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.
Advance voting for Toronto’s 2023 by-election for mayor is set to begin tomorrow, June 8, and will continue for six consecutive days until June 13. This early voting period provides eligible voters with the opportunity to cast their ballots ahead of the official election day on June 26.
As of today, voters can choose to cast their ballots at any of the 50 advance voting locations between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. The locations are spread throughout the city and can be found on the Toronto Elections Advance Vote web page.
It is important to note that on the actual election day, voters must vote at their designated location. Therefore, those who wish to exercise their voting rights and participate in shaping Toronto’s mayoral future are encouraged to take advantage of the advance voting period.
To ensure a seamless voting experience, voters can visit the MyVote website for essential information. This includes finding their designated voting location, verifying their presence on the voters’ list, accessing their Voter Information Card (VIC) if eligible, reviewing the list of candidates, determining their ward and map, checking accessibility information for their voting location, and reviewing a sample ballot.
Eligibility to vote in the 2023 by-election for mayor requires individuals to be Canadian citizens, at least 18 years old, and either residents of Toronto or non-residents who own or rent property in the city. It is important to note that voters are only permitted to vote once, regardless of the number of properties they own or rent within the city. On election day, voters who own or rent multiple properties in Toronto must vote only in the ward in which they reside.
For individuals who initially opted for mail-in voting but now wish to vote in person and have not yet returned their mail-in voting package, they can do so during the advance voting period or on the election day. In-person voters must provide identification that displays their name and qualifying Toronto address.
With advance voting now underway, Toronto residents have the opportunity to actively participate in the by-election for mayor and have their voices heard. The outcome of this election will shape the future of the city, and every vote counts.
Olivia Chow continues to lead in the polls with the latest research showing 38 per cent support. Mark Saunders is second at 13 per cent.
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 26: 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.
His first policy plank out of the gate is a three-year freeze on the police budget combined with the introduction of a $115 million Community Health & Safety Fund to address the root causes of violent crime.
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.”
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.
Anthony Peruzza: Long-time Toronto city councillor Anthony Peruzza has joined the race to become the city’s next mayor. According to the Toronto Star, Perruzza is focussing his campaign on opposing hikes to property taxes, TTC fares, and city user fees. “My priority is to help Torontonians get by in these tough times,” he said, in a statement. “Torontonians need these services and can’t afford to shoulder more costs. Peruzza began his political career as a school board trustee in 1985. He was also a North York city councillor before amalgamation, an NDP MPP and a Toronto city councillor since 2006.
Olivia Chow: Former NDP MP, and Toronto mayoral candidate Olivia Chow announced that she is running for mayor. Chow has officially filed papers to run in the June 26 election to replace John Tory. Chow was most recently a federal member of parliament for Trinity-Spadina serving from 2006 to 2014. She was also a Metropolitan city councillor before amalgamation and on Toronto city council until 2005. She ran for mayor in 2014 finishing third behind John Tory and runner-up Doug Ford.
“People in Toronto are feeling stuck. They’re stuck waiting for the bus, stuck in traffic or stuck on lists for housing, childcare and recreation programs. After a decade of conservative mayors, the city has become more expensive and less liveable for people,” said Chow, announcing her candidacy at a rooftop patio in Chinatown. “We can give in to fear and pessimism, or we can choose to channel our frustration into hope. We can open up city hall and work together to build a more caring, affordable and safer city.”
The rest of the list of candidates:
Rupica Singh Waraich
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.
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