Mapping the results of the election in Ward 5 – York South-Weston

In this post, I take a look at the council race in Ward 5, York South-Weston. The area, which encompasses neighbourhoods such as Weston, Mount Dennis, Amesbury, and Keelesdale, is one of Toronto’s least affluent. In 2015, York South-Weston’s average household income was $67,954, compared to the city-wide average of $102,721. The area straddles the divide between Toronto’s inner city and its postwar suburbs. Mount Dennis will be the western terminus of the Eglinton-Crosstown LRT line, which may bring new development — and gentrification — to the area.

Before Bill 5 was introduced, reducing Toronto City Council to just 25 councillors, the area was made up of two wards, represented by right-leaning council veterans Frances Nunziata and Frank Di Giorgio.

Frances Nunziata has had a long career in city politics. She was first elected to York City Council in 1988 and became mayor of the City of York in 1994, known then for standing up to corruption. When the City of Toronto was amalgamated in 1998, she was one of five former mayors to sit on the new “megacity” council (she was joined by Scarborough’s Frank Faubert, East York’s Michael Prue, Etobicoke’s Doug Holyday, and, of course, Mel Lastman). Nunziata is the last pre-amalgamation mayor still active in Toronto’s government.

While Nunziata supported Barbara Hall’s mayoral campaign in 1997, she backed Rob Ford’s campaign for mayor in 2010. She has served as Council Speaker under mayors Ford and Tory. While I was critical of her role as speaker under Ford’s mayoralty, she has since improved over the last four years. She also known for working very hard for her local constituency. In 2014, Frances Nunziata won Ward 11 with 71.3 percent of the vote and placed first in every poll. Only two candidates ran against her that year.

Meanwhile, Frank Di Giorgio, who represented Ward 12, was elected to North York City Council in 1985, and has been a municipal politician ever since. He was once Rob Ford’s budget chief, but has since served quietly in recent years.

Ward 12 was one of the most interesting local races of the 2014 election, a bonafide four-way race between Di Giorgio, returning challenger and former city staffer Nick Dominelli, former Liberal/Independent MP John Nunziata (Frances’ brother) and Lekan Olawoye, a Nigerian-Canadian immigrant, local community organizer, and talent executive at MaRS. Though Di Giorgio won, only 238 votes separated the incumbent from second-place John Nunziata. Remarkably, all four candidates had the support of over 20 percent of the electorate.

Under the new 47-ward model, there was little change in the boundaries to either Wards 11 or 12. Olawoye had registered to run again in Ward 12 against Di Giorgio. In Ward 11, Nunizata’s re-election bid was challenged by Chiara Padovani, a community activist and social worker. Padovani’s platform sought to address housing affordability, poverty and a lack of community services. The race was marked by bitter disputes between the Nunziatas and Padovani.

When city council was slashed to 25 wards, former Ward 11 and Ward 12 were combined into the new Ward 5. Most candidates, including Nunziata, Di Giorgio, Olawoye, and Padovani, ran in the new larger area. Unlike other wards where two incumbents faced off against each other, neither Nunziata nor Di Giorgio lost any part of their former constituencies. Nunziata still had the advantage, however, as there were more polls and voters in former Ward 11 than in old Ward 12.

Progress Toronto endorsed both Padovani and Olawoye, while Olawoye got the endorsement of the Toronto Star and the Toronto and York District Labour Board. The Toronto Sun endorsed Nunizata.

2018 Election - W5.jpgResults of the council race in Ward 5

Nunziata won Ward 5, taking 32.2 percent of the vote, while Di Giorgio placed second, netting 21.7 percent. Padovani came in a close third, with 20.5 percent, while Olawoye took 14.9 percent. Both incumbents placed first in their old wards. Padovani got over 25 percent of the vote in old Ward 11, where she originally registered, coming in second there.

Combined, the two progressive candidates got over 9,000 votes, more than Nunziata’s winning total of 8425. Change may yet come to York South-Weston in 2022.

