Mapping the council race in Ward 8, Eglinton-Lawrence

Ward 8, Eglinton-Lawrence, was one of only two Toronto city council races in which an incumbent councillor was defeated by a non-incumbent challenger (the other being Ward 25). In the 2018 municipal election, Mike Colle defeated Christin Carmichael Greb and eight other candidates. It wasn’t a surprising win, given the name recognition Mike Colle, and his son, Josh Colle, have in the ward, but the dynamics were interesting, if not a bit discouraging.

Ward 8, Eglinton-Lawrence, encompasses three former ward boundaries: the entirety of old Ward 16, represented by Councillor Carmichael Greb, most of old Ward 15, represented by centrist and TTC chair Josh Colle, and a small portion of old Ward 21, represented by Joe Mihevc.

In 2014, Carmichael Greb won with only 17.4 percent of the vote in old Ward 16, whose boundaries were between Yonge and Bathurst Streets, north to Highway 401 and south to Eglinton Avenue. In a race featuring 16 candidates, Carmichael Greb was helped by her conservative credentials (she is the daughter of former Conservative MP John Carmichael) and by John Tory’s endorsement and robocalls. She registered to run again in 2018, first under the approved 47-ward model, then in the new 25-ward model imposed by the province. Dyanoosh Youssefi, who came in third in 2014, also registered. Other challengers included Jennifer Arp, a TDSB trustee, and Beth Levy, a teacher and assistant to local Liberal MP Marco Mendicino.

With several strong challengers against her, it looked likely that Councillor Carmichael Greb, who didn’t have a reputation as a responsive or hard-working representative, would be re-elected in the new 47-ward model.

Josh Colle was also seeking re-election under the 47-ward model in the new Ward 13, which extended west from Bathurst Street west to the GO Transit Barrie Line. In 2014, Colle won re-election with 75.2 percent of the vote. In 2018, Colle’s most prominent challenger in Ward 13 was going to be Rocco Achampong. Achampong, a Conservative and a respected lawyer, ran for mayor in 2010.

But just two days before nominations were set to close, on Wednesday, July 25, Josh Colle suddenly announced that he was retiring from municipal politics, instead looking to work in the private sector. His father, 73-year old Mike Colle, would run instead. The elder Colle was Liberal MPP for Eglinton-Lawrence from 1995 through 2018, when he was defeated by the Ontario PCs. Before 1995, Colle was a North York and Metro councillor. The sudden, last minute father-son swap was a surprising and a rather cynical move. But that wasn’t the only shock that week.

On Friday July 27, the same day as deadline for council nominations, the provincial government announced Bill 5, reducing the number of Toronto city councillors from the approved 47 to just 25. Achampong was one of the first to challenge Bill 5 in court, but unfortunately, he and the other applicants were not successful. Achampong and six other candidates who signed up under the 47-ward council chose not to run in the new Ward 8 and withdrew their nominations.

Poll-level results of the municipal election for Ward 8

Unsurprisingly, Mike Colle won, with 41.3 percent of the vote. He had the advantage of name recognition as the former MPP for Eglinton-Lawrence, as well as his son’s record as councillor for the western half of the new ward. Christin Carmichael Greb ran into controversy during the final days of the campaign, declaring herself the “John Tory candidate” despite not netting an endorsement in 2018. Despite coming in a distant second, she increased her vote share from 2014, netting 21.7 percent of all ballots cast in Ward 8.

Had the 47-ward model prevailed, it’s quite likely Carmichael Greb would have won despite her unimpressive first term. Incumbency and name recognition form a huge advantage in municipal elections, especially without political parties or ranked ballots. But Mike Colle was able to get the most votes even in old Ward 16 — 31.7 percent to Carmichael Greb’s 25.6 percent.

Mike Colle’s win is unique to Toronto municipal politics. There are many current or past city councillors who followed their parents on city council — including Mike Layton, Joe Cressy, and Stephen Holyday, who were re-elected in 2018 — but Mike Colle might be the first to follow in his son’s footsteps.

