Toronto’s mayoral election won’t be held until June 26 but the field is already starting to take shape.
From a former police chief, to an MPP and several former city councillors, there has been no shortage of high-profile candidates interested in succeeding John Tory. Tory resigned February 15 after admitting to an extramarital affair.
Here is a look at some of the people who have signalled an intention to put their name on the ballot so far.
*Candidates are listed in the order that they announced their intention to run
The retired police officer got just under 9,000 votes in October’s municipal election and was quick to announce that he would run again following the resignation of John Tory.
He has promised to make the TTC free but hasn’t provided specifics on how he would offset the revenue loss.
“Toronto desperately needs a responsible taxpayer elected as their next mayor, not another irresponsible politician making empty promises,” he said in a message posted to Twitter on March 24.
Davis sat on Toronto City Council from 1997 to 2000. He also ran for election in 2010 but was defeated by former TTC Chair Josh Colle.
He confirmed his intention to run for mayor in an interview with CP24 on February 28.
At the time, he said that delivering good value for money to taxpayers would be one of his top priorities and pointed to plans to rename Dundas Street as an example of something most Torontonians don’t want to spend millions of dollars on.
“I think there's a bit of a malaise in the city. People are concerned about decisions that council has made that are negatively impacting them,” he told CP24.
The outspoken former city councillor confirmed his intention to run during a March 15 interview with CP24.
“I love the city so much and I just dreaded and hated to see it decline over the last few years,” Mammoliti said at the time. “I think we've lost a lot. We've lost our personality. I think our dignity is gone in a number of different ways.”
Mammoliti sat on Toronto City Council from 2000 until he was defeated at the ballot box in 2018.
During his time in the council chambers he was known for his sometimes colourful advocacy - he once even ripped his shirt off to protest a planned nude beach at Hanlan’s point.
In 2018 he also faced criticism after referring to some tenants in social housing buildings who were involved in criminality as “cockroaches.”
The former deputy mayor confirmed that she would enter the race on March 17, telling CP24 that she would campaign on improving services and getting a “fair deal for Toronto.”
Bailao has said that if elected she would lobby the province to assume responsibility for the maintenance costs on the Gardiner Expressway and Don Valley Parkway, potentially saving Toronto hundreds of millions of dollars in the process.
“You know, these were highways that were provincial highways up to the 90s. They were downloaded to Toronto. And unlike any city around us, we're the only taxpayers that are paying for the maintenance of these highways that are used by everybody in the region,” she said.
Bailao spent 12 years as the city councillor for Davenport but did not seek re-election in October. Since leaving office, she has worked as the Head of Affordable Housing & Public Affairs with one of the developers helping to redesign Toronto’s Quayside community.
The midtown city councillor and frequent critic of the Scarborough subway extension made his candidacy official on March 21.
In an open letter, Matlow said that Toronto’s leadership has “held this city back from reaching its full potential” in the past and has contributed to a “decline” in services.
If elected, Matlow is promising to create a new property tax levee that he says would raise $390 million over five years to improve services, such as transit, public libraries, warming centres, and road and park maintenance.
“We have all seen the decline. The snow is not cleared on time, public washrooms are dirty, if they’re even open, and garbage bins are broken and overflowing,” Matlow wrote in his letter.
Matlow has sat on Toronto City Council since 2010 and served as a trustee with the Toronto District School Board for seven years prior to that.
The 10th Chief of the Toronto Police Service, Saunders also announced his entrance into the mayoral race on March 21.
He told CP24 that day that he decided to throw his hat into the ring because he is concerned about an apparent rise in violence in the city.
“I am looking at what is going on right now and I am not liking it,” he said. “We are starting to normalize a little too much when it comes to the crime and disorder and we need to reset. That is why I am running.”
Saunders served as Toronto’s police chief from 2015 until his resignation in the summer of 2020.
Since leaving office he has served on the Ford government’s COVID-19 vaccine task force and also as a special advisor on the redevelopment of Ontario Place.
He ran under the Progressive Conservative banner in June‘s provincial election but was defeated by Liberal Stephanie Bowman.
The former Toronto Sun columnist announced his run on March 21, promising a “fresh perspective” and “no more of the same old status quo voices.”
In a subsequent interview with CP24, he said that he wants hockey moms and small and medium business owners to be directing the city’s agenda rather than lobbyists and big corporations.
