Toronto election races to watch

These are the hot races to watch in this city
Election offers plenty of sparks, sparring
By Kris Scheuer
(Updated and expanded Oct. 25)


Councillor Case Ootes isn't seeking re-election and the race to replace him in ward 29 is a hotly contested one.


There are some exciting races in the Toronto election. Here are my 18 reasons to pay attention. What do you think, am I missing any races?
1. Mayor David Miller is not seeking a third term, but *40 candidates have made their bid to replace him. *Sarah Thomson withdrew but is still on the ballot. Find out who is running, here. Who will you choose?
2. Councillor Adam Giambrone Davenport Ward 18 was running for mayor but now he’s not. He’s also not seeking re-election locally. This race has attracted 12 candidates: Twelve candidates are running: Coun. Giambrone’s Executive Assistant Kevin Beaulieu, Doug Carroll, Nha Le, Joe MacDonald, Mohammad Muhit, Kirk Russell, Joanna Teliatnik, Hema Vyas, Ana Bailao, Ken Wood, Abdirazak Elmi and former Green Party of Ontario leader Frank de Jong.
3. Councillor Joe Pantalone Trinity-Spadina Ward 19 is running for mayor. His seat is up for grabs and 9 people are running: David Footman,  NDP leader Jack Layton’s son Mike Layton an urban planner and environmentalist, Jim Likourezos, sportscaster Sean McCormick, journalist Karlene NationGeorge Sawision,  Jason Stevens, community activist, planner and environmentalist Karen Sun and Rosario Bruto.
4. Councillor Anthony Perruzza for York Centre Ward 8 is seeking re-election. This should be a real tough fight between former local rep Peter Li Preti who represented the ward but lost by 579 votes to Perruzza in ’06. Li Preti has signed up for a rematch. Plus six other candidates: John Gallagher, Naseeb Husain, Antonius Clarke, Gerardo Miniguano, Arthur Smitherman (George Smitherman’s brother) and Ramnarine Tiwari are also running here.

5. Don Valley West Councillor Cliff Jenkins is running for re-election in Ward 25. And Jaye Robinson has also signed up. In the ’03 election there was no incumbent and Robinson was first declared the winner by 30 votes, but the city then declared Jenkins the victor by 80 ballots. A recount confirmed this. So this rematch will be interesting. Of course Councillor Jenkins now has two terms under his belt and incumbency on his side. Joanne Dickins and Tanya Hostler are also running.
6. Etobicoke North Ward 2 is represented by Rob Ford, but he is running for mayor. His brotherDoug Ford registered Aug 9. But he’s far from the only one as Cadigia Ali, who came second in the 2006 race is running here and so are Rajinder Lall, Jason Pedlar, Luciano Rizzuti and Andrew Saikaley.
7. Michael Walker St. Paul’s Ward 22 rep is retiring. The race is a real spicy one between Walker’s former exec assistant Chris Sellors and current school trustee Josh Matlow. 22-year-old William Molls is a great candidate as well. On Sept. 10 (last nomination day) Elizabeth Cook also signed up.
8. Councillor John Parker  is seeking a second term in Don Valley West Ward 26. In ’06 Mohamed Dhanani came second and has registered for a rematch. Plus another five candidates are competing here: Jon Burnside, Shaukat Malik, Tanvir Ahmed, Yunus Pandor, Salim Nawab Khan.
9. Kyle Rae rep for Toronto Centre-Rosedale Ward 27 is retiring. And a mind blowing 15 people are running, more than any other councillor race, for this seat: journalist Enza Anderson, Ben Bergen, Gary Leroux, former cop and political consultant Ken Chan, activist Susan Gapka, Jonas Jemstone, Perry Missal, professor Robert Meynell, Ram Narula, Paul Spence, life-long ward resident and developer Simon Wookey, long time activist Kristyn Wong-Tam, former political assistant Ella Rebanks, lawyer Joel Dick and former Green Party candidate Chris Tindal.
10. Case Ootes won’t seek re-election in Toronto Danforth Ward 29. Six people are running here in a very competitive race: Chris CaldwellMike RestivoJohn RichardsonJennifer WoodMary Fragedakis (endorsed by NDP leader Jack Layton) and former councillor Jane Pitfield have all registered.
11. Councillor Adrian Heaps is seeking another term representing Scarborough Southwest Ward 35. There are nine challengers: Malik Ahmad, Victoria Doyle, Ed Green, Jason Woychesko, Jay Burnett, Peter Tijiri, John Lewis, John Morawietz and Michelle Berardinetti, who registered for a rematch as she ran a close second in ’06.
12. Mike Feldman rep for York Centre Ward 10 is retiring. So this race has cracked open with 12 candidates: Feldman’s assistant Nancy Oormensigned up Aug. 4. Drago Banovic, Joseph Cohen, Robert FreedlandJarred FriedmanMagda Gondor Berkovits, Eric Plant, Edward ZaretksyBrian Shifman, Konstantin Toubis, journalist Igor Toutchinski,  and current York Centre school board trustee James Pasternak are all council candidates here.
13. David Shiner Councillor for Willowdale Ward 24 filed his nomination papers for re-election on Sept. 7 (Sept 10 was the deadline). In the last two elections he waited until less than two months before election day to register. Sonny ChoEugene Loo and Babak Nahiddi are candidates.
14. Giorgio Mammoliti is the Councillor for York West Ward 7. He was running for mayor but withdrew July 9 and is now registered for re-election as councillor. Eight other candidates have all registered: Stefano Tesoro, Victor Lucero, Christopher MacDonald, Larry Perlman, Sharon Joseph, Sergio Gizzo, Nick Di Nizio and Scott Aitchison.
15. Howard Moscoe is the longest serving councillor at city hall as he was first elected in North York in ’78. He was registered for re-election in Eglinton-Lawrence but decided to withdraw from the race on Sept 1. The race is wide open now with three main contenders: On June 15, Josh Colle son of MPP Mike Colle registered. Ron Singer is running for the 3rd time. Catholic school board trustee Rob Davis is registered. Plus another four candidates Giuseppe Pede, William Reitsma, Eva Tavares and Tony Evangelista round out the pack.
16. Brian Ashton rep for Scarborough Southwest ward 36 registered for re-election on Jan. 21 but on June 29 he withdrew. This opens up this race, so it will be another good one to watch. Ten people are seeking this seat: Vicki BreenSean Gladney, Robert Spencer, Marvin Macaraig, Robert McDermott, Tony Ashdown, Diane Hogan,Roman Danilov, Eddy Gasparotto and local school trustee Gary Crawford are all running.
17. Etobicoke councillor Mark Grimes (Ward 6) signed up for re-election Aug 11. Five other candidates have also registered: Cecilia Luu, Jem Cain, Michael Laxer, David Searle and Pastor Wendell Brereton was running for mayor but dropped out to support Rob Ford and (get Ford’s endorsement in return) to run in this Etobicoke race instead.
18. Beaches-East York ward 32. Incumbent Sandra Bussin has come under fire lately over a 20-year sole source contract for Tuggs/Boardwalk Cafe in the Beaches for example. She is up against eight challengers: but lately candidates Neil Sinclair and Martin Gladstone have withdrawn (they’ll still be on the ballot) to support candidate Mary-Margaret McMahon, who they think has the best chance of beating Councillor Bussin. Bruce Baker has also dropped out and sent out a press release stating he was also supporting McMahon. Other candidates are: Keith Begley, Albert Castells,  Brad Feraday and Kieron Pope.