Ward 8 Eglinton-Lawrence
Candidate Total votes Percentage
Jennifer Arp 2404 7.1
Christin Carmichael Greb 7395 21.7
Mike Colle 14094 41.3
Darren Dunlop 210 0.6
Lauralyn Johnston 992 2.9
Beth Levy 3122 9.2
Randall Pancer 134 0.4
Josh Pede 420 1.2
Peter Tijiri 72 0.2
Dyanoosh Youssefi 5253 15.4

 

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Mapping the council race in Ward 19, Beaches-East York

Ward 19 Beaches-East York was one of the closest races in Toronto’s 2018 municipal election. It was only one of two “open” wards out of 25 — meaning no incumbent councillor was seeking re-election.

Earlier this year, Councillor Janet Davis (old Ward 31) and Mary-Margaret McMahon (old Ward 32) announced that they were not running again for Council. Davis, a prominent member of council’s left wing, endorsed Diane Dyson, a community activist, as a candidate for Ward 35, which had similar boundaries to Davis’ ward. There were ten other candidates, including David Del Grande, a product manager and former provincial Green Party candidate, and musician Brenda MacDonald, who ran against Davis in the last two elections.

Meanwhile McMahon, a centrist, endorsed Brad Bradford, a city staffer who worked for the office of the Chief Planner at City Hall. There were eleven candidates running in Ward 37 (mostly congruent with old Ward 32), including Matthew Kellway, the former NDP MP for Beaches-East York, Joshua Makuch, a management consultant and a Canadian Forces veteran who served in Afghanistan, and Valérie Maltais, an environmental scientist.

Like so many races across the city, Doug Ford’s Bill 5 changed the dynamics completely. The two wards were merged into Ward 19. Five candidates withdrew from the tougher race, but there were still 16 candidates having to run in a much larger area than they planned for.

Councillor Janet Davis switched her allegiance from Diane Dyson to fellow New Democrat Matthew Kellway. Brad Bradford was endorsed by both Jennifer Keesmaat, his former boss, and John Tory, who likely wanted a more centrist councillor in Ward 19 than Kellway. It became a two-way race, with Tory and McMahon campaigning hard for Bradford, with Kellway having the support of Davis and fellow NDP politicians and activists. Kellway had the support of the Toronto Star’s editorial board, while Bradford had the endorsement of the Toronto Sun.

In the end, Brad Bradford won with 38.6 percent of the vote, while Kellway took 37.8 percent, with a difference of just 288 votes. Joshua Makuch came in a distant third, with 6.2 percent of the vote, and Diane Dyson placed fourth.

Kellway came in first place in the advance polls. But on election day, Bradford placed first in 33 polls, while Kellway placed first in 28 polls. Brenda MacDonald came first in Poll 45. Only five votes were cast in Poll 20, which was a five-way tie.

2018 Election - W19

Kellway’s best results were north of Danforth Avenue, especially in the east, along Lumsden Avenue and Dawes Road. This area encompasses several Toronto Community Housing buildings and the lower-income Crescent Town neighbourhood. The support and organization from outgoing councillor Janet Davis probably helped, as did Kellway’s record as NDP MP. Had Toronto stayed with the 47 wards, it’s very likely that Diane Dyson would won in Ward 35, given Davis’ previous endorsement. Either way, the support of Mary Margaret McMahon and John Tory would have seen Brad Bradford win in Ward 37. Tory now has a new ally on council.

The south half of Ward 19 is more affluent and less diverse than the area north of Danforth Avenue. Old Ward 31, north of Danforth Avenue and represented by Davis, had a 2016 median household income of $61,575. Old Ward 32, south of Danforth Avenue and represented by McMahon, had a 2016 median household income of $84,445. In the north half, 42.1 percent of the population identifies as a visible minority, compared to 24.3 south of The Danforth.

Ward 19 Beaches-East York
Candidate Total votes Percentage
Brad Bradford 14286 38.6
Norval Bryant 89 0.2
Paul Bura 288 0.8
Dragan Cimesa 77 0.2
David Del Grande 283 0.8
Diane Dyson 1612 4.4
Matthew Kellway 13998 37.8
Donald Lamoreux 141 0.4
Brenda MacDonald 601 1.6
Joshua Makuch 2315 6.2
Valérie Maltais 929 2.5
Frank Marra 142 0.4
Paul Murton 74 0.2
Morley Rosenberg 248 0.7
Adam Smith 708 1.9
Veronica Stephen 1257 3.4
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Mapping the council race in Ward 25, Scarborough-Rouge Park

2018-election-w25-e1541864142688

I start my analysis of the 25 council races with Ward 25, Scarborough–Rouge Park, where Neethan Shan, the incumbent councillor for old Ward 42, lost in a very tight race to Jennifer McKelvie, who was elected to public office for the first time. Both candidates originally ran in different areas under the approved 47 wards (Shan in Ward 45, McKelvie in Ward 47), but Bill 5, Premier Doug Ford’s legislation that reduced Toronto City Council to just 25 wards, changed everything.

