barely an empty seat in the house.  The entertainment was a wonderful local children’s band called Oozakazoo who sang three songs and got the place hopping in time for Juno nominated Shomo and the Monkey Bunch who, by the end of their set, had a stage full of happy, dancing children and their smiling parents.  

The funny part of the show for us, was that for the first part of the show, Berry played scared, tucking her head into her mummy’s chest and shoulder, but by the end of the show she was on stage dancing with the rest of the kids.  Even Linus and Stewie made it on the stage to dance (until they started scrapping with each other and were sent back to sit with daddy).

There were lots of great treats – smores, Starbucks coffee, colouring books, mini lego figures, juices and a ton of prizes for the raffle.  At $70.00 for a family of four it was worth every cent – and then some for the raffle tickets.  It was great seeing all the cancer survivors on the stage and seeing the smiling face of Lilah – the star of the show.

It was also very important to expose my children to the good that comers from attending events like this and showing support for those in need – whether they are in need now, or were in need when they were babies.  I want them to see how fortunate they are to live in a free, safe country, in a wonderful neighbourhood with good health because it can all change in a heartbeat and I’m sure they would want others to show them the same respect.  Considering my sons know Lilah, it is even more important for them to see how much she has accomplished in her young life.  She’s an inspriation for all children, healthy and sick.

Can’t wait for the next event!

In case you are interested, you too can make a donations here;