Ward 5 York South-Weston
Candidate Votes Percent
Keaton Austin 467 1.8
Deeqa Barre 1,172 4.5
Joey Carapinha 241 0.9
Frank Di Giorgio 5,674 21.7
Fred Fosu 245 0.9
Harpreet Gulri 168 0.6
Frances Nunziata 8,425 32.2
Cedric Ogilvie 189 0.7
Lekan Olawoye 3,889 14.9
Chiara Padovani 5,358 20.5
Luis Portillo 352 1.3

 

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Mapping the council races in Etobicoke Wards 1 and 2

In 2018, Etobicoke went three for three in returning hard-line conservative councillors to City Hall. In Ward 3, Mark Grimes was re-elected despite several controversies, with Mayor John Tory’s help. In Ward 1 and Ward 2, councillors with famous names were re-elected, cementing local political legacies. While the results in Ward 1 Etobicoke North were predictable, the results in Ward 2 Etobicoke Centre were disappointing.

Under the previous 44 wards and the approved 47-ward model, Etobicoke had six seats on Toronto City Council. With the 25 wards forced on the city when Bill 5 came into law, they were reduced to three.

Ward 1 — Etobicoke North

Prior to the new ward boundaries coming into effect, old Ward 1 was represented by Vincent Crisanti. Ward 1 sits in the far northwestern part of Toronto, bounded by Steeles Avenue and Highway 427, as well as the West Humber River to the south and the East Humber River. Its boundaries would not have changed in the 47-ward model.

Crisanti was first elected in 2010, defeating incumbent centrist Suzan Hall. Crisanti was a reliable ally during the first few years of Rob Ford’s disastrous mayoralty. Despite this, he was named one of Tory’s four deputy mayors after the 2014 election. This lasted until September 2017 when Crisanti publicly backed Doug Ford’s plan to run against Tory again for mayor.

Ward 2 was the domain of the Ford family. Rob Ford was first elected there in 2000, and had made a name for himself both for his constituency work and for his outspoken behaviour at City Hall. Ford was on the lone side of many 44-1 votes while David Miller was mayor. He ran for mayor in 2010 and won after Miller decided against a third term; his brother, Doug, was elected in Rob’s place in Ward 2. Doug never had Rob’s personal touch. Instead his time as councillor was focused on enabling Rob’s self-destructive behaviour, creating distractions, and coming up with waterfront land schemes that helped to erode Rob Ford’s authority on council, two years before the crack scandal broke. Doug even declared that his under-served ward had too many libraries and expressed his eagerness to close them, starting a fight with Margaret Atwood.

Early in 2014, his work done, Doug Ford was ready to bow out. Rob and Doug’s 20-year-old nephew, Michael Stirpe, changed his last name to Ford, and registered to run in his uncles’ place. But in September 2014, Rob abandoned his bid for re-election for mayor due to his poor health and Doug ran instead. Michael withdrew in September 2014 to run for the local Toronto District School Board trustee position so Rob could run in his old ward. Rob won in Ward 2 easily, getting 58.8 percent of the vote, while Doug came in second place in the mayoral race.

Toronto would continue to be haunted by Doug Ford.

After Rob Ford’s death in March 2016, Michael Ford ran in a summer by-election, getting 70 percent of the vote, though only 9391 voters bothered to turn out. It was looking like Michael Ford would easily win again in 2018.

But then Doug Ford engineered a takeover of the Ontario Progressive Conservatives, won the June 2018 provincial election, and wrecked local democracy in Toronto by imposing cuts to city council to just 25 wards. Despite his loyalty, Vincent Crisanti was just one more victim.

Michael Ford was re-elected easily in the new combined Ward 1 with 42.3 percent of the vote, compared to Crisanti’s 34.3 percent. Other candidates such as Naiima Farah and Carol Royer spoke to the need for political change in a ward where three-quarters of the population are visible minorities. The Toronto Star endorsed Royer, a local entrepreneur and community activist, but she placed fifth, with just over 2 percent of the vote. Farah came in third, but got just 9 percent of the vote.

Crisanti placed first in his old ward, getting 41 percent of the vote there while Michael Ford got 35 percent. In former Ward 2, Ford got over 50 percent of the vote compared to Crisanti’s 29 percent. Michael Ford had the support of his uncle; there were also over 2,000 more votes in the southern half of the ward. The result was not at all surprising.

Farah placed first in two polls: Poll 055 on Dixon Road, and Poll 060, a highrise apartment near Eglinton Avenue and Martin Grove Road. Poll 055 is the home of many new immigrants, including a large Somali-Canadian community. Yet again, it was a shame that new voices, especially persons of colour, were shut out of this municipal election.