Ward 25 was an interesting race for several reasons. It was one of only two contests in which an incumbent councillor lost to a non-incumbent challenger (the other was Ward 8 Eglinton–Lawrence, where Mike Colle defeated Christin Carmichael Greb). It was also the closest of the 25 council races. McKelvie won with 11,624 votes (40.2 percent), just 154 more votes than Shan. The win margin was just 0.53 percent. There were eleven candidates in total.

The new ward boundaries imposed by the provincial government likely helped McKelvie win. The western part of old Ward 42, areas where Shan would have enjoyed the incumbency advantage, shifted to new Ward 23. Meanwhile, almost the entirety of old Ward 44, where McKelvie made a strong showing in the 2014 election, was incorporated in the new ward. The map above shows that Shan came in first place in every poll that formerly in Ward 42, while McKelvie placed first in nearly every poll south of Highway 401.

Ward 25 Scarborough-Rouge Park
Candidate Total Votes Percentage
Amanda Cain 831 2.9
Paul Cookson 1897 6.6
Daniel Cubellis 527 1.8
Jasper Ghori 337 1.2
Reza Khoshdel 548 1.9
Cheryl Lewis-Thurab 638 2.2
Dave Madder 151 0.5
Jennifer McKelvie 11624 40.2
Christopher Riley 456 1.6
Neethan Shan 11470 39.7
Joseph Thomas 428 1.5

Continue reading

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Mapping the results of the 2018 election, Part I (updated)

2018 Election - CityMayor25_150How each of Toronto’s 25 wards voted for mayor

November 8, 2018: I updated this post to look at the results for fourth place mayoral candidate Saron Gebresellassi.

I started this website four years ago after I began producing maps of the local council races and ward-level results of the 2014 municipal election and sharing them on Twitter. I figured that I would continue to map the results after the 2018 election. In this post, I start with the mayoral race results. Over the next two months, I will dive into the local council races as poll level data and poll boundary shapefiles are now available on the City of Toronto’s Open Data catalogue.

John Tory’s landslide win this year was no surprise. Despite urban progressives’ frustration with his centre-right agenda, Tory has remained popular with a large segment of Toronto’s population. Until July of this year, there were no high profile challengers to Tory. Meanwhile the mayor assembled a campaign team that included Nick Kouvalis and Warren Kinsella, and had months to fund-raise a massive election war chest.

Former Toronto chief planner Jennifer Keesmaat registered on July 27, 2018, the last day of nominations for mayor. Keesmaat decided to run for mayor after Tory delivered an inadequate response to Premier Doug Ford’s Bill 5 in July 2018, in which he called for a referendum rather than forcefully opposing Ford’s surprising and vindictive attack on Toronto City Council.

Keesmaat did not have the time, organization, and money to make a strong campaign against Tory. Her platform was more progressive than Tory’s but still not distinctive or bold enough. Keesmaat even promised to keep property tax increases at or below the level of inflation, Tory’s key plank.

It was no surprise that Tory was able to win with 63 percent of the vote, coming in first in all 25 wards, and 1599 of 1700 regular election day polls. Tory placed first in every poll won by Doug Ford in 2014.

Keesmaat placed first in only 101 polls, with all except one of those being in the old City of Toronto (the other poll was York University).

2018-election-citymayor.jpgPoll-by-poll results for the 2018 mayoral race

Interestingly, but not too surprisingly, the polls in which Keesmaat placed first were very similar to those polls where Olivia Chow did best in 2014 — established west Downtown neighbourhoods such as the Annex, Little Italy-Palmerston, Seaton Village, the Junction, and Parkdale. Had the old 44 wards still been in use, Keesmaat would have placed first in three wards — old Wards 14, 18, and 19, the same as Chow’s results in 2014. These neighbourhoods are clearly the urban progressive base.

