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More people visit Ford during New Year's Day levee than in 2013

More people dropped by Toronto City Hall to see Mayor Rob Ford during his annual New Year’s Day levee on Wednesday than in 2013.

The annual levee gives Toronto residents the chance to meet the mayor and some city councillors.

The event, which ran from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the rotunda, saw 461 people, up nearly 20 per cent from last year’s 386.

Last year, the levee was briefly called off, but then rescheduled as Ford battled a conflict of interest case.

In Mississauga, Mayor Hazel McCallion hosted her 35th annual New Year’s Day levee on Wednesday. A meet-and-greet session took place inside the council chamber at the Mississauga Civic Centre from 2 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. A free public skate was held at Mississauga Celebration Square’s outdoor ice rink from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

At Queen’s Park, Lt.-Gov. David Onley also hosted a levee from noon to 2 p.m. And Brampton Mayor Susan Fennell held a levee at the Rose Theatre.

The tradition of the mayor’s levee began during the reign of King Louis XIV in the 18th century. To show the sovereign belonged to the people, the king would invite gentlemen to enter his bedroom on New Year’s Day and watch him wake up and begin serving the public.

The governor of New France brought the custom to Canada.