After months of door-knocking, a new provincial law that saw the number of councillors slashed, and day-long court hearings, Toronto residents will cast their vote for new municipal representatives on Monday.
The City of Toronto will be carrying out a 25-ward election after the Court of Appeal for Ontario stayed a lower court decision in September that would have seen a previously approved 47-ward election. The changes occurred when the Ontario legislature passed Bill 5, the Better Local Government Act. The revised nomination deadline was Sept. 21.
Global News has compiled a list of resources to help with election day. Click the hyperlinks to view information on election results, mayoral candidates’ positions, and a list of Toronto city council candidates.
Where to vote
By typing in your address on the City of Toronto’s MyVote website, it will give you a personalized list of candidates, a ward map, voting locations and an ability to check if you’re on the voters’ list.
For voters who are able to get to the voting location but are unable to get out of the vehicle, the City of Toronto allows curbside voting if a friend or support person notifies elections staff at the voting location.
If you have questions about specific voting situations, you can call the elections office at 416-338-1111, or 311.
Map of Toronto’s 25 new wards
When to vote
Voting hours on Oct. 22 are between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. Employers are required by law to ensure residents have a three-hour period off work in order to vote.
Who can vote in the election?
You have to be a Canadian citizen, at least 18 years old, a resident in Toronto (the only way you can vote as a non-resident of Toronto is if you or your spouse own or rent property in Toronto) and not prohibited from voting under law.
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What identification is needed to vote
Voters are required to show one piece of identification with a name and a Toronto address. Click here for a full list of acceptable pieces of identification. City staff said photo ID is not required.
Popular forms of identification include a driver’s licence, a photo ID card, a pay stub, a bank statement, a utility bill, or an Ontario Works or Ontario Disability Support Program direct deposit statement.
The Toronto city clerk’s office said voter information cards were mailed out in September. The cards aren’t required to vote and can’t be used as the only piece of identification to vote.
WATCH: How Toronto got to a 25-ward election
After polls are scheduled to close at 8 p.m. on Monday, GlobalNews.ca will have real-time results, analysis and mayoral candidates’ speeches throughout the evening. Global News Radio 640 Toronto’s Alex Pierson will be hosting an election special between 8 and 11 p.m. that will be streamed online and on radio. Global News Toronto’s online team will be posting stories on key decisions and interviews with candidates.
Joining Pierson throughout the evening are Global News anchors Farah Nasser and Alan Carter, Global News reporters in the field covering key races, former mayor of Toronto and retired senator Art Eggleton, former councillor and TTC chair Karen Stintz, analyst Stephen LeDrew and Toronto Star columnist Edward Keenan.
Farah Nasser, Alan Carter, Crystal Goomansingh and Antony Robart will anchor a special live election wrap-up starting at 11 p.m. that will be streamed online.
City-wide results will be posted in real-time on GlobalNews.ca/toronto beginning at 8 p.m. In addition to the mayoral results, vote totals will be posted for every ward through the links below:
Ward 1 Etobicoke North
Ward 2 Etobicoke Centre
Ward 3 Etobicoke–Lakeshore
Ward 4 Parkdale–High Park
Ward 5 York South–Weston
Ward 6 York Centre
Ward 7 Humber River–Black Creek
Ward 8 Eglinton–Lawrence
Ward 9 Davenport
Ward 10 Spadina–Fort York
Ward 11 University–Rosedale
Ward 12 Toronto–St. Paul’s
Ward 13 Toronto Centre
Ward 14 Toronto–Danforth
Ward 15 Don Valley West
Ward 16 Don Valley East
Ward 17 Don Valley North
Ward 18 Willowdale
Ward 19 Beaches–East York
Ward 20 Scarborough Southwest
Ward 21 Scarborough Centre
Ward 22 Scarborough–Agincourt
Ward 23 Scarborough North
Ward 24 Scarborough–Guildwood
Ward 25 Scarborough–Rouge Park
Global News recently contacted the city’s mayoral candidates, who were asked to discuss transportation, affordability, community safety and economic development-related issues.
Here are the verbatim responses from Sarah Climenhaga, Saron Gebresellassi, Jennifer Keesmaat and John Tory, all of whom participated in a Global News Radio debate in September.
1) What’s your vision to ease congestion on Toronto roads and how will you improve safety for all road users?
Climenhaga: “Our current road system isn’t accommodating Toronto’s growing population. We need to get moving, and that can’t happen if we politicize transportation. I have been listening to residents all over this city and we all use, or would like to use, all modes of transportation in this city, and the truth is none of them are working. Cars are stuck in traffic, transit is overcrowded and those on two feet or two wheels are at risk of serious injury and death. We must move forward with long-term plans for rapid transit across this city, and improve transit immediately by increasing daily TTC service levels, and by giving transit priority on our roads. We must build a minimum grid of safe, protected and connected infrastructure for all those on two wheels or two feet. We need to reduce speed limits in our residential streets and arterial roads, leverage safety cameras, ban right turns on red, and place mid-block crossings in areas of high foot traffic and at all bus and streetcar stops. Only by providing affordable, reliable and safe transportation options for all people will we get out of the gridlock in our city.”