Tory finished first in central and east downtown neighbourhoods, including the areas with younger, more diverse populations such as City Place, the Entertainment District, and Liberty Village. It’s also quite clear that Keesmaat failed to capture the imagination of large segments of Toronto’s population — especially in areas with large populations of immigrants and visible minorities. Any left-leaning challenger needs to win over not only the suburbs, but also downtown condo dwellers.

 

Maps of the mayoral race results at the ward level, with the old 2014 ward boundaries

Coming in third place in the 2018 mayoral election was white supremacist Faith Goldy, who managed to win over 25,000 votes, or 3.4 percent of all votes cast. Goldy fared poorly in most polls, and she failed to win more than 20 percent of the vote in any of those polls. But still, she was able to get over 10 percent of the votes in 16 polls across Toronto. They are mapped below. Goldy’s support was highest in the suburbs, especially central Etobicoke and in the Bathurst-Sheppard area, and in north Scarborough.

2018-election-citymayor_fg.jpgMost of those polls where Goldy got relatively high percentages of the vote had few total ballots cast. Poll 68 in Ward 17, a condo building near Leslie Street and Sheppard Avenue, had the highest vote percentage for Goldy, though this was only 7 of 35 total votes for mayor.  Poll 1 in Ward 19 had the highest absolute number of Faith Goldy supporters (excluding advance polls), with 86 out of 1030 mayoral votes cast.

Still, it saddens me to see a xenophobic, racist fringe candidate get as much support as she did in Toronto, a city whose motto is “diversity our strength.”


After I wrote this blog entry on Wednesday, Brittany Andrew-Amofah on Twitter suggested that I take a look at the results for fourth place candidate Saron Gebresellassi. Gebresellassi’s platform was stronger than Keesmaat’s, focusing on housing, transit, mental health supports, and opportunities for youth and racialized communities, especially in Toronto’s inner suburbs. Gebresellassi argued strongly for these issues at mayoral debates.

Unfortunately, Gebresellassi only got 2 percent of the city-wide vote. She fared better in eight wards in central Toronto, as well as in York South-Weston, Humber River-Black Creek and Scarborough Southwest. Perhaps not coincidentally, these eleven wards were also the provincial ridings won by the NDP in the June provincial election. Gebresellassi’s highest support was in Ward 9 – Davenport, where she got 5.2% of all votes cast. Ward 9 is also where Keesmaat had the highest support, nearly beating Tory.

2018 Election - CityMayor25_SG.jpgWard-level results for Saron Gebresellassi

Gebresellassi took more than 10 percent of the vote in 17 polls. Many of these polls were located in Toronto Community Housing (TCH) buildings, co-ops, and shelters. Twenty-four percent of all voters in Poll 22 in Ward 13, located at a TCH property in St. Jamestown, chose Gebresellassi.

Saron Gebresellassi spoke passionately about the right for safe and affordable housing, and many voters, especially those living in social housing took notice.

2018-election-citymayor_sg-e1541722054979.jpg
Poll-level results for Saron Gebresellassi. Polls in which Saron Gebresellassi got more than 10 percent of the vote are labelled; the three polls where she placed second (to John Tory) are underlined.


As I mentioned before, I plan to take a close look at the council races over the next little while. Despite a frustrating and at times dispiriting municipal election here in Toronto, it’s worthwhile, I think, to look back at what happened. How did some incumbent councillors win, while others lost? How did the new boundaries change local dynamics?

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Toronto election 2018: no surprises

Last night, there were some disappointments and one or two bright spots in the results of Toronto’s municipal election, but there were no big surprises.

It was disappointing to see voter turnout drop. In 2014, 54.7% of eligible voters turned out. There was a three-way mayoral race between John Tory, Doug Ford, and Olivia Chow. This year, only 41% of eligible voters came out. This was no surprise: the election was tarnished by Premier Ford’s vindictive Bill 5, which cut the number of wards from 47 to 25, in the middle of the campaign.

While I was very happy to see former chief planner Jennifer Keesmaat declare her candidacy in response to Tory’s inadequate response to Bill 5, Keesmaat didn’t have the time or the organization to compete against Tory. She took less than 25% of the vote and Tory came in first place in all 25 wards.

It was also hard to see many good local politicians defeated by fellow councillors in the new larger boundaries. It was difficult to see Josh Matlow and Joe Mihevc run against each other (Matlow won in the end). I would have also liked to see new voices, including Tiffany Ford and Amber Morley, do better. There are only four persons of colour on the new council. As Toronto Star columnist Ed Keenan points out, this is the same as the number of Michaels elected.