2018 Election - W1.jpg
Poll-level results in Ward 1, Etobicoke North

Ward 2 — Etobicoke Centre

Bill 5 also resulted in the amalgamation of former Wards 3 and 4.

Ward 3 was represented by Stephen Holyday, the son of former Etobicoke mayor, Toronto councillor ,and one-time Ontario PC MPP Doug Holyday. The younger Holyday was first elected in 2014 and has been a reliable ally of John Tory, named one of Tory’s deputy mayors after Crisanti was stripped of the title in 2017. Along with Denzil Minnan-Wong, Holyday is one of council’s staunchest conservatives, as well as its most hostile to cyclists.

Ward 4 was represented by John Campbell, a former chair of the Toronto District School Board. While a conservative, Campbell has been a more reasoned voice on city council than his fellow Etobicoke colleagues. For this reason, Campbell was endorsed by the Toronto Star.

Also running were progressive candidate Erica Kelly, previously the NDP candidate in the provincial election, and Angelo Carnevale, who had the support of Doug Ford and Kinga Suma, the controversial Ford-backed PC MPP.

Several polls previously located in old Ward 4 shifted to new Ward 1, while five polls in old Ward 2 shifted to Etobicoke Centre. This gave a slight advantage to Holyday, who did not lose any of his former ward.

It was a close race, but Holyday won with 38.6 percent of the vote, while Campbell got 35.5 percent. Just 1186 votes separated the two incumbent candidates. Holyday was the first choice in all but two polls in former Ward 3 (two polls opted for Erica Kelly), while in former Ward 4, Holyday placed first in nine polls, Campbell placed first in just 28 election-day polls, but did well in the advance polls.

Carnevale, who placed third with 15.1 percent, came first in just one poll, in an area previously represented by the Ford family. But Carnevale, who registered to run against Campbell in the old 47-ward model, helped to take support from Campbell, getting 20 percent of the vote in Campbell’s old turf versus 11 percent in former Ward 3. That, and the fact that there were nearly 3000 more voters in old Ward 3 than in old Ward 4, help to explain how Holyday was returned to city hall.

Last week, Stephen Holyday was one of four suburban councillors named to the new striking committee that makes recommendations for council appointments to important committees, boards, and commissions. It’s quite clear that John Tory will be continuing an austerity agenda while shutting out urban councillors and progressives from decision making. Stephen Holyday will be an important part of that during the next four years.

2018 Election - W2.jpgPoll-level results in Ward 2, Etobicoke Centre

Ward 1 – Etobicoke North
Candidate Votes Percentage
Vincent Crisanti 8,654 34.3
Peter D’Gama 253 1.0
Naiima Farah 2,262 9.0
Michael Ford 10,648 42.3
Michelle Garcia 439 1.7
Christopher Noor 214 0.9
Shirish Patel 1,945 7.7
Carol Royer 642 2.6
Ward 2 – Etobicoke Centre
Candidate Total Votes Percentage
Bill Boersma 258 0.7
John Campbell 13441 35.5
Angelo Carnevale 5735 15.1
Stephen Holyday 14627 38.6
Erica Kelly 3854 10.2
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Mapping the council race in Ward 14 — Toronto-Danforth

Ward 14, Toronto-Danforth, was another ward where two progressive incumbent councillors were forced to run against each other when Toronto City Council was reduced due to Bill 5. Mary Fragedakis represented old Ward 29, the part of the ward north of Danforth Avenue, while Paula Fletcher represented old Ward 30, south of the Danforth. Both are affiliated with the New Democratic Party.

Fragedakis was first elected in 2010, replacing retiring councillor Case Ootes, a conservative. In that election, she got 41.8 percent of the vote, well ahead of her closest challenger, Jane Pitfield. In 2014, she won every poll in Ward 29 and got almost 60 percent of the vote. Fragedakis would have very likely been re-elected in Ward 34 under the 47-ward model, despite the new ward boundary encompassing Rosedale. There were three challengers: Marisol D’Andrea, Ryan Lindsay, and Alexander Pena.