Gebresellassi: “I am calling for a freeze on transit fares with a goal of achieving free transit in the City of Toronto. I recently met with renowned Transit Expert and Head of the European Union Office in Estonia, Allan Alakula. In Estonia, free transit is implemented in the entire region. Free transit has been piloted in 100 cities around the world and is being examined by Edmonton’s City Council. Transit advocates have already shown us the way. Studies and transit experts have shown that free transit for all is the key to easing congestion, reducing the number of motorists on the road and improving road safety. I will implement measures to re-time traffic lights, better manage the response to breakdowns and collisions, implement speed limits that adjust to smooth traffic flow and regulate the volume of traffic entering highways. I will also support and expand our sharing economy through increased investment in bicycle sharing, ride sharing and carpooling efforts.”
Keesmaat: “In order to ease congestion on Toronto roads, the most important thing we can do is to give people more choice. Lots of people take transit, lots of people drive, lots of people bike, and lots of people walk; in many cases, people will take two or more of those modes in the same day. So we need to do a better job of making each of those choices easier for people. Unfortunately, we have a decades-long transit infrastructure deficit in Toronto, so building out that network in a smart and efficient way needs to be a top priority. That’s why my plan is for an integrated, city-wide transit network that weaves together subways, LRTs, streetcars, and buses to shorten people’s commutes and ensure there is great transit in every neighbourhood in the city. Some of my priorities include: Getting the Relief Line built three years faster than the original completion date; making the King Street Pilot permanent; delivering better and expanded transit in Scarborough; implementing enhanced bus service where appropriate; and designing and building the Jane LRT. And we need to take much bolder action on road safety; instead of waiting for overwhelming public outcry and tragedies to hit, I’m going to work proactively to make our streets safe by design. My plan is to take action on road safety across the city by reducing speed limits in residential areas, redesigning the city’s 100 most dangerous intersections, and ensuring our all our school zones are safe. I’ve laid out my priorities for my first two years in office and I won’t stop there. My goal is to ensure there are zero deaths on Toronto’s roads.”
Tory: “The primary way to ease congestion is by building our transit network plan. That is why we, for the first time ever, approved a City-wide transit network plan so we are building multiple projects at the same time like SmartTrack, the Relief Line and the Scarborough subway extension. I secured $9 billion from the other governments to get it built. I’ve also implemented shorter term measures to ease congestion. We have sped up our construction projects that take up lanes of traffic, we’re piloting “smart” traffic signals so we adapt to real-time traffic volumes and allocate more “green time”, and by the end of the year, we will have Traffic Constables managed our busiest intersections. I am committed to doing everything possible as quickly as possible to make our streets safer. The goal is and always has been zero deaths or injuries on our streets. I championed the City’s first Vision Zero Road Safety plan. The City is rolling out speeding up road redesign initiatives, doubling the number of leading pedestrian intervals being installed this year from 40 to 80, and installing zebra markings at up to 200 additional intersections. The City also rolled out school safety zones and senior safety zones across the city.”
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2) How do you plan to reduce criminal activity in Toronto?
Climenhaga: “We clearly need to reduce the number of guns in Toronto, but that alone will not fix this issue. Crime in Toronto, as elsewhere, is a symptom of the root problem – growing inequity and poverty. Until we give our youth better options through youth programs, until we face mental illness with real long-term solutions, until we build real partnerships with communities to improve public safety, the violence too many communities are experiencing will not go away. The only way to reduce crime is to prevent it, and the only way to prevent crime is to attack poverty and inequity. We can do that through wise, evidence based investment in our city and in our people.”
Gebresellassi: “In 2005, I met with then Prime Minister Paul Martin to call for a community-based strategy to eradicate gun violence. Thirteen years later, community advocates are still calling for an approach to crime that tackles its root cause- poverty. I can assure the people of the City of Toronto that crime rates in the city will plummet under my leadership. This is because I will work to eliminate poverty and homelessness in our city. Sadly, Toronto has been dubbed the “child poverty capital” of our country. Poverty is the most common prelude to criminal activity and conflict with our justice system. Internationally, cities with the lowest poverty rates also enjoy the lowest crime rates. I will design a strategic partnership between the Toronto Public Library and Toronto’s incarceration facilities to promote literacy in city prisons. Often times, books are barred from entering Toronto’s prisons and inmates struggle to reintegrate into society once released. Toronto can be a leader for the world to look to for innovative crime solutions. A books-to-prisons pipeline will set a pathway for inmates to leave a life of crime behind and usher in new opportunities for success. I will work with all levels of government to implement the 2005 call for a community-based strategy to eradicating gun violence.”
