Toronto mayor Rob Ford has snubbed calls to step down over drug use and claims he is a "role model" for Canadian kids.

Ford was asked to take leave of absence by a large majority of Toronto councillors during a heated debate that followed his confession that he smoked crack cocaine during one of his "drunken stupors" in 2012.

"[I'm] a positive role model for kids who are down and out," Ford said. "I'm most definitely keeping this job.

"I am not leaving here. I'm going to sit here and going to attend every meeting."

Ford also admitted for the first time that he bought illegal drugs.

"Yes I have," Ford, 44, said in answer to a question by councilor Denzil Minnan-Wong who asked him if he had bought illicit narcotics in the past two years.

Forty-one out of 43 councillors backed a motion requesting Ford to take leave. The vote was purely symbolic, however, as the council has no power to oust the mayor.

"I understand the embarrassment that I have caused. I am humiliated by it," Ford said. "I cannot change the past. All I can do is move on."

He denied being a drug addict and rebutted suggestions from council members that he should seek help.

"I'm not an addict of any sort," said Ford. "So I'm not sure why you're saying that I need help."

Ford confessed smoking crack earlier this month following reports that Canadian police had retrieved a video that showed it.

The video was uncovered during an investigation that led to the arrest of Alessandro Lisi, a friend and occasional driver for the conservative politician.

The existence of the video was first revealed by US website Gawker and newspaper Toronto Star that reported they had been separately offered the video by a Somali drug gang for a six-figure sum in May.