The premier may be selling his house, but he will still be going home.
With his own Etobicoke house expected to go on the market later this month, Doug Ford said he and wife Karla plan to move into the Ford family homestead, which has been the scene of fundraisers and the annual “Ford Fest,” and has sat empty since his mother died in January 2020.
“It was a family matter,” he said during a wide-ranging interview with the Star in Victoria, B.C., where Ford attended the two-day summer meeting of the country’s 13 premiers.
“My mother had told the other siblings, ‘Doug has the biggest family,’ and I’m not getting it for free by any means. It’s like any family situation.”
As for leaving his current house, Ford said he “thought that it was time, as my kids are getting older and they’re going to be getting married off and having grandchildren.”
The house where his late parents, Diane and Doug Ford Sr., lived “has been a great home,” he added. “Over 25 to 30 years, we’ve had over 250,000 people through our backyard. My parents were very generous, no matter if it was cancer fundraisers or Rotary fundraisers or political events or kids’ graduations.
“It was a home that my parents opened their doors for everyone to come in and enjoy it. And they were very generous, and we’ll continue on that tradition.”
The premier said while the numerous pandemic-related protests outside of his current home weren’t a factor in the decision to sell, they were a concern.
For two years during the pandemic, noisy and aggressive protesters targeted his residence, as well as the York Region abode of Education Minister Stephen Lecce and the Annex home where former health minister and deputy premier Christine Elliott lived with her adult son, who has a disability.
Last summer, a man was charged with possession of a weapon and 11 counts of mischief outside of Ford’s home after car tires in the area were slashed by a man who also yelled threats towards the premier’s front door.
“Thank goodness my wife wasn’t there,” Ford said. “But I’m grateful for the Toronto police and for the OPP. They do an incredible job. I’m just very, very grateful.”
He said Karla, as well as their adult daughters, were unsettled by the protesters and were left feeling “very, very nervous” — as were their neighbours.
“I always say, my family didn’t sign up for this,” Ford said. “But more importantly, our neighbours never signed up for this, and my heart broke for my neighbours. They were threatened with everything from baseball bats to hockey sticks to mace to switch blades to you name it.
“And no matter if you’re a medical officer of health that was being threatened, the mayor of Toronto, a minister or any premier, that’s unacceptable. We don’t operate that way — and in Canada, we shouldn’t.
“I’m a strong believer in protest. If you want to go out and protest, be it Queen’s Park or city hall, by all means. But don’t interrupt a community or a street that has numerous young kids on it. And that was unfortunate some people decided to do it.”
Ford’s home, which has not yet been listed, will be officially up for sale later this month. The asking price is not yet available, but its assessed value for property tax purposes is $1.84 million.
Property records show the couple bought the house — which sits on a lot measuring 63.85 feet by 120.47 feet — on July 30, 1998 for $535,000.
Last month, Ford’s office asked Etobicoke realtor Monica Thapar to stop using his name and image in her advertising brochures.
As first disclosed by the Star, Thapar distributed thousands of full-colour flyers around Toronto boasting that “we just listed Premier Doug Ford’s home in Princess Anne Manor!”
Along with a picture of the house, there was a snapshot of the premier and Karla apparently signing some documents in their dining room under a headline, “Moving Ontario!”
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