Keesmaat: “When it comes to public safety, we can’t just wait for a crisis to act. As Mayor, I will be focusedevery single day on ensuring we all feel safer in every corner of our city — I laid out a datadriven approach to exactly this. We need to focus on crime prevention by providing economic opportunities and support for youth and address the root causes that lead people down violent paths. The neighbourhood safety strategies we develop throughout the city will create effective partnerships between policing teams, health and social service professionals, and community organizers and leaders. We need to transform policing in this city to focus on a neighbourhood-centred approach; I will bring neighbourhood-based policing to each of Toronto’s 140 neighbourhoods within four years. Additionally, handguns, assault rifles, and ammunition have no place in our city, and must be banned. We need action now. The Toronto Police Transformational Taskforce has called for a neighbourhood-centred system that specifically trains and deploys police to prevent and reduce crime by building trusting and effective relationships with the communities they serve. We need to restore public confidence in the safety of Toronto’s neighbourhoods, and my plan will do that.”
Tory: “I have put forward a three-point plan to combat gun and gang violence:
– Hire more police; 200 more this year and 200 more next year including more officers embedded long-term in neighbourhoods
– Tougher bail laws, harsher sentencing for gun traffickers and gang members and stricter gun control which the federal government is holding nationwide consultations
– Significantly expanded community investments to provide positive options for young people”
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3) How would you build a modern, beautiful, safe city but keep it affordable for residents?
Climenhaga: “We know exactly how to create a modern, beautiful and safe city, and that’s by ensuring we have adequate housing for all people, that people are able to move around safely, reliably and affordably, and that public amenities such as parks, community centres, libraries, ice rinks and pools are all well maintained and available in close proximity to every resident. Affordability means people can afford an apartment or a house, it means people can afford to travel, and it means people can afford to access city services. To address housing in particular, we must strive to end homelessness by improving Toronto Community Housing, and we must grant at low cost city land for municipal land trust and co-ops to build truly affordable housing. We must improve zoning to immediately create new affordable places to live in neighbourhoods across this city, and we must work with the private sector to incentivize rental buildings. All this can be done while safeguarding green space and ensuring local benefits to communities.”
Gebresellassi: “I will declare a State of Emergency on Housing immediately upon assuming office. This is because the affordability crisis in our city is intolerable. I pledge to build 20,000 new affordable housing units. I pledge to a) fulfill City Council’s commitments to upgrade our emergency shelter system to ensure it has the capacity to meet immediate needs, and to develop and fund a systematic approach to preventing homelessness; b) to establish a predictable, sustainable operating and capital funding formula for all 58,500 homes now owned by Toronto Community Housing; and c) to support inclusionary zoning policies that ensure permanently affordable rental housing – including deeply affordable homes – is part of every new development. I will beautify our commissioning our city’s greatest artists to produce works to artistically stimulate and inspire our communities.”
Keesmaat: “I believe that we can create a Toronto that is cleaner, greener, and more affordable. It starts with making the right decisions for our city. A key example of this is my plan to tear down the elevated portion of the Gardiner East and replace it with a beautiful grand boulevard. In addition to saving taxpayers $500 million, it provides better outcomes for the city in terms of waterfront revitalization, real estate and economic development potential, air quality, noise, and sustainability. It would provide us with an opportunity to build a mixed-use neighbourhood on this section of the waterfront to attract a mix of film and technology companies, and other commercial uses, alongside beautiful, green, waterfront side housing and retail. City-wide, one of the greatest challenges to affordability in Toronto is housing. Too many young people are leaving Toronto, and young families are holding off on having kids because they can’t afford a place to call home. My housing affordability plan includes building 100,000 purpose-built affordable rental homes in the next 10 years, along with an innovative Rent-to-Own program to help people make the leap from renting to owning.”
Tory: “I am committed to keeping Toronto affordable by keeping property taxes low, addressing transit costs and affordable housing. Your property tax bill is the biggest single cheque that you write to the city every year. Through prudent leadership we have made major investments in transit, housing and poverty reduction while keeping tax increases at or below the rate of inflation. I am committed to keeping this promise in the next term to keep Toronto affordable. I am proud that during my time as Mayor we have made transit more affordable through the low-income fair pass, Kids Ride Free program and the hop-on-hop-off two-hour transfer. An area where we need to do more in the next term is building more affordable housing. I am committed to building 40,000 affordable housing units over 12 years. Through developing city-owned land, inclusionary zoning and partnerships with private industry, we can achieve this target and offer thousands of families an affordable place to live each year.”
4) If elected, what would you do to increase the amount of jobs for residents and boost economic development?
