Toronto Councillor Janet Davis will not seek re-election in upcoming municipal election
Long-time East York Councillor Janet Davis says she won’t be seeking re-election in the upcoming municipal election.
Davis was first elected in 2003 and re-elected in 2006, 2010 and 2014 as the representative of Ward 31, which is roughly bound by Coxwell and Victoria Park avenues, and Danforth Avenue and south of Eglinton Avenue East.
“I have other things I would like to pursue in my personal life,” she told Global News after her announcement on Wednesday.
“I do want the time to spend with my mother. She’s 91 and she’s still living on her own, and I want her to be able to do that for as long as she can.”
Davis thanked those who supported her bids for office and commended members of the community she has worked with throughout her tenure.
“I have developed very significant friendships and deep respect for all the people who make our community so great — all the volunteers who sit on committees, raise money, coach sports, who are there day in and day out helping their neighbours,” she said.
Davis reflected on her time as councillor for Ward 31 Beaches-East York and said she’s proud of work of projects done in her ward, such as getting a skateboarding park built in 2007 near Woodbine and Cosburn avenues.
“In all the things where I have just seen the value of building infrastructure and community together, it’s the East York Skatepark,” she said, while praising the involvement of interested youth over the years.
“From day one at the public meeting where there were people objecting to having skateboarders in the park to last weekend where they were cleaning and painting the skatepark.”
She said many of those involved are now in their 20s and have gone on to be business owners with indoor skating facilities or park designers.
Another major issue, Davis said, has been making improvements to Taylor Creek Park and Taylor Massey Creek, which is part of the Don River watershed.
“It is the green centre piece of the ward,” she said.
“When I was first elected, I didn’t know other than when I went down there it smelled bad that we had old infrastructure where we were actually dumping raw sewage into our creek.”
Davis said she has been pushing to have money set aside to address the issue and implement master plans aimed at diverting combined sewer overflows.
She also touted her advocacy on creating affordable and accessible child care, an issue important to Davis as she said she is a former early childhood educator. Davis also said the City of Toronto needs to address financial sustainability issues while reiterating her opposition to the Scarborough subway extension and the Gardiner East rebuild project.
Davis said she is backing Diane Dyson’s bid to succeed her as councillor for the ward, which will be renumbered as Ward 35. She said she first came to know Dyson through Dyson’s work with community organizations such as the United Way. Dyson filed her nomination papers on Wednesday.
“It’s time for renewal. It’s time for a new person to come forward and bring with them their ideas and commitment,” Davis said.
The other candidate vying for the seat is Brenda MacDonald, who submitted her papers on Monday.
Municipal election candidates in Ontario have until July 27 at 2 p.m. to file their nomination papers. Election day is on Oct. 22.
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