TORONTO -- The seven hopefuls vying to take over the reigns of the Ontario government are about to square off for their final face-to-face showdown.

The contenders will take part in a final leadership debate tonight in Toronto's west end.

Candidates have engaged in four other showdowns since the campaign to become premier officially kicked off at the beginning of December.

Previous debates have seen the candidates tackle a variety of issues, including education, health care and green energy policy.

The most recent contest in the Toronto suburb of Ajax drew crowds of angry teachers protesting the McGuinty government's decision to impose two-year contracts and forcibly end months of bitter negotiations.

Party members will choose the next liberal leader at a convention in Toronto at the end of the month.