But at least Giorgio Mammoliti is gone.

The balance of power on the smaller 25-ward Toronto City Council is similar to the old 44-ward council. By my count, there are eight left-leaning councillors, five swing votes, and eleven conservatives. John Tory leans conservative, and he will need the support of 14 councillors to get items passed.

Progressives (8):

  • Shelley Carroll (Ward 17)
  • Joe Cressy (Ward 10)
  • John Filion (Ward 18)
  • Paula Fletcher (Ward 14)
  • Mike Layton (Ward 11)
  • Josh Matlow (Ward 12)
  • Gord Perks (Ward 4)
  • Anthony Perruzza (Ward 7)
  • Kristyn Wong-Tam (Ward 13)

Swing votes (5):

  • Paul Ainslie (Ward 24)
  • Ana Bailão (Ward 9)
  • Brad Bradford (Ward 19)
  • Mike Colle (Ward 8)
  • Jennifer McKelvie (Ward 25)

Conservatives (11):

  • Gary Crawford (Ward 20)
  • Michael Ford (Ward 1)
  • Mark Grimes (Ward 3)
  • Stephen Holyday (Ward 2)
  • Jim Karygiannis (Ward 22)
  • Cynthia Lai (Ward 25)
  • Denzil Minnan-Wong (Ward 16)
  • Frances Nunziata (Ward 5)
  • James Pasternak (Ward 6)
  • Jaye Robinson (Ward 15)
  • Michael Thompson (Ward 21)

Despite these three simplistic labels, it’s impossible to predict how each vote may go, and how Mayor Tory will tackle new challenges brought on by the Ford government and the fiscal iceberg.

In the next few weeks, after the official election results are released, I’ll delve into the numbers and map the more interesting ward races, if not all 25 wards.

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What’s next for Downtown Brampton?

IMG_6148-001
Boarded up houses on Elizabeth Street, Downtown Brampton

Earlier this year, the provincial government announced the location of Ryerson University’s Brampton campus, a partnership with Sheridan College, to be built on the GO Station parking lot in Downtown Brampton. Meanwhile, Metrolinx quietly purchased several houses and office buildings south of the station for new GO Transit surface parking, replacing the spots that Ryerson will build upon.

The merits of a satellite university campus are open to debate – some smaller satellite campuses have struggled to attract students and faculty and distinguish themselves. Brampton’s the planned campus site was, by far, the best one for both the City of Brampton and Ryerson University.

But today, the Progressive Conservative provincial government, elected in June, cancelled three planned suburban post-secondary education campuses — the York University/Seneca College campus in Markham, the Wilfrid Laurier University/Conestoga College campus in Milton, and the Ryerson University/Sheridan College campus in Brampton.

This announcement came only one day after the October 22 municipal elections. While Toronto elected a smaller 25-ward council and returned John Tory to the mayor’s office, the voters Brampton elected former Ontario PC leader Patrick Brown as mayor, narrowly defeating incumbent Linda Jeffrey. Brown had just moved to Brampton after his campaign for the elected Peel Region Chair was cancelled at the same time Brown’s successor as PC leader, Premier Doug Ford, imposed the new 25 ward structure on Toronto. We can only speculate if the animosity between Brown and Ford was a factor in this announcement. It’s more likely that the decision to cancel the three campuses was already made, with the announcement timed to take place after the municipal elections. In any case, mayor-elect Brown’s job has already become more interesting.

Brampton’s satellite campus, which had a 2022 opening date, would have hosted 2,000 undergraduate students. Though this is tiny compared to Ryerson’ downtown campus, which 36,000 undergraduate students currently enrolled, it was the best possible site, adjacent to the GO station, several Brampton Transit routes, the Rose Theatre, and local shops and restaurants and recreation facilities. The school would have made use of the the planned Centre for Innovation, a proposed new central library to the corner of George and Nelson Streets.

university map
Map of the Ryerson University campus site, the Centre for Innovation, and other downtown buildings. From the City of Brampton website.

The York University/Seneca College campus in Markham was also strategically located, on a site adjacent to Unionville GO Station, in the mixed-use Downtown Markham development. In contrast, the Milton site was in a greenfield far from transit links. It’s fair to say that I’m not too disappointed on Milton’s behalf.

