Former deputy mayor and long-time city councillor Ana Bailão has declared that she is indeed running for mayor. Bailão is the first big-name candidate from a long list of people actively “considering” it.
In a city that puts the housing crisis front and centre, Bailão comes well-prepared to tackle the issue head-on having spent years managing Toronto’s housing portfolio and in her role as the city’s housing advocate.
Bailão was a city councillor in the Toronto Davenport area from 2010 to 2022.
In an interview with CP24 this morning, Bailão talked about her experience coming to Toronto as a 15-year-old and how the city felt different than it does now.
“When I arrived, I really felt a sense of opportunity and safety and really a sense that the city worked,” she said. “That’s not what I heard as I was talking to many many people these last few weeks. People feel like services are not working for us.”
She explained that her campaign will focus on restoring services in the city, and making life more affordable.
“I want to make sure every 15 year old in our city, doesn’t matter when they get here or where they come from, that they feel the sense of safety and that the city is working for them,” she added.
Bailão was one of a number of experienced and highly regarded city councillors who decided not to run in the last municipal election, in addition to Joe Cressy, Mike Layton, and others.
She was born in Portugal, and settled in the Davenport area when her family arrived in Toronto, attending West Toronto Collegiate and then University of Toronto. After leaving politics in 2022, she joined the team at development company Dream Unlimited as head of affordable housing, an area in which Bailão has concentrated much of her efforts throughout her career.
She was chair of the city’s affordable housing committee, and planning and housing committee and was instrumental on a number of key initiatives in this area including the vacant homes tax.
Her experience, her positive as a centrist who has worked well with both conservatives and more progressive members of council, put her in an ideal position heading into the election. Her campaign focus would be very similar to another candidate said to be seriously “considering” a run in current city councillor Brad Bradford.
“This city has given me a lot. I believe we need somebody who has experience, leadership, pragmatism, you know and a can-do attitude,” she said. “Someone who doesn’t take no for an answer and who has a plan to fix services and make the city more affordable.”
The mayoral election is scheduled for June 26.
For more information on the election click here.