The political tale of John Tory’s life changed on Oct. 29, 2014, when his wife, Jane Ford, collapsed in a Toronto city council meeting. Though she recovered, the experience left Mr. Tory fearing for his wife’s life.
“We put the full weight of our lives on her,” Mr. Tory said in September. “When we realized she wasn’t getting better, it triggered something in me that I wouldn’t have thought of just a month or two ago.”
Mr. Tory said he is leaving Mayor’s Office “in order to devote the full amount of my energy” to his wife. In a statement on Wednesday, he called it “a bittersweet day.”
So far, the reaction has been one of cautious optimism, jesting disbelief and caution.
“It’s kind of hard to believe when you are still young and healthy,” said Jane Caron, a Conservative member of council.
“No, I’m definitely surprised by that,” said Councillor Rizwan Jaffar, a second-term Liberal member. “I am a little angry.”
While it remains unclear what role Mr. Tory might play in his wife’s health, the principal reason for retiring is apparently that he is unable to handle the job without his family.
“The Mayor just can’t do this alone,” Adam Vaughan, a councillor who is said to be close to Mr. Tory’s family, told the Toronto Star. “He wasn’t about to become a single-tasker.”