RECAP: Olivia Chow elected mayor of Toronto
Published Monday, June 26, 2023 11:37AM EDT
Last Updated Monday, June 26, 2023 11:29PM EDT
Olivia Chow has been elected mayor of Toronto, CP24 declares.
Here is a look back at election day in Toronto.
Former Toronto Mayor John Tory issued a statement on social media saying that Chow brings “a great deal of experience in the public life of our city and our country.”
“We are so fortunate to live in Toronto and I know Ms. Chow will work with Council and with the other governments to make our city even better,” he said.
“She loves this city as I do and I will do anything I can to help her in the days and months ahead. While it is the biggest possible privilege to hold this job, it is also complex and challenging and we should all be hoping for her success.”
Tory’s resignation following an affair with a staffer is the reason why a byelection was held.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford congratulated Toronto’s mayor elect Olivia Chow Monday night, less than a week after publicly saying that if she was chosen to lead the city, it would be an “unmitigated disaster.”
In a statement issued moments after CP24 declared the race, the premier mentioned Chow’s dedication to the city.
“I want to congratulate Olivia Chow on tonight’s election win and on becoming the next mayor of Toronto,” he said.
“While we’re not always going to agree on everything, what we can agree on is our shared commitment to making Toronto a place where businesses, families, and workers can thrive.”
Ford has not hid the fact that he wanted Mark Saunders to become Toronto's next mayor, even lending his voice to a robocall issued to voters. He publicly said last week that if Chow was elected, it would be an "unmitigated disaster" and businesses would "flee" the city.
After her victory, Chow spoke to a large crowd of supporters gathered at The Great Hall on Queen Street West.
“If you ever doubted what’s possible together; if you ever questioned your faith in a better future and what we can do with each other [and] for each other, tonight is your answer,” she said.
“Thank you to the people of Toronto for the trust you’ve placed in me and the mandate for change as your new mayor.”
Chow, who won with 37.2 per cent of the vote, captured every riding in the city’s downtown and had a strong showing in Scarborough and the North York riding of Willowdale.
She will be the first woman to lead Toronto since the city amalgamated in 1998.
Mitzie Hunter, who resigned as a Liberal MPP to run for mayor, finished with 2.93 per cent of the vote.
She told her supporters that she looks forward to working with city council and Toronto’s new mayor, Olivia Chow.
“It is going to take all of our efforts to move this city forward, and we’re ready to do that,” she said.
“So let’s continue to move forward, let’s continue to believe in our city and to believe in each other. Because we need to do that in order for our city to progress.”
Anthony Furey addressed his supporters following Olivia Chow’s win. He received 4.96 per cent of the vote.
After a slow start to his campaign, he steadily gained momentum in the lead up to tonight’s vote, ultimately finishing in fourth place behind Chow, Ana Bailao and Mark Saunders.
“They said at the beginning that we couldn’t do it. They said we wouldn’t take off. They said that nothing would amount to this and they said that a campaign couldn’t be fought standing on principle,” Furey said.
“But guess what? We proved them wrong.”
Beaches-East York city councillor Brad Bradford, who finished with 1.28 per cent of the vote, told his supporters that campaigning over the past three months was the “biggest privilege [and] the biggest honour” of his life.
He said that he’s never been more inspired, encouraged and bullish on Toronto than he is today.
“I love you guys and I love this city,” Bradford said.
Long-time city councillor Josh Matlow finished in fifth place with 4.91 per cent of the vote.
At his campaign headquarters, he called Chow’s victory a “new chapter” for Toronto.
He also thanked his supporters and team of volunteers.
“We set a new standard for what politics should be like,” he said.
“We didn’t just talk about the problems, we offered solutions, and that’s what we all debated. And I know many of those ideas are going to find their way to success through city council now with our new mayor.”
Former Toronto police chief Mark Saunders, who came in a distant third with 8.60 per cent of the vote, spoke to his supporters and thanked every candidate who ran in the mayoral race.
“This is the best city in the world and it is composed of amazing people,” he said.
“Congratulations to Olivia Chow. She fought a tough fight and at the end of the day, she came out victorious… we have to support Olivia Chow.”
Ana Bailao, who finished second in the mayoral race, spoke to her supporters shortly after 9 p.m. from her election night headquarters on College Street.
Bailao congratulated all the other candidates in the race, including Molly the dog.
“Everybody was brave and bold to put their name on the ballot. Campaigns are never easy, but nothing worth doing is ever easy,” she said.
Bailao also thanked her team of volunteers, who she says visited more than 700,000 doors during the campaign, and made over two million calls.
Bailao held a lead in early returns tonight but was overtaken by Olivia Chow who then pulled away to secure 37.2 per cent of the final vote, compared to Bailao’s 32.43 per cent.