34 responses to “Toronto election races to watch

  1. Chris Caldwell’s got my vote in Ward 29! He’s independent and experienced. With his background in community-based urban planning, he’ll be able to make sure that planning disasters like the Strathmore second-exit fiasco never happen again! He’s got the vision to help us build a 21st century city we can be ever more proud of.

    Jane Jane seems like more of the same old, same old, and Mary’s too involved with federal politicians for me to trust her ability to represent the interests of the ward.

    From the debate last week, Chris Caldwell seems like the only one with the genuine passion and grassroots leadership ability to bring the regime change we need!

  2. Gloria,
    Depending on the ward or elected office there is about to 68% of candidates on and probably the same % on Facebook. The advantage of following their campaign on Social media is you get their slant on their platform not the media’s. The number of Candidates keeps changing so tracking them on a blog becomes difficult, so I follow all of the Mayors, everyone in Ward 10 (TDSB ward 5) and many others. My twitter account has many lists but if you are looking for Councillors and they don’t have a link in the article above then check out my list of 44/243 were found (still missing 199) or recommend a name for me to add since they don’t aways publish their contact information on the City’s website

  3. Kris,

    A couple of days ago we had a meeting with one of our future city councillors – Roman Danilov who is running in Scarborough. The man had detailed answers and solutions to many issues we raised, even on a city-wide scale. This is what we rarely hear even from mayoral candidates – they know how to talk but not how to deliver. Astonishing. Why don’t you run a story on Roman and find about his solutions in each case? This would definitely benefit everyone in Toronto who is concerned about her wellbeing, right? And a professional reporter like you will be able to uncover many more interesting issues compared to us.

    Just an idea…

    • HI Gloria,
      cheers. I would love to interview Roman Danilov on his council platform but the newspaper I work for, the Town Crier, has nine community papers but none in Scarborough. If I decide to do some extra profiles for my blog separate from work, I will certainly consider an interview with Roman should he agree. I would love to be able to provide you and other voters with more insight on his candidacy. And I am so pleased to hear you are so engaged in this election. That’s fantastic.
      He’s running, as you know, in an wide open race in ward 36 now that incumbent Brian Ashton is calling it quits. It should be a very exciting race. Good luck with your choice in the next rep for your ward.

      • Thank you Kris. I wasn’t aware that it’s so geographically restricted… I simply like the way you write and thought that real solutions suggested by Roman Danilov (at least, those I heard) are something that clearly distinguishes him from other candidates and, possibly, many acting councillors. Instead of talking and self-promotion, he looks like someone who knows how to really help us with our issues and has courage and guts to make thing happen. Anyway, that was the impression that me and my neighbours got… This is why I thought that if such an experienced reporter as you could professionally question Roman on the issues and solutions, and tell us what you think, this will be of interest to many guys like me in other wards too…

      • Gloria, it’s hard to cover all the candidates in all 44 wards especially as some races have 10-13 people running. But yes for me, working for a community paper (we have nine Toronto editions but none in Scarborough) we localize almost every story. So we just aren’t covering Scarborough races. I am hopeful