With Brampton’s campus dead, for now, there’s still the land on the south side of the station. Three homes are already knocked down, while two office buildings and several houses are boarded up, awaiting demolition.

Will Downtown Brampton see nothing more than additional GO Transit surface parking now that the campus is cancelled? Or will a new opportunity come along?

BramptonParkingLotThe existing GO Transit lot at Brampton Station, where the Ryerson University/Sheridan College campus was planned

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The final days of a brutal municipal election

IMG_8629Toronto’s municipal election will take place in a few days, on Monday, October 22. A few months ago, I was energized by the possibilities a 47 ward council would bring, with several open races where new voices could be elected. I was looking forward to seeing Dan Fox win on his second try in North York, after an impressive run in 2014 against long-time incumbent David Shiner. I was excited to see Tiffany Ford’s campaign take on Giorgio Mammoliti. Downtown, three new wards would make room for new faces like Chris Moise. Meanwhile, several incumbents, including Janet Davis, Mary-Margaret McMahon, and John Filion were planning to retire.

The mayoral race was going to be a snooze, with John Tory sleepwalking his way to a second term but at least the council races would be interesting.

So much for that.

This municipal election is a sham. When Premier Doug Ford suddenly announced that he was going to introduce legislation to reduce Toronto’s council size from 47 to 25 — in the middle of the election campaign — it threw everything into chaos. Candidates who signed up to run in wards with a population of 50,000 to 60,000 were now forced to decide whether to run in a ward with nearly twice the population and against new opponents. Incumbents were now running against each other. Candidates had run in good faith, raised money, appealed to volunteers, and printed materials. It was no way to run a fair election.

Though a court ruling overturning the result briefly provided relief and elation, Ford’s threat of using the Notwithstanding Clause to re-introduce legislation, and an appeal court’s ruling ensured that Toronto would run a compromised election with only 25 wards. Good people like Fox, Moise, Kyle Ashley, and Ausma Malik understandably dropped out of the council race. Others, like Tiffany Ford, Lanrick Bennett, Kevin Vuong, and Lekan Olawoye decided to continue what they started, even if it meant running in a tougher race. Meanwhile, John Filion jumped back into the race, while Josh Colle dropped out. His father, former MPP Mike Colle, jumped in.

Doug Ford’s vindictive meddling sucked the energy out of the election; turnout at advance polls is down significantly from the last election despite the same number of days. About 124,000 voters cast a ballot in the advance polls held between Wednesday, October 10 and Sunday October 14, down from 161,000 who voted in advance in 2014.

It’s depressing, but it’s still important to vote. There are lots of good people worth supporting even though it sometimes means picking one of several worthy candidates in a single ward. There is also the opportunity to remove some of Toronto’s worst councillors. And at least there’s a higher profile mayoral race, now with former chief planner Jennifer Keesmaat challenging Tory.

Here are several candidates worth supporting:

Kristyn Wong-Tam: In her first two terms, Wong-Tam has proven to be one of council’s hardest workers, balancing constituency work with social activism. She represents the east side of Toronto’s downtown core, including the financial district, Moss Park, Yorkville, and Church-Wellesley Village, all fast-growing areas with lots of new development planned or underway.

Under the old 47-ward model, Wong-Tam’s re-election would have been guaranteed, but now she is running against former provincial cabinet minister and mayoral candidate George Smitherman and appointed councillor Lucy Troisi. There are 19 candidates in total running in Ward 13, Toronto Centre.

Troisi, who replaced the late Pam McConnell in 2017, was backed by council’s right wing and has proven to be a reliable Tory ally on council. Last summer, when Premier Doug Ford moved to cut Toronto Council to 25 wards, Troisi wasn’t willing to fight. Like all council appointees, Troisi promised not to run for election if appointed, but has since reneged on that promise. Meanwhile, George Smitherman, who lost to Rob Ford in 2010, has drawn controversy for running a negative campaign, including targeting an affordable housing complex on Sherbourne.

Lekan Olawoye: Running in Ward 5, York South-Weston, Olawoye has proven to be a great community leader. In 2014, he ran in the old Ward 12 against Frank Di Giorgio, getting over 20% of the vote. I met Olawoye and his team after a mayoral debate in 2014, and I came away impressed. This time, Olawoye, an executive at MaRS, will be running against incumbents Di Giorgio and Frances Nunziata. Di Giorgio and Nunziata are both long-time conservative councillors and allies of Mayors Doug Ford and John Tory. Neither have represented the lower-income area effectively over their many years in office.