Climenhaga: “The best way to build our economy is to create an affordable, liveable, and equitable city, where everyone has a chance to contribute. Large employers, with large workforces, will only locate or remain in a city where their employees, customers and clients can find housing, and are not stuck in gridlock. My housing and transportation platforms are the most important when it comes to job creation. Toronto must also nurture and encourage entrepreneurs, who are important job creators themselves. We must reduce the red tape that sees permits for legitimate business taking months or even years to be granted. We must reduce the far too high property tax on small businesses. We must make sure that there is available and affordable space for artists, musicians and other independent small businesses to create, exhibit and sell their offerings to the public. By addressing zoning laws, the way we generate revenue and our housing and transportation challenges we will be a city with economic opportunity for all residents.”
Gebresellassi: “I will create one thousand new youth jobs within my first year of assuming office. I will stimulate local economies in all of our Neighborhood Improvement Areas by creating subsidies for small businesses to hire locally. I will render Toronto the Conventions Capital of North America by leveraging my relationships with international partners and civil society organizations to make Toronto their first-choice host city for annual conventions generating new streams of revenue for our city. I will increase per capita funding to the arts and culture sector which currently contributes 11.3 Billion Dollars Annually to Toronto’s GDP. Every dollar the city invests in the non-profit arts sector generates $12.46 back from other levels of government and the private sector. This is why investing in arts and culture is necessary to enjoy continued economic development. I will support programs designed to give young people entrepreneurial skills to succeed in creative endeavors in the City of Toronto. I will commit to investing in programs like Hxouse- an incubator and accelerator that is at the forefront of fostering innovation and opportunity for creative entrepreneurs.”
Keesmaat: “Toronto is a big and fast-growing city, and it’s time we leveraged that growth to support good local jobs. The City is planning to spend billions of dollars on major infrastructure projects over the next 10 years, and Community Benefit Agreements are a great way to ensure that local Toronto workers can share in that prosperity. I will develop rules as part of the development application process to mandate that all major private sector development projects include a Community Benefits Agreement to support local hiring and achieve social, economic and environmental benefits for the local communities impacted by proposed developments. Through these partnerships, we can harness the growth we’re seeing in Toronto to help build our workforce for the future and ensure that more people in our city are sharing in this prosperity.”
Tory: “I am so proud that over the last term, 200,000 jobs were created in the City of Toronto. We have created more tech jobs than Silicon Valley and New York City combined. Intel, Microsoft, Uber and Shopify all in one week expanded their footprint in Toronto. And we’re already home to Google Canada, Sidewalk Labs and on the shortlist for Amazon HQ. I will continue to promote this city around the world to attract investment and bring jobs to Toronto. I will make the investments in transit and housing that business tell me are key to their arrival and success in Toronto. And, to ensure that we strengthen those businesses that are growing here, I will keep commercial property taxes low. And we simply must do more to make sure that every part of our city benefits from our growing tech, film and banking sectors. In particular, we need to make sure our young people benefit. That’s why I will connect our growing industries to the Partnership to Advance Youth Employment Program, also known as PAYE, to make sure our talented young people who live in every part of our city have opportunities with the goal of reducing the youth unemployment by half.”
* indicates an incumbent member of council
Ion Gelu Vintila
Councillor, Ward 1 Etobicoke North
Councillor, Ward 2 Etobicoke Centre
Councillor, Ward 3 Etobicoke–Lakeshore
Councillor, Ward 4 Parkdale–High Park
Councillor, Ward 5 York South–Weston
Frank Di Giorgio*
Councillor, Ward 6 York Centre
Councillor, Ward 7 Humber River–Black Creek
Winston La Rose
Councillor, Ward 8 Eglinton–Lawrence
Christin Carmichael Greb*
Councillor, Ward 9 Davenport
Councillor, Ward 10 Spadina–Fort York
Councillor, Ward 11 University–Rosedale
Councillor, Ward 12 Toronto–St. Paul’s
Councillor, Ward 13 Toronto Centre
Walied Khogali Ali
Councillor, Ward 14 Toronto–Danforth
Councillor, Ward 15 Don Valley West
Councillor, Ward 16 Don Valley East
Councillor, Ward 17 Don Valley North
Councillor, Ward 18 Willowdale
Danny De Santis
Jin Chung Park
Saman Tabasi Nejad
Councillor, Ward 19 Beaches–East York
David Del Grande
Councillor, Ward 20 Scarborough Southwest
Councillor, Ward 21 Scarborough Centre
Zamir ul hassan Nadeem
Councillor, Ward 22 Scarborough–Agincourt
Councillor, Ward 23 Scarborough North
Councillor, Ward 24 Scarborough–Guildwood
Councillor, Ward 25 Scarborough–Rouge Park
Click here for the City of Toronto’s official list of council, school board and withdrawn candidates.