Toronto is set to head to the polls on June 26 to elect the next mayor of Toronto. Here is everything we know up to this point.
Two-term city councillor Brad Bradford is running for mayor in an increasingly crowded field.
Bradford announced his decision this morning, and it looks like he will focus on TTC safety as one of his main campaign planks.
“You line up on any platform, you see people’s backs pressed up against the wall,” Bradford told The Star in an article announcing this decision.
“We talk about ridership needing to return to the city, to return to transit,” after the pandemic. “People are not going to do that if, first and foremost, they’re not safe.”
As head of the city’s planning and housing committee, affordable housing and following through on the city’s commitment to build more homes will surely be front and centre, as well.
Bradford also serves as vice-chair of Toronto and East York Community Council (TEYCC), and as member of the Toronto Arts Board and CreateTO Board. He is also an avid cyclist and worked as a city planner.
Bradford has had issues with social media since he started considering a run for mayor including when he most recently commented on the death of a 16-year-old boy at a TTC station, which was construed by many to be using the tragedy to his political advantage as well as a previous incident involving the very awkward purchase of Jamaican patties from a vendor in Scarborough.
Another violent murder.
People are scared to ride the subway.
The TTC has $15 million to spend on safety measures.
This money needs to be put to work. Now. pic.twitter.com/2DxPgjqNe2
— Brad Bradford✌️ (@BradMBradford) March 28, 2023
Recently, Bradford also announced his own advisory committee, which included a number of top lobbyists and others across the political spectrum.
“People want a safe Toronto – a city that is more affordable, where everyone can get from home to work and school without fear or frustration,” said Bradford. “A city that welcomes people from around the world and leaves nobody behind. To achieve that, we need a mayor and council that works together to get things done.”
There are still plenty of rumours swirling about including one potentially massive name and nominations are still a few weeks away. But once a big name or two make announcements it will likely be something of a domino effect with others either dropping out or throwing their proverbial hats in the ring.
Mayor Tory had his share of detractors but he still easily won re-election. So people might be looking for a candidate that isn’t too far removed, especially with the new strong mayor powers from the Province.
Then again, the city doesn’t appear to be in great shape, to say the least. There is a huge financial crisis at city hall, the province interferes way too much and can’t seem to build transit yet that’s exactly what they are doing — yes I’m looking at you Metrolinx. The city’s unhoused continue to be largely ignored including when city council voted against 24-hour warming centres, as well as the word of more shelters closing. There are big transit service cutbacks and an increase in violent incidents on said transit. Oh, and the police budget. Wow. So, there is a lot to debate. But it all boils down to what kind of city we want to have.
For many, the success of Toronto as a world class city is evidenced by the condition of its most vulnerable. And, right now, that’d is not where it should be.
Here is what we know about the election so far.
Feb. 10, 2023: the news broke of former mayor John Tory’s extramarital affair and the subsequent announced that he would be stepping down as mayor.
Feb. 17: Following the passing of the city budget for 2023, Tory formally submitted his resignation.
April 3: Nominations for the position open at the city clerk’s office.
May 12: Nominations close, no additional candidates can register after this date.
June 8-13: Advance voting.
June 25: The date of the mayoral election to replace outgoing mayor John Tory.
Here is what we know about the candidates so far:
Gil Penalosa: The runner-up to John Tory in the last election with more than 98,000 votes, Penalosa committed to the race right away. Penalosa is the founder of 8 80 Cities and president of Gil Penalosa & Associates.
Chloe Brown: Another candidate from the last election, Brown, a policy analyst, finished third in the race with almost 35,000 votes.
Blake Acton: A retired police officer, Acton is running again after his fourth-place finish in 2022.
Rob Davis: The most experience candidate to declare as of March 6, Davis has had a long political career that dates back to Toronto pre-amalgamation. He’s a conservative candidate who touched on his first policy plank of dropping the city plan to rename Dundas Street.
Giorgio Mammoliti: The long-time and controversial city councillor, who lost in 2018 and again in Wasaga Beach in 2022, is back and running for mayor.
Ana Bailão: Former deputy mayor, former city councillor — 12 years. Bailão could be a game-changing candidate who is, politically speaking, neither a progressive not a conservative, which means she could be very appealing to those who like Tory’s fiscally conservative approach. She declared that she is running for mayor on March 17 with a focus on city services, affordability and uploading the city’s highways to the province.
Josh Matlow: On March 21, city councillor Josh Matlow declared that he is running for mayor. Matlow was first elected to office as a school board trustee in 2003 before making the jump to city council in 2010. The 47-year-old politician has made a name for himself at city hall by pressing decision-makers to make choices based on facts and not politics whether it was the Sheppard subway extension, the decision on whether or not to tear down the eastern portion of the Gardiner Expressway, or to allow for the consumption of alcohol in city parks.
Mark Saunders: On March 21, former Toronto police chief Mark Saunders announced his candidacy for mayor of Toronto. He ran and lost for the Progressive Conservatives in the last provincial election. He was police chief rom 2015-2020. His focus will be on public safety.
Brad Bradford: Two-term city councillor Brad Bradford is running for mayor in an increasingly crowded field. Bradford announced his decision this morning, and it looks like he will focus on TTC safety as one of his main campaign planks. “You line up on any platform, you see people’s backs pressed up against the wall,” Bradford told The Star in an article announcing this decision. “We talk about ridership needing to return to the city, to return to transit,” after the pandemic. “People are not going to do that if, first and foremost, they’re not safe.”
Thinking about it
Alejandra Bravo: City councillor for Davenport.
Olivia Chow: The widow of the late great NDP leader Jack Layton is considering another run for mayor. She finished third to Doug Ford and winner John Tory in the 2014 municipal election with a vote that was concentrated on the downtown west end where she has been involved in politicians both as a federal MP and city councillor from 1992 until 2014.
Michael Coteau: Current Liberal MP for Don Valley East since 2021, former provincial cabinet minister.
Mitzi Hunter: MPP for Scarborough-Guildwood, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills development (2018), Minister of Education (2016-2018). Hunter is set to join the race following the presentation of the Ontario budget in Queen’s Park today. Hunter is a highly regarded candidate with much political experience in provincial government but also has applicable experience prior to making the jump to politics including time as CAO of Toronto Community Housing and CEO of the Greater Toronto Civic Action Alliance. If affordable housing is the key issue, Hunter is all over it. She said, “she’s all in,” so now we wait.
Kristyn Wong-Tam: Current NDP MPP for Toronto Centre. Former city councillor — 12 years.
Declined to run
Stan Cho: Current PC MPP for Willowdale.
Joe Cressy: Former city councillor.
Nathaniel Erskine-Smith: Current Liberal MPP.
Jennifer Keesmaat: Former chief of city planning, current developer.
Jennifer McKelvie: Current deputy mayor and city councillor.
Michael Layton: Former city councillor.
Denzil Minnan-Wong: Former deputy mayor and city councillor.
Rod Phillips: Former PC MPP.
Kathleen Wynne: Former premier of Ontario.
Bhutila Karpoche: Current NDP MPP