Toronto Mayor Rob Ford 'to get help for substance abuse'
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford was stripped of many of his political powers following an admission of drug use while in office
Controversial Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is to take a leave of absence to seek help for substance abuse, his lawyer says.
Dennis Morris said his client acknowledged he had an abuse problem and wanted to do something about it.
Mr Ford, who is seeking re-election in October, has been stripped of many of his powers after admitting using and purchasing illegal drugs while mayor.
He admitted last year to smoking crack cocaine in a "drunken stupor".
His admission, following months of denials, came after police said they had obtained a video that appeared to show him taking the illegal drug.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford: In his own words
The Toronto Sun quotes Mr Ford as saying he is "ready to take a break" from the election campaign to "go get help."
He told the newspaper he was being urged to not leave the mayoral race by people around him.
"He acknowledges he has a substance abuse problem and he wants to do something about it,'' Mr Morris told the Associated Press news agency.
The newspaper said it had obtained a new audio recording of him making abusive comments about other politicians.
Videos have emerged in recent months showing him ranting obscenely in an apparently intoxicated state.
Allegations have also surfaced in police documents that Mr Ford used racially abusive language, threatened staff, sexually propositioned a female colleague, and snorted cocaine in a restaurant. He denies these allegations.
Mr Ford was first elected in 2010 to lead Canada's largest city on a pledge to tackle wasteful spending at city hall. He draws much of his support from the suburban areas of Toronto.
He soon privatised rubbish collection across much of the city and did away with a vehicle tax, but quickly became bogged down in disputes with the council.
In the fallout from the drugs scandal, the city council stripped Mr Ford of most of his mayoral powers and his budget, rendering him effectively mayor in name only, analysts say.
But Mr Ford has brushed aside pressure to quit, saying voters will decide whether to keep him in office in the October election. He has said his "track record speaks for itself", and recent polls show him running in contention with his chief challengers.
Toronto's mayoral candidates, from left to right: Karen Stintz, John Tory, Olivia Chow, David Soknacki and Rob Ford
The Toronto mayor faces serious challenges from centre-right candidate John Tory, a broadcaster and former member of the provincial parliament, and former New Democratic Party (NDP) MP Olivia Chow.
Mr Tory has released a "Code of Conduct" in which he vows to "respect and defend our laws, not break them", and to "show up for work each day", in a clear rebuke to Mr Ford's recent behaviour.
Ms Chow has told the BBC that Mr Ford's "performance as a mayor is a failure".
Karen Stintz, a city councillor, and David Soknacki, a former councillor, are also running.