Oct. 22, 2018
By Arianne Robinson
Incumbent John Tory was elected to his second term as mayor of the country’s biggest city on Monday.
“We must continue to be a city that is a place of hope for everyone and not a place where people lose hope,” Tory told the crowd.
“Together I think we can get things built. We can tear down barriers. We can make sure the city reaches its full potential. At its core, that means opportunity for everyone, without exception. It means that that opportunity must be closer than it has ever been before for everyone without exception.
“I believe my friends, I believe in my heart, with confidence, with collegiality, and compassion and a huge amount of love which I have and I know you do for our wonderful wonderful city, that we can together get on with getting back to work for you which I certainly look forward to doing, and I thank you for giving me such a strong mandate to do so.”
At time of publication, Tory was elected with 63.5 per cent of the vote.
As he made his way through the crowd of dense supporter, Tory spoke to members of the media following him.
”I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to continue. That’s why you take these jobs, so you can make a great city better. I’ll be back at it tomorrow morning,” Tory said as he walked away from the podium where he had just given his victory speech.
Front-runner mayoral rival Jennifer Keesmaat who ended with 23.5 per cent of the vote at time of publication conceded on Monday night.
“Thank you for supporting me over this wild and wonderful ride over the course of this campaign,” Keesmaat said to supporters gathered at the Longboat Hall in Toronto.
“Thank you for all the people who helped me in this campaign… I will stand with you in the hard work that lies before us in creating a great city… I am deeply humbled by your confidence.”
Earlier on Monday evening, Saron Gebresellassi was found at city hall at the Cavalier Noir sculpture that was part of Nuit Blanche.
Gebresellassi ended with two per cent of the vote at time of publication, and told Signal Toronto that she will continue campaigning and plans to run again in 2022.
“This campaign has inspired a whole generation of young people who would have never imagined that someone like them could actually vie for the mayor’s chair and be successful in doing so. The most important takeaway is that we can do it. And we can go head to head with John Tory and I’m the girl to get the job done and to dethrone John Tory,” Gebresellassi said in the hour before polls closed.
“I’m determined. I’m nowhere near slowing down. I’m not anywhere near tired. I’m only energized and ready to hit the campaign trail tomorrow morning depending on what the outcome is tonight. Anything can happen in politics.”
Many incumbents will return to city hall as city councillors, and some will not.
Giorgio Mammoliti was not re-elected in Humber River-Black Creek. Anthony Perruzza will be the representative for the ward in Etobicoke North.
Norm Kelly was not re-elected in Scarborough-Agincourt. Jim Karygiannis will represent the new ward next term.
Josh Matlow returns to city hall representing Toronto-St. Paul’s, defeating Joe Mihevc.
Michael Ford, Premier Doug Ford’s nephew, will return to city hall to represent Etobicoke North, defeating Vincent Crisanti.
Some races were very close.
Gary Crawford defeated Michelle Holland-Berardinetti in Scarborough Southwest by 411 votes.
Brad Bradford defeated Matthew Kellway in Beaches-East York by 288 votes.
Jennifer McKelvie beat Neethan Shan by the slimmest margin, 154 votes.
The mayor will lead a Toronto council of 25 city councillors, nearly half the size of the previous city council made up of 44 city councillors.
Tory’s term in office was made memorable by his “short pants” speech in January 2017 following his learning the provincial Liberal government would not support road tolls.
“I heard the minister refer this morning, in the same breath as talking about Toronto, to the bus service in Wawa and Sioux Lookout,” Tory said at a packed press conference outside his office two years ago.
“The notion that you would compare the needs of a city of millions of people that has millions of people going to work on transit and going to school every day, and the notion that we’d be put in with them – that’s part of the problem here … It is time that we stop being treated, and I stop being treated, as a little boy in short pants saying please, could you help me out with something that I thought was in the City of Toronto Act that I could do, and to be told, ‘No I’m terribly sorry. Go away and come back some other day.’ ”
Almost two years later, Tory faces a different provincial government led by Premier Doug Ford who told reporters last November he intended to run to be mayor of Toronto, before announcing his intention to lead the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party, become elected, and reduced the number of wards from a planned 47 to 25 after a constitutional court challenge and an appeal.
If the dynamic between the provincial government and the municipality of the city of Toronto reveal anything, it’s that being the mayor of Toronto is no easy ride.
Tory launched his re-election campaign in August with an announcement that he plans to keep property taxes at or below inflation, a promise his critics say will not provide the city with enough revenue to continue providing the services previous city councils have committed.