CP24 declares Olivia Chow mayor elect of Toronto.
At least 95 per cent of polls are now reporting. Chow's lead has grown to 261,550 to Bailao's 227,984.
Fewer than 100 polls have yet to report as Chow's lead grows to 252,614 over Bailao's 223,350.
With 1,339 of 1,451 polls now reporting, Chow is leading at 239,034 votes. Bailao is trailing in second place at 218,458.
Chow's lead has grown by nearly 18,000 votes to 227,996. Bailao is in second at 210,225.
Across the city, Chow is leading in Toronto Centre, Toronto Danforth, Spadina-North York, and Parkdale-High Park. Meanwhile, Bailao has taken Scarborough-Guildwood, Don Valley West, and York Centre.
Chow's got 220,720 votes as most polls across the city close. Bailao remains in second at 207,929.
With 210,275 votes, Chow maintains her lead over Bailao's 201,247. Saunders trails in third at 46,964.
Chow's now taken the lead with 203,856 votes as early results continue to roll in. Bailao is in second at 195,176 and Saunders is in third at 45,606.
Eighty-nine per cent of polls are now reporting with Bailao in the lead at 190,383. Chow follows closely in second at 185,431 and Saunders in third at 41,989.
Bailao is maintaining her lead with 171,865 votes as early results come in. Chow is in second place with 162,433 while Saunders trails in third at 36,891.
Early results are coming in and show Ana Bailao leading the race with 142,066 votes. Olivia Chow is in second with 135,446 and Mark Saunders in third with 31,268.
All but four polling stations across Toronto are now closed. Anyone who remains in line at a polling station will still be permitted to vote. Results are expected shortly and can be viewed using CP24’s election map.
According to a web poll published by CP24 this month, the most important issue voters want Toronto’s new mayor to address is making housing more affordable.
Thirty eight per cent of respondents said it was the most important issue in the mayoral race, while 23 per cent answered that it was combatting crime and gun violence.
Reducing traffic congestion and holding taxes and fees to the level of inflation garnered 13 per cent and 12 per cent of the vote, respectively.
Making the TTC safer was the answer for eight per cent of respondents, and increasing taxes and fees to improve services was the answer for five per cent of respondents.
More than 24,000 people voted in the online poll, which was posted on CP24.com from June 1 to June 23.
Toronto Elections says the release of by-election results will be delayed by 15 to 20 minutes due to the extension of voting hours at four polling stations.
Voters heading to the polls today faced a crowded ballot with a record 102 candidates to pick from. Here is a look at seven candidates who have emerged as the top contenders ahead of byelection day.
Mayoral candidate and former Toronto police chief Mark Saunders spoke to reporters at Bistro on Avenue, a midtown wing joint.
He says voters will support him because of his platform, which has focused mainly on public safety, particularly on transit, and affordability.
Saunders recently received a high-profile endorsement from Ontario Premier Doug Ford, however his polling numbers haven’t changed much over the course of the last month.
He had been polling in second place behind Olivia Chow before Ana Bailao overtook him last week after she was endorsed by former mayor John Tory.
“No, I’m not,” Saunders said when asked if he’s putting a lot of stock in what recent polls have suggested.
“By and large, we have been second place throughout and we’re going to see which way it goes tonight and I’m excited about that.”
Voters in Toronto have two hours left to cast their vote in the city's mayoral byelection.
However, the city says voting hours have been extended at four locations due to weather interruptions:
- West Hill Apartments, 4175 Lawrence Ave. E., Assembly Room (Ward 24 – Sub 37) will remain open until 8:15 p.m.
- Sacred Heart Catholic School, 75 Hupfield Trl., Gym (Ward 25, Sub 8) will remain open until 8:15 p.m.
- St. Thomas Aquinas, 636 Glenholme Ave., Gym (Ward 12 – Sub 3) will remain open until 8:20 p.m.
- The Briton House, 700 Mount Pleasant Rd., Resident Entrance (Ward 12 – Sub 6) will remain open until 9 p.m.
Amalgamated Transit Union Local 113 President Marvin Alfred tells CP24.com that this election is a “change election” and an important one when it comes to the future of public transit in the city.
“We are looking for a leader who champions to the province and the federal government the importance of getting resources into transit,” he said. “I am not talking about capital projects, where the premier and other levels of government are cutting ribbons, I am talking about sustainable funding that can contribute to a better and a safer work environment for transit workers and the riding public.”
With hours left until the polls close, Toronto’s leading mayoral candidates are continuing to push for votes. Olivia Chow started out the day speaking with Torontonians at Scarborough Town Centre and then travelled downtown for an appearance at Kensington Market. Ana Bailao, meanwhile, spent the morning rush handing out flyers at Dufferin Station while Mark Saunders took to Twitter to release a new jingle.
