Rob Ford’s office has responded to online rumours that the former mayor had died, saying that he remains in hospital fighting cancer.

Rumours were rampant online that Ford, a longtime Toronto politicians, had passed away.

“With his family beside him, Coun. Ford is currently in hospital as he continues his battle against cancer,” Ford’s executive assistant Dan Jacobs said in a statement emailed to reporters late Thursday afternoon.

“The Ford family asks for privacy during this difficult time, and thanks the people of Toronto and around the world for their ongoing prayers and support.”

An unsubstantiated rumor appeared on Twitter and Reddit at about 4:30 p.m. Thursday claiming Ford had died.

Ford was admitted to Mt. Sinai Hospital in late February for continued treatment of several tumours located on his bladder.

He suffers from a soft tissue cancer known as pleomorphic liposarcoma.

Local councillors took to social media Thursday night to extend their best wishes to Ford and his family.

"Please keep Rob Ford in your prayers tonight," Coun. Norm Kelly said in a tweet.

"Sometimes even just grievances, along with old battles, should be set aside," Coun. Josh Matlow tweeted. "I wish Rob Ford & his family my love, best wishes & strength."

"Hoping Rob Ford finds renewed strength in the best wishes & prayers of thousands," Ford’s former chief of staff Mark Towhey echoed.

"My thoughts are with him, his wife, children & family."