Paula Fletcher was first elected in 2003, taking Jack Layton’s former seat on council. She nearly lost in 2010 to Liz West, a more conservative candidate, but increased her vote share in 2014, taking 49.6 percent of the vote against West and new challenger Jane Farrow. Fletcher intended to run again in the new Ward 36, which had similar boundaries to her old Ward 30. There were also three challengers: Lanrick Bennett, Chris Budo, and Dixon Chan.

Under the new 25 ward model, the old Wards 29 and 30 were combined, along with a small section of old Ward 32. Only Alexander Pena withdrew from the race.

Fletcher was endorsed by the Toronto Star and by the Toronto and York District Labour Council. The Labour Council endorsement was controversial, as its president, John Cartwright, is married to Fletcher. Fragedakis was also previously endorsed by the Labour Council, so it would have been only right for it to withhold its endorsement in Ward 14.

2018 Election - W14.jpg

In any case, the Labour Council’s endorsement wouldn’t have mattered. Fletcher won by a wide margin, netting 42.3 percent of the vote, compared to Fragedakis, who came in second place with 26.2 percent. In third place with 19.0 percent of the vote was 22-year old Chris Budo, a financial analyst who recently graduated from Ryerson University. Budo came in second place in 32 polls, and placed first in Poll 005.

Fletcher was able to count on the support of polls in her home turf. She got 55.7 percent of the vote in former Ward 30, while Fragedakis was only able to get 44 percent of the vote in old Ward 29. There were also over 3500 more voters south of Danforth Avenue than to the north. As we have seen previously in Wards 6, 8, 22, and 25, when two incumbents ran against each other, the advantage was given to the candidate whose former turf has the larger population in the new ward.

Paula Fletcher is a hardworking and effective member of Toronto City Council, pushing for affordable housing, social justice and environmental issues, and is very attentive to her community. I am glad that she is back on council. But I remain disappointed and disillusioned by the province’s meddling in local affairs that shut out both good incumbents and promising young voices.

Ward 14 Toronto-Danforth
Candidate Votes Percent of vote
Lanrick Bennett 1,935 5.0
Chris Budo 7,394 19.0
Dixon Chan 1,100 2.8
Marisol D’Andrea 429 1.1
Paula Fletcher 16,468 42.3
Mary Fragedakis 10,201 26.2
Ryan Lindsay 413 1.1
Lawrence Lychowyd 188 0.5
Chris Marinakis 700 1.8
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Mapping the polarized results in Ward 6 – York Centre

Premier Doug Ford’s decision to reduce the number of councillors on Toronto City Council from 47 to 25 resulted in some very disparate new wards. New Ward 6, York Centre, combined two very different wards. On the west side of Allen Road, in old Ward 9, there are large Black and Italian communities, while on the east side of Allen Road, in old Ward 10, the population is largely Jewish, Filipino, and Russian.

James Pasternak represented Ward 10. Previously a TDSB trustee, Pasternak was first elected in 2010 after incumbent councillor Mike Feldman retired. A conservative, Pasternak is best known for supporting a western extension of the Sheppard Subway through his ward and for opposing city funding to Pride while allowing Queers Against Israeli Apartheid to march in the annual parade.

Maria Augimeri, who represented Ward 9, was first elected to North York City Council in 1985 and has since served on the old Metropolitan Toronto council until amalgamation in 1998. Since then, she has represented the Downsview neighbourhood on City of Toronto Council. She was nearly defeated in the 2010 election by conservative Gus Cusimano, but won with a comfortable margin in 2014. Augimeri is a New Democrat; she ran for the provincial NDP in 1987, and she has a progressive voting record on Toronto City Council.

Augimeri sought re-election in Ward 9 under the 47-ward model, but found herself against a high-profile challenger, Louise Russo. Russo was the unintended victim of an organized crime-related shooting in 2004 and has since become an anti-violence advocate. She was Mayor John Tory’s special guest at the inaugural council meeting in 2014 just after he was elected mayor.

Meanwhile Pasternak sought re-election in Ward 10, whose boundaries were identical under the new ward structure. His highest-profile opponent was Edward Zaretsky, an 84-year old resident who’s notable for parking his minivan in front of a pothole in protest earlier in 2018. Zaretsky has been an outspoken critic of Pasternak.

When Bill 5 came into effect after a failed court challenge, old Wards 9 and 10 were combined in Ward 6. A small section of old Ward 9 near Jane Street and Sheppard Avenue moved to Ward 7, while the area north of Sheppard Avenue between Keele and Dufferin Streets was added from old Ward 8.

There were only four candidates running in the new larger ward. Despite their ideological differences, Augimeri and Pasternak both described the new race against each other as “unfortunate” and “respectful.”

2018 Election - W6

In the end, James Pasternak won the local council race with 47.6 percent of the vote compared to Maria Augimeri’s 38.0 percent. Louise Russo got 11.2 percent (but did not place first in any polls), while Edward Zaretsky got just 3.2 percent, but placed first in Poll 14, a seniors residence.

The map above shows the polarized electorate in Ward 6. Augimeri placed first in all 19 polls located in former Ward 9, while Pasternak placed first in all but three of the 34 polls in old Ward 10. In the 19 polls located in old Ward 9, Augimeri got 61.5 percent of the vote, while Pasternak got 18.6 percent and Russo got 18.3 percent. Meanwhile in old Ward 10, Pasternak took 64.3 percent of the vote, followed by Augimeri with 24.4 percent and Russo with 7.3 percent.

Russo likely cut into Augimeri’s support at the polls, but her candidacy was largely squeezed out in a two-incumbent race. What ensured Pasternak’s win most of all was simply an imbalance of population: there were more voters (12,340 election-day votes) in old Ward 10 than in old Ward 9 (8156 election-day votes).

Because of the diverse demographics and geographic configuration of Ward 6, it might be attractive to high-profile candidates looking to run for council in 2022. Who knows what might happen in four years?

Ward 6 – York Centre
Candidate Total Votes Percentage
Maria Augimeri 9223 38.0
James Pasternak 11,559 47.6
Louise Russo 2726 11.2
Edward Zaretsky 771 3.2
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Return of the old guard: mapping results of Ward 17 – Don Valley North and Ward 18 – Willowdale

When Toronto adopted a 47-ward model for the 2018 election, North York was going to get one of the three additional wards. North York Centre, the section of Yonge Street between Highway 401 and Steeles Avenue, is one of the fastest growing parts of the city. New condominium towers have gone up along the Yonge and Sheppard Subways, bringing in thousands of new residents.

John Filion, councillor for old Ward 23, was one of Toronto’s hardest-working politicians. Not only did he have to represent thousands more residents than most of his colleagues, he also had to keep on top of dozens of planning applications. It was probably with relief that he announced his retirement in June. He endorsed two successors for the new wards comprising his old turf:  Markus O’Brien Fehr (his executive assistant) in the new Ward 28 and Lily Cheng (a local community organizer) in the new Ward 29.

Meanwhile, it looked as though fellow council veteran Shelley Carroll was also leaving City Hall. Earlier this year, she resigned as councillor in old Ward 33 to run as a Liberal in the June provincial election, creating a potential opening in new Ward 31. Fellow Liberal Dan Fox was poised to make another run against David Shiner in Ward 30. It looked like things were going to get interesting in North York.

But then the Progressive Conservatives were elected to Queen’s Park, and Carroll lost in Don Valley North. At the end of July, Doug Ford’s provincial government introduced Bill 5, reducing the number of wards from 47 to 25.

The four wards drawn up for the part of North York east of Bathurst Street and north of Highway 401 was reduced from four to two. While David Shiner retired from municipal politics, it left hopeful Dan Fox without an open seat to run in. Much of former Ward 24, where Fox ran in 2014, was encompassed by Ward 17, Don Valley North. This is where Carroll was going to try to return to council.

The council appointee that replaced Carroll in old Ward 33, Jonathan Tsao, had promised not to run for re-election. Challengers to Carroll in Don Valley West included former TDSB trustee Ken Lister and anti-sex education activist Christina Liu. In total, there were eight candidates running in Ward 17.

Carroll won easily, netting just over 40 percent of all votes cast. Liu placed second with 29 percent of the vote. Carroll did very well in the southern part of the newly enlarged ward, though Liu won 14 polls, mostly in the northwest, and tied Carroll in Poll 32.

2018 Election - W17.jpg
Poll-level results in Ward 17

In Willowdale, John Filion jumped back into the race, claiming that the lack of an incumbent would allow a candidate tied to land speculators to win. While Markus O’Brien Fehr stepped aside, Lily Cheng did not.

Other candidates in Willowdale included Norm Gardner, a former Metro councillor and police board chair; Saman Tabasinejad, the New Democratic candidate for Willowdale in the provincial election; businessman Sonny Cho; Sam Moini, a pro-Doug Ford candidate who was known for his advocacy on behalf of taxi owners and drivers; and David Mousavi, a lawyer who came in second to Filion in the 2014 election. There were 18 candidates in total.

Filion came in first place, with just 31.1 percent of the vote. Cheng placed second with 19.7 percent, and Cho came in third with 12 percent. Cheng placed first in 25 polls, especially along the Yonge Street corridor.

While John Filion has been an effective progressive councillor, especially during the Rob Ford years, his decision to jump back in the race, threw Cheng under the metaphorical bus. Had he committed to retiring but made a strong effort to support her campaign, I believe that she would have won. Conservative candidates like Mousavi and Moini were unable to get more than 10 percent of the vote; it appears that Filion’s fears were unfounded.

2018 Election - W18
Poll-level results in Ward 18

Continue reading

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Mapping the council races in Ward 22 – Scarborough-Agincourt and Ward 23 – Scarborough North

I continue the mapping of Toronto’s 25 council races by taking a look at two Scarborough wards.

Ward 22, Scarborough-Agincourt, was a battle between two right-leaning incumbent councillors, Norm Kelly and Jim Karygiannis. Ward 23, Scarborough North, was one of only two wards that didn’t have a councillor running for re-election.

Ward 22

Ward 22, Scarborough North, pit 77-year old council veteran Norm Kelly against 63-year old council rookie Jim Karygiannis. They share similar politics (both are centre-right councillors, and both are former Liberal MPs), but have different styles. Ward 22 is bounded by Victoria Park on the west, Midland Avenue on the east, Highway 401 on the south, and Steeles Avenue on the north.

Norm Kelly was first elected to municipal politics in 1974 as an alderman on Scarborough council and a Liberal MP between 1980 and 1984. He returned to Scarborough council in 1994 and has served on Toronto City Council since the 1997 amalgamation, and was a reliable ally on council for mayors Mel Lastman and Rob Ford.

Under Mayor Ford, Kelly was named deputy mayor in August 2013, only a few months before council stripped Ford of most of his powers as his personal scandals deepened. Kelly assumed most of the mayor’s responsibilities and served admirably.

Despite his personal popularity and his right-leaning credentials, Kelly was left outside new mayor John Tory’s inner circle. Instead, Kelly, who became better known as “@norm” spend his time boosting his social media presence, getting into Twitter spats on behalf of rapper Drake, and pitching merchandise. His millennial-baiting “6 Dad” act was cute for a short time, but became increasingly irritating, especially as his hip social media presence contrasted with his conservative politics and his denial of climate change.

Jim Karygiannis was a Liberal MP from 1988 to 2014, and had a reputation as a socially conservative Liberal. Despite being a sitting MP, he chose to resign and run for city council, perhaps feeling out of place in a more socially progressive caucus. Karygiannis’ first term on council was unremarkable, but he is known as a community-oriented councillor, responsive to local needs (though I very much disagreed with his response to the death of a young boy in his ward after he was struck by a car on a residential street earlier this year).

Kelly was disadvantaged by the fact that part of his old ward, Ward 40, was not included in the new Ward 22 (the area south of Highway 401 and north of Ellesmere Road), while the entirety of Ward 39, Karygiannis’ turf, was part of the new ward. On the east side, the boundary shifted slightly eastward, from the GO rail corridor to Midland Avenue.

In the end, Karygiannis won with 46.8 percent of the vote to Kelly’s 37.0 percent. Karygiannis placed first in all but three polls in former Ward 39, and also 9 polls on Kelly’s old turf. The “6 Dad” finally got his long-overdue retirement.

2018 Election - W22
Poll-level map for Ward 22


Ward 23

Ward 23 was one of only two council races that didn’t have a councillor seeking re-election (the other was Ward 19). Chin Lee, who represented the area for many years, resigned early this year to run for provincial office as a Liberal, and was replaced by an appointed councillor. Though Lee lost, he did not seek a return to municipal politics, unlike his colleague Shelley Carroll.

The new Ward 23, located north of Highway 401 between Midland Avenue and Neilson Road, encompassed almost the entirety of former Ward 41 and the western third of former Ward 42, previously represented by Neethan Shan.

Among those running in Ward 23 were Cynthia Lai, past president of the Toronto Real Estate Board; Maggie Chi, who worked as a constituency assistant in Councillor Lee’s office; Felicia Samuel, who ran for the New Democrats in the 2018 provincial election. Lai had run in the 2014 election against Chin Lee, placing second with 23.0 percent of the vote.

In 2018, Lai won, getting 27.0 percent of the vote in a crowded field of eleven candidates. Chi placed second, with 20.0 percent of the vote. Samuel came in third. Lai and Chi did best in the northwestern part of the ward, where a large segment of the population identifies as Chinese-Canadian. Samuel did well in former Ward 42, especially in Malvern. Maggie Chi placed first in only three polls, but she was the second-place candidate in most polls that picked Cynthia Lai.

I was expecting to see Felicia Samuel do better because of her impressive run for provincial office in the same area. That was a bit of a disappointment.

2018 Election - W23Poll-level map for Ward 23



Full Results

Ward 22 Scarborough-Agincourt
Candidate Total votes Percentage
Jude Coutinho 234 0.9
Jim Karygiannis 12593 46.8
Norm Kelly 9944 37.0
Michael Korzeniewski 660 2.5
Roland Lin 2789 10.4
Vincent Lee 597 2.2
Jason Woychesko 90 0.3
Ward 23 – Scarborough North
Candidate Total Votes Percentage
Ashwani Bhardwaj 1259 6.1
Maggie Chi 4137 20.0
James Chow 1487 7.2
Dameon Halstead 391 1.9
Anthony Internicola 254 1.2
Sheraz Khan 453 2.2
Cynthia Lai 5589 27.0
Mahboob Mian 335 1.6
Neethan Saba 2808 13.6
Felicia Samuel 3702 17.9
Sandeep Srivastava 273 1.3
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Mapping the council race in Ward 3 – Etobicoke-Lakeshore

Etobicoke-Lakeshore represents the southern third of Etobicoke, stretching from Dundas Street in the north to Lake Ontario in the south, encompassing the historic villages of Islington, Long Branch, New Toronto, and Mimico, as well as sprawling industrial areas and post-war subdivisions. It also includes the rapidly growing high-rise communities of Humber Bay Shores and Six Points.

In 2014, Etobicoke-Lakeshore elected two city councillors, veteran Mark Grimes in Ward 6, south of the Gardiner Expressway, and a new councilor, Justin Di Ciano, in the north half. The pair are friends and were close allies on council prior to the 2018 election.

For many years, Ward 5, located north of the Gardiner Expressway, was represented by Peter Milczyn. Milczyn, an architect by training, was a thoughtful centrist on Toronto City Council. In Spring 2014, Milczyn, a Liberal, was elected to the provincial legislature. James Maloney (elected as a Liberal MP in the 2015 federal election) was appointed by council as a caretaker representative until the Fall 2014 election, which was won by Justin Di Ciano.

Di Ciano, a real estate executive, won Ward 5 with 54.1 percent of of the vote in 2014 and placed first in all but two polls. Nobody knew it at the time, but the 2014 election was the start of Justin Di Ciano’s problems.

Meanwhile, in Ward 6, incumbent councillor Mark Grimes was re-elected in 2014 with 43.6 percent of the vote. Grimes was challenged by community leader Russ Ford (who got 34.1 percent of the vote) and former Toronto Police spokesperson Tony Vella (who got 10.5 percent of the vote). Russ Ford had a strong campaign, but Grimes’ incumbency, and John Tory’s late endorsement and robocalls, gave the sitting councillor the advantage.

During the last term of council, both Di Ciano and Grimes came under increasing scrutiny by the press and the Ontario Provincial Police. Both councillors backed a controversial residential development adjoining GO Transit’s Willowbrook yards and maintenance centre despite Metrolinx’s objections.

Under mayors Ford and Tory, Mark Grimes was the appointed chair of Exhibition Place, the board that controls the city-owned waterfront land where the Canadian National Exhibition is held. The CNE, a separate entity, is a tenant of Exhibition Place. Other important tenants include a hotel, two convention centres (Beanfield Centre and Enercare Centre), Medieval Times, and Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment. Three MLSE teams — the Toronto Argonauts, Toronto FC, and the Marlies play at Exhibition Place, while the Raptors (also a MLSE property) have their training centre on the lands. Exhibition Place is also the home of Muzik, a controversial nightclub supported by Grimes and fellow councillor Giorgio Mammoliti.

Workers represented by the International Association of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) had been locked out by Exhibition Place for months. Last week, IATSE members, who provide technical and staging work for all Exhibition Place events and venues, agreed to a long-overdue contract from the city and are finally going back to work. The union had to take concessions, and claims the lockout was a “union-busting attempt.”

Councillor Di Ciano was found to have close ties to that development’s proponent, Dunpar Homes. Meanwhile, Councillor Grimes got into trouble for improperly promoting specific condominium developments in his ward, including the defunct “On the GO Condos” at Mimico Station.

Di Ciano also became notable as council’s most vocal opponent of ranked ballots, getting city council to vote against adopting them in future elections. Di Ciano also strongly opposed the new 47 ward boundaries, decided after years of planning and consultation; he became a major cheerleader for Doug Ford’s Bill 5.

In the end, though, Councillor Di Ciano decided not to run for re-election. His executive assistant, Mary Campbell, registered in Ward 5 instead. Also running in Ward 5 was Pamela Gough, a long-time local Toronto District School Board trustee. As a school trustee, Gough was especially concerned with traffic and road safety.

In Ward 6, challengers to Mark Grimes included Amber Morley and Iain Davis. Morley, like Russ Ford, worked at the LAMP Community Heath Centre and in Ward 4 Councillor John Campbell’s office. Iain Davis is the son of former TDSB chair Bruce Davis; he ran on a centre-right platform.

With the 25 wards confirmed, Grimes, Morley, Gough, and Davis re-registered in Ward 3. Mary Campbell withdrew her nomination, perhaps to avoid a vote split with Grimes.

The Toronto Star, Progress Toronto and the Toronto and District Labour Council backed Morley. Not only did Morley offer the most progressive platform, she also had the best chance of defeating Grimes. It would have been great to see another younger woman of colour elected to a council that is disproportionately white and male.

But yet again, Mayor Tory endorsed Grimes and robocalled on his behalf, citing Grimes’ “determination and experience”. It didn’t matter that Grimes was called out by Toronto’s integrity commissioner or that he was under OPP investigation. It was clear that Tory wanted Grimes back on council.

 

Poll-level map of the council race results for Ward 3Thanks partly to Tory’s support, Grimes won, with 40.9 percent of the vote. Morley came in second with 27.2 percent and Gough placed third, with 18.1 percent. Grimes placed first in both former Wards 5 and 6, though with a larger percentage of the vote in the old Ward 5, south of the Gardiner Expressway.

Morley did the best in the southern most part of Ward 3, south of the GO Transit railway in New Toronto and Mimico. She also did well in Humber Bay Shores and the Six Points area. Grimes did best in Alderwood and in polls in the exclusive Palace Pier condos at the mouth of the Humber River. Pamela Gough placed first in six polls, all near the Bloor Street and Royal York Road intersection.

On November 15, 2018, less than a month after the election, the OPP charged Di Ciano and Grimes with campaign finance violations. It is alleged that Grimes and Di Ciano benefited from research and polling work paid for by Dunpar during the 2014 election. If convicted, Di Ciano and Grimes could face a fine up to $25,000, and could also be forced from office or barred from running in future municipal elections.

What’s puzzling is why Tory endorsed Grimes, whose reputation was well known among City Hall watchers. Perhaps it had something to do with the Exhibition Place lockout. Or maybe Tory just wanted a reliable right-wing vote on a smaller council.

Meanwhile, I hope Amber Morley considers another run. She was a great candidate and was able to prove her determination. With name recognition from her first run, she has a strong chance to finally take out Mark Grimes in 2022.

Ward 3 Etobicoke-Lakeshore
Candidate Total votes Percentage
Svitlana Burlakova 1218 3.0
Iain Davis 2722 6.7
Pamela Gough 7301 18.1
Mark Grimes 16527 40.9
Robert Gunnyon 167 0.4
Michael Julihen 320 0.8
Loomans Michael 199 0.5
Amber Morley 10985 27.2
Peggy Moulder 575 1.4
Patrizia Nigro 394 1.0
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