“On the ballot he is #84, vote for him and get so much more,” a man strumming a guitar sings.
Because I have the best supporters, the Mark Saunders #84 jingle is now in your head. pic.twitter.com/ghz0uP2uqy— Mark Saunders (@marksaunders_TO) June 25, 2023
The City of Toronto says that a tabulator at a polling station at Stanley Public School in Humber River-Black Creek briefly stopped working this morning. A spokesperson says that staff “immediately followed procedure and used the auxiliary slot in the ballot stand that temporarily hold ballots if the tabulator ceases to function. There was no impact to voting as a result.
“Once the tabulator becomes operational again, the ward centre supervisor oversees the ballots being fed into the tabulator. At no time was the voting process disrupted and votes were still being accepted,” the spokesperson said.
Toronto is getting help from other municipalities as it stages what has been described as the biggest byelection in Canadian history. A spokesperson for the city tells CP24 that municipal clerks from across the province reached out with “kind offers of support” as the city worked to fill the 15,000 positions necessary to put on an election at this scale. The spokesperson says that there will be 98 staff from 16 different municipalities filling various election day positions, including staff from Ottawa, Mississauga, Oakville, Guelph and Cambridge.
CP24 will have wall-to-wall coverage of the election, beginning at 7 p.m. For more information about how to watch the special and where to go for LIVE results follow this link.
If you are still trying to figure out who to vote for, you can use the CP24.com PROMISE TRACKER to get a sense of where the seven leading candidates stand on the issues.
Two locations experienced brief power outages Thursday after a thunderstorm rolled across the city.
At Gower Park Place, in Ward 20, and Dawes Road Library Branch, in Ward 19, power was lost briefly and returned within seconds. Elections Toronto told CTV News the disruptions did not impact anyone's voting.
Josh Matow has cast his ballot for mayor at a church in midtown Toronto. Matlow was joined by his wife and daughter.
“I feel so proud of the positive, ethical and ideas-driven campaign that we have run over the past 12 weeks,” he told a pool camera afterwards. “We have led this campaign with ideas that would fix our city, that would make Toronto more liveable, safe and affordable. So I am really proud of the job we have done and I am very optimistic because I am hearing from people on the ground, in our communities that regardless of polls and pundits, that they believe in our vision for Toronto.”
Amalgamated Transit Union Local 113, which represents frontline TTC workers, has taken the rare step of formally endorsing a candidate in the race, throwing its support behind Olivia Chow. President Marvin Alfred told CP24.com on Monday that he believes it is the first time the union has formally backed a candidate for mayor since 2010.
“She knows the transit profile, she takes transit, she knows transit in and out and she's been an advocate for transit and transit workers,” Alfred said of the decision to endorse Chow. “She understands that we are the least subsidized transit organization in North America and we should get credit for that. We are very economical with the public's money. But at the same time, there needs to be an authentic investment in order to continue that productivity, that level of service and most importantly, safety for all people involved in transit.”
The latest polls suggest that Olivia Chow remains the frontrunner in the mayoral race, however her lead may be shrinking. Both Forum Research and Mainstreet Research published new polls on Sunday, suggesting that Chow’s is now only nine points ahead of former deputy mayor Ana Bailao among decided voters after enjoying a double digit lead for most of the campaign.
Brad Bradford voted at a church on Danforth Avenue in his east Toronto ward on Monday.
“Today is a day to engage in democracy and to get out and vote for the future of this city which we all love,” he told a pool camera. “Regardless of where the candidates have been on different issues, at the end of the day we all care deeply about the city.”
Anthony Furey voted alongside his wife and children at a polling station at Kimberley Junior Public School in the Upper Beaches on Friday morning. Afterwards, the former newspaper columnist told reporters that it “felt great to tick off his name” on a ballot “for the first time ever.”
“I am feeling really energized. It has been an honour and privilege to go around Toronto these past few months and to meet with people from all across the city, to hear about what they love about Toronto – and they love a lot about it – and to hear their concerns,” he said. “I have said that now is a time for choosing and I think the choice Toronto voters have right now at the ballot box is whether or not we wasn’t to find ourselves going further in direction of those cities like Seattle, downtown Vancouver and San Francisco, awful scenes of decay where children are encountering needles in playgrounds. I believe we don’t have to be pessimistic that this is inevitable.
The polls are officially open at the 1,445 voting locations spread across the city. In order to vote you have to be a Canadian citizen who is at least 18 years of age. You also have to either be a resident of the City of Toronto or you or your spouse have to own or rent property within the city. The City of Toronto says that to avoid long lines, residents are urged to vote during off-peak hours (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.).