Toronto Mayor Rob Ford to trade heat of the witness stand for family barbecue to ‘meat’ the city

Jordana Divon
Contributing Writer
Daily Brew

Rob Ford has had enough grilling on the stand and has decided it's time for a little grilling of the meat variety.

The embattled Toronto mayor will be trading the heat of the witness stand for the heat of the charcoal as he flips burgers for an estimated crowd of thousands at the Ford family's annual community barbecue.

[ Related: Toronto mayor says voters, not court should decide if he gets to keep his job ]

As the Toronto Star reports, the public has been invited each September for the past dozen years to break bread with the political clan at the Ford family home in Etobicoke.

Last year, matriarch Diane Ford estimated that anywhere between 3,000 to 4,000 guests milled around her large backyard and she expects more than ever this year.

And if you're still on the fence about whether to attend, a series of pre-recorded calls have been going out to personally invite area residents.

The Fords could use a little relaxation after a couple of tough weeks.

Rob Ford has had an exhausting time trying to access his memory bank on the stand during his ongoing conflict of interest hearing.

The younger Ford generation has also come under fire. Councillor Doug Ford's daughter, Krista, inflamed a large swath of the Internet with her tweet that women should avoid dressing like "whores" if they don't want to be sexually assaulted. Shenanigans ensued.

[ Related: Krista Ford gives women safety advice on Twitter ]

These events don't appear to concern the police and private security team that have been hired to keep civic order, although Supt. Ron Taverner, of the Toronto Police acknowledged anything could happen.

"It has always been an event with no problems or issues that police have had to deal with in the past," he told the paper.

"Obviously this year the dynamics have changed a bit… There's been a lot of media attention, a lot of talk on social media. I don't think they, or we, know how many people will show up."

Numbers could also reach Project X-like proportions thanks to social media.

Around 700 gay and lesbian activists plan to show up tonight at the backyard bash.

Mayor Ford has stoked the ire of the gay community and its many supporters for his sustained refusal to attend Pride-related events each summer.

"Well, since Rob was too busy to come to any Pride events this year we are going to bring the Pride Parade to his backyard. Afterall, everyone is invited," reads the intro on the group's Facebook page.

Despite the potentially charged meeting, the group urges its thousands of invitees to keep matters "peaceful, fun and political."

Doug Ford has stated he will welcome the group with "open arms."

Provided, of course, no shenanigans ensue.