“I feel like the status quo voices that got us to this place are not the ones to get us out of it,” Furey said.
Furey currently serves as vice president of editorial and content at the digital media platform True North.
The Liberal MPP hasn’t officially announced her candidacy but told CP24 on March 22 that she was "preparing to run” and was “all-in” when it came to the race.
Hunter has sat as an MPP since 2013 but will be required to resign her Scarborough—Guildwood seat at Queen’s Park prior to the close of nominations on May 12 due to municipal election rules.
She told CP24 that her interest in the job stems from a desire to do “the work that I've done in my community here in Scarborough to the rest of Toronto.”
She also said that addressing the rising cost of living in the city would be a key part of her campaign.
“The fact is, you know, that a family even though they have two parents working in good paying jobs just can't afford to live here and to bring a child into the space that they currently occupy,” she said. “These are critical issues that we have to face as a city. Toronto is a world class global city but there are some things that we have to pay attention to in order to ensure that we continue on an upward trajectory for Toronto.”
Hunter has held several cabinet positions in the governments of former premier Kathleen Wynne, including Minister of Education and Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development. She also sought the leadership of the Ontario Liberal party in 2020, finishing fourth.
Brown finished third in October’s election, with nearly 35,000 votes.
She has identified herself as a candidate for the byelection on her Twitter account.
In October, she campaigned on addressing the city’s housing crisis and creating a Toronto-focused public benefit corporation that she said would further the “city’s environmental sustainability, social wellbeing, and good governance goals.”
The city councillor and former city planner confirmed his intention to run on March 29, weeks after launching an exploratory committee.
Bradford told CTV News Toronto that the city is at a “breaking point,” pointing to both public safety and affordability concerns as the top issues in the coming campaign. “There's a lot of hot air but there's not enough action,” he said.
Bradford was first elected as the city councillor for Beaches – East York in 2018.
He currently serves as chair of the city’s planning and housing committee.
The environmentalist is mounting her third campaign to become Toronto’s mayor. She finished in October’s race with just under 7,000 votes. She is promising to eliminate “micro management” from the city government “so that creativity and innovation can thrive” and says she wants to see a shift in which “housing and businesses of all shapes and sizes can be distributed throughout all our neighbourhoods.”
Saccoccia became a relatively well known anti-lockdown advocate during the COVID-19 pandemic, travelling the country to attend so-called “freedom” rallies. He also opposed mandatory masking, spread misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines and at one point was charged criminally after allegedly threatening several people, including Doug Ford. He told CP24 earlier this month that he believes Toronto is headed in the wrong direction and that the government is “now doing less with more.”
“I was born in North York, lived in this city 39 years. I have talked to people of all ages. Everyone agrees with me that this city used to be better,” he said.
The former Member of Parliament for Whitby registered as a candidate in the mayoral race on April 4. Caesar-Chavannes sat in Parliament from 2015 to 2019, at one point serving as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development. Caesar-Chavanness, however, resigned from the Liberal caucus in March 2019 and completed her term as an independent. Since leaving politics she has published a book called ‘Can You Hear Me Now?,’ which details her life as a young Black woman entrepreneur and politician.
Humber River-Black Creek Councillor Anthony Perruzza filed his paper to join the race on April 12. He was first elected to council in 2006. In a statement, he touted that he voted against a property tax hike this year and next year. He pledged to stop the increases on property tax, TTC fares and user fees.
“My priority is to help Torontonians get by in these tough times,” Perruzza said. "Torontonians need these services and can’t afford to shoulder more costs."
The Ward 7 councillor also promised to work a new deal with the provincial government to fund city services.
“This year the city of Toronto will be writing a cheque to the provincial government for $2.2 billion. We can’t keep giving away almost one third of our property taxes," Perruzza said. “I will negotiate a new deal that works for our city.”
Former city councillor and MP Olivia Chow is taking another run at becoming Toronto’s mayor. She officially entered the race on April 19, filing her papers at city hall.
She said the decision to run again was a “difficult one,” but she felt she had to given some of the problems she sees in the city.
“I've made a choice. I choose to run as mayor of Toronto. I love this city. Choose me and together we will build a city that is more caring, safer, more affordable, where everyone belongs,” Chow said.
This list will be updated as more people formally declare their candidacy for mayor. Potential candidates will have until May 12 to file their nomination papers with the city.
For an up to date list of all candidates that have registered follow this link.