Premier-elect Ford will become the 26th leader of the province, and the first from the PC Party since 2003.
The win comes after a tumultuous few months for the party, which saw an unexpected swap in leadership just before the campaign began.
Here is everything you need to know about what happened during election night in Ontario:
The PCs won 76 seats in the Ontario legislature. The New Democrats will form the Official Opposition with 40 seats, while the Liberals will have seven seats. The Green Party has one seat.
Many of the PC seats are concentrated in the 905 region, with Liberals and NDP holding on to urban centres and downtown Toronto.
Ford appeared at the PC election headquarters at the Toronto Congress Centre on Thursday night, thanking his supporters who helped him gain a majority win.
His speech started just moments after incumbent Premier Kathleen Wynne began her concession speech, which prompted criticism from political experts who said it was in poor spirit.
Generally, the election winner waits for the concession speech to end before coming on stage.
Melissa Lantsman, a communications adviser for the Ontario PC Party, told Global News that the mix-up “certainly was not intentional.”
During his speech, Ford boasted that “a new day has dawned in Ontario.”
“Together we made history,” Ford said in his victory speech. “We have taken back Ontario. We have delivered a government that is for the people. A government that will respect your hard-earned tax dollars.”
The premier-designate promised he and his team would get to work right away at Queen’s Park.
Wynne was re-elected after a tight battle for her riding of Don Valley West, but announced she’s resigning as party leader.
She made the emotional announcement before a crowd of supporters at the Liberal headquarters, calling it a “difficult night.”
“This has been the greatest privilege of my life,” she said, thanking party volunteers and candidates.
“Every day I have been your premier, and a minister, and an MPP. I have worked to think about your needs every single day.”
WATCH: Kathleen Wynne resigns as head of Ontario Liberal Party
Nearly all of the cabinet ministers were defeated, including Attorney General Yasir Naqvi, Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault, and Steven Del Duca, minister of economic development.
The Liberals also lost official party status in Ontario, after winning fewer than eight seats in the legislature.
Recognized parties are entitled to speak during debates and are guaranteed the opportunity to pose questions during question period. They receive public money to establish party offices to help them with research and other organizational tasks. All that could change for the Liberals.
Andrea Horwath and the Ontario NDPs have formed the Official Opposition for the first time since 1987.
While the NDP took many seats away from the Liberals in Toronto’s downtown, it was the seat-heavy 905-region that they lost to Ford.
In the end, Horwath said she was proud of their campaign.
“From the very start of this campaign, people wanted change,” Horwath said on Thursday night in her speech. “And I could not be more proud that we offered a positive vision.”
“We will keep fighting for you,” she reiterated.
She also noted that “we have won more seats than they have had in a generation,” to chants of, “Andrea!”
Notable wins include Toronto-St. Paul, which was represented by former Liberal health minister Eric Hoskins, and the riding of Beaches-East York, where the NDP’s Rima Berns-McGown defeated incumbent Arthur Potts of the Liberals.
Ontario Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner made history as the first Green Party MPP elected in Ontario.
He said he hopes his success can lead to a jumping point for the rest of his party, like it did in British Columbia and Prince Edward Island.
“If we look at the success of Green parties in other provinces, it always starts with one leader being elected,” he said.
Ford’s PCs will now prepare to form a government, and the incoming premier will select his ministers. Wynne will begin to wrap up her government.
Horwath will prepare a shadow cabinet.
It’s unclear when Ford will be sworn in as premier, but it is expected to happen in the coming weeks.
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