Voter’s Guide to the 2022 Toronto Municipal Elections

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It’s municipal election day in Toronto. Here’s a guide that answers the basics, like what you need to bring to the polling station, how long they’re open, and where to find one near you.

No, we won’t tell you who deserves your vote. But if you haven’t been paying attention, we’ve included a quick rundown of the main issues and races to watch out for.

Who are we voting for today?

The mayor, 25 city councilors and 39 school trustees in Toronto’s four school boards. Municipal elections are also held in the GTA and the rest of the province.

What are the main responsibilities of the mayor and the city council, again?

City Hall elected officials are responsible for basic local services including, but not limited to, water treatment; garbage collection ; public transport; police, paramedics and firefighters; libraries and recreational programming; and homeless shelters and outreach services.

They also make critical decisions about commercial and residential development, affordable housing, and basically property taxes. In total, Toronto’s mayor and council oversee an annual operating budget of approximately $15 billion.

Who is running for mayor?

Besides Mayor John Tory, who is seeking a third term, 30 other candidates are running for mayor.

Gil Penalosa, a world-renowned Colombian-born urban planner, is seen as Tory’s main challenger. Other leading candidates include Chloe-Marie Brown, policy analyst; Sarah Climenhaga, a community activist who ran for the Green Party in the 2019 federal election and placed sixth in Toronto’s last mayoral election; and Jack Yan, financial analyst.

You can find the full list of mayoral, council and school board candidates on the city’s website.

How can I find out more about Candidate Platforms?

This year, the Toronto Star partnered with Vox Pop Labs, a data science company, to help readers figure out which opinions best align with their own. You can try Election Compass here.

How long are polling stations open?

Polling stations will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. According to the city, polling locations should be quietest from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. If you are still in line at 8 a.m., you will have the opportunity to vote.

Where can I find the nearest polling station?

The city has set up about 1,460 polling places across Toronto. You can find the one closest to you on the city’s website.

Who has the right to vote?

If you are a Canadian citizen, resident of Toronto, 18 years of age or older and not disqualified from voting due to a past crime, you are eligible to vote.

Non-Toronto residents who own or rent property in the city can also vote for mayor and city council, as can their spouses. So do university students who currently live out of town but call Toronto home.

What do I need to vote?

All you need to bring is identification that includes your name and address, such as a driver’s license or tax form. Photo ID is not required. There is a list of acceptable IDs on the city’s website.

Voter Information Cards (VICs), which are mailed to Torontonians on the voters list, can speed up the process, although they cannot be used as identification.

If you haven’t received your VIC and your name is not on the voters list, you can add your name to the list at your local polling station today.

Can I quit my job to vote?

Yes, your employer must ensure that you have three hours to vote. So for a shift that starts at 10:00 a.m. and ends at 6:00 p.m., you have the right to leave an hour earlier to vote between 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.

What are the main issues in this election?

Amid high food costs, soaring rents and rising mortgage rates, the cost of living is a priority for Torontonians, according to a recent Forum Research poll. Housing affordability comes second, followed by concerns about crime and gun violence.

Transit and road congestion, following further delays to the Eglinton LRT project, was also a frequent topic of discussion during the election campaign.

Critics of Mayor Tory, who has kept property taxes lower than almost any other municipality in Ontario, lamented the state of Toronto’s infrastructure and services, pointing to toilets and drinking fountains. neglected water and recent cuts to recreation programs. The city is currently facing an estimated year-end budget shortfall of $857 million. Tory has pledged to keep property taxes below the rate of inflation in 2023.

Meanwhile, Gil Penalosa has made road safety and improving parking spaces major components of his platform. If elected, he also promised to tear down the East Gardiner Freeway and replace it with a ground-level boulevard and thousands of new homes. Tory said he would not reconsider the current plan, approved in 2015, to rebuild the high-altitude section, but moved closer to the downtown rail corridor. “I’m not for going back,” he said during a recent debate.

Neighborhood races to watch:

Seven incumbent councilors chose not to seek re-election, guaranteeing new blood in Ward 9 Davenport, Ward 10 Spadina—Fort York, Ward 11 University—Rosedale, Ward 13 Toronto Center, Ward 16 Don Valley East, Ward 18 Willowdale and Ward 1 Etobicoke North — which, for the first time in more than two decades, will not be represented by a Ford.

In Davenport, Alejandra Bravo hopes the fifth time will be a charm. The community organizer has already lost three municipal elections and one federal election in the region, including by less than 100 votes when she ran for the NDP last fall. She is currently the frontrunner, although Mayor Tory has endorsed her closest challenger, Grant Gonzales, a public affairs professional and co-chair of Pride Toronto.

Poll suggests race to replace Coun. John Fillion in Willowdale will be close. A Forum Research poll last month showed that Lily Cheng, founder of the North York Moms The Facebook group, at 32%, is closely followed by longtime Filion assistant Markus O’Brien Fehr at 31% and Daniel Lee, a pharmacist and former Federal Conservative candidate, at 25%.

There is also stiff competition for University-Rosedale, where the adviser. Mike Layton has elected not to run again. The Forum poll in September showed former Ontario environment commissioner Dianne Saxe, who has touted her ties to the Conservatives, with 38% support from decided and leaning respondents. Robin Buxton Potts, a former aide to ex-adviser Kristyn Wong-Tam, followed with 26% support. Axel Arvizu and school counselor Norm Di Pasquale are also in the game.

In Etobicoke-Lakeshore, county. Mike Grimes is set for a rematch with community activist Amber Morley, whom he defeated in 2018 with significant backing from Mayor Tory, including a campaign of support and robocalls. Grimes topped the Forum’s poll in September, but Morley is still seen as a strong contender.

Meanwhile, voters in Ward 21 Scarborough Centre, previously seen as a lock for the incumbent MP. Michael Thompson, could be influenced by the recent accusations of sexual assault against the conservative ally. According to Thompson’s attorney, incumbent advisers plan to plead “not guilty and will vigorously defend themselves against these allegations.”

The race to represent Ward 22 Scarborough-Agincourt features an interesting twist. Two of the six candidates share the same surname: incumbent Nick Mantas, who won his seat in a 2021 by-election, and businessman Antonios Mantas.

And finally, outgoing Ward 23 Scarborough North councilor Cynthia Lai died on Friday, leaving early voters in limbo and the city scrambling to get around the unexpected turn of events. According to the Municipal Election Law, the winner will be chosen from the remaining candidates – Lai’s name will remain on the ballot as there was not enough time to make the change, but will not be counted. Early votes for Lai won’t count either. Lai’s campaign staff are pushing for a by-election.

How can I follow the results tonight?

The Star will keep readers up to date with a live file on the latest election results from across the city and the 905 area.

With files from David Rider and Ben Spurr

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