Shelley Carroll: I was hoping that Shelley Carroll would be elected MPP in the new riding of Don Valley North. She resigned her council seat to run in the June election, leaving a vacancy on council. She is a progressive Liberal with lots of municipal experience, including a stint as former mayor David Miller’s budget chief. Carroll would have been a valuable member of the Liberal caucus, especially if the party needed to rebuild after the 2018 election. Happily, she will be running for council again in Ward 17, Don Valley North.

There are also several awful councillors who might be turfed this year.

Giorgio Mammoliti: First elected to municipal politics in 1995 after serving one term as MPP, Mammoliti has been best known for his attention-grabbing stunts, his outrageous statements, and his disregard for many of his constituents. He barely even shows up to work. Earlier this year, The Toronto Star reported that Mammoliti missed nearly half of all council votes in 2018, the worst record among all 44 councillors. During the 2014-2018 term, he missed 43.1 percent of all votes.

Mammoliti has been in trouble several times for campaign finance violations, and has been under police investigation twice. Once for olding an illegal $80,000 fundraiser last year attended by lobbyists, developers and other businesspeople, the other for his involvement in a dubious land deal.

Under the 47 ward model, there was a promising challenger who looked like she could beat City Council’s resident troll: Tiffany Ford. Ford, elected in 2014 as a TDSB trustee, is a local resident, entrepreneur, and community activist. She is still running in the 25 ward election, but is also now against left-leaning incumbent Anthony Perruzza, and Deanna Sgro, the daughter of Liberal MP Judy Sgro. Deanna ran into trouble with the Law Society of Upper Canada in 2013 for questionable debt collection practices. While Perruzza would certainly be an improvement to Mammoliti, I prefer Tiffany Ford.

Mark Grimes: First elected to council in 2003, Grimes has been known for improperly backing developers in his ward, getting in trouble with the city’s integrity commissioner. Grimes has voted in favour of cuts to transit, the library system, and road safety improvements. Infrastructure has not kept up with massive growth in the Humber Bay Shores neighbourhood. In 2014, John Tory’s campaign supported Grimes’ re-election bid, despite the councillor’s poor record. But he’s been a reliable vote for the mayor on council. Grimes’ friend and ally Justin Di Ciano decided against running in 2018; the two would have otherwise faced off against each other.

Luckily, Amber Morley, who has been very active in the community, working at a community health centre and at city hall, is running to beat Grimes. Pamela Gough, currently a TDSB trustee, would be another solid choice to replace Grimes.

With Mammoliti and Grimes defeated, Toronto will be better off.

Unfortunately, without ranked ballots, it is more difficult to defeat long time incumbents or even underperforming rookies such as Christin Carmichael Greb. In 2018, Carmichael Greb will be running in Ward 8, Eglinton Lawrence against Mike Colle, Dyanoosh Youssefi (who came in second third place to Carmichael Greb in 2014), and Beth Levy. In Ward 7, the anti-Mammoliti vote could be split between several candidates, which could allow him to win with less than 30% of ballots cast.

The reduced wards has resulted in some very difficult and unfortunate choices as well. In Ward 12, Toronto-St. Paul’s, long-time progressive councillor Joe Mihevc is facing off against centrist Josh Matlow, both great councillors despite their differences. Mayor Tory endorsed Mihevc, probably because Matlow has been Tory’s harshest critic on council, largely because of the Scarborough subway extension. Either councillor, each very hard working and attentive to their constituents, will be missed. Another difficult decision is in Ward 14, Toronto-Danforth, where incumbents Paula Fletcher and Mary Fragedakis are running against each other, with worthy challengers such as Lanrick Bennett having to compete for attention and votes.

This election has felt anti-climatic thanks to Doug Ford’s meddling. Many good people were shut out of the election, or have a much greater challenge running in a 25 ward election. But I remain inspired by some of the people who decided to continue to run, and at least there are worthy people — veterans and fresh faces — worth voting for on Monday October 22.


Correction: Dyanoosh Youssefi came in third, not second place in Ward 16 in 2014. 

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