This coming Monday, October 24, Ontarians will be electing new city councils. In Brampton, Ottawa, and Hamilton, the mayoral races should prove to be interesting. For Ottawa in particular, with Jim Watson stepping down, voters have a clear choice (and I’ll be cheering for Catherine McKenney). Though Gil Penalosa offers a new vision of a sustainable, active, and safer city, it’s very likely John Tory will win an unprecedented third term, the first to do so since amalgamation in 1998.
At Spacing Toronto, I have been offering some insights by mapping the state of our local democracy, ward by ward. Though there are seven wards in which no sitting councillor is running for re-election, the new council may not look too much different from the last one. That’s because two former councillors — Vincent Crisanti and Jon Burnside — will be looking to get back into office. Meanwhile, Mayor Tory has been busy campaigning for twelve candidates, including eight incumbents, that will help advance his agenda of incrementalism and austerity. Among Tory’s picks are Frances Nunziata, who has been in municipal office uninterrupted since 1988.
Here are the links to my posts at Spacing:
Open wards and the power of incumbency: The power of incumbency, and the mayor’s own influence, will weigh heavy on the final results. Though there may be seven “open” wards and a few more truly-competitive races, there is a lot happening behind the scenes to favour certain candidates.
Population disparities between Toronto’s 25 wards: How ward boundaries that were drawn in 2013 have exasperated imbalances in population, leading to burnout in high-growth wards (with several downtown councillors deciding to move on). If Toronto continues to be forced to use federal/provincial riding boundaries, it will have just 24 wards in the 2026 election.
Toronto is a highrise, rental city – unlike City Council: Though nearly half of all Torontonians live in highrise dwellings and/or rent their homes, Toronto City Council is made up almost entirely of homeowners. In only a few wards, detached houses make up the vast majority of the housing stock and homeowners dominate. I ask why city council doesn’t reflect the way an increasing number of us live. The interest in this post had me on CBC Metro Morning for the first time, early on September 30.
Duelling campaign endorsements: Though Mayor John Tory has supported a few candidates before (most notably, Etobicoke councillor Mark Grimes), this time, he’s actively campaigning with twelve allies. Meanwhile Progress Toronto is backing nine challengers, focusing on races where it hopes to help get new faces elected.
One reply on “Mapping the 2022 municipal election”
Vaughan was interesting too – the two top candidates for mayor differed by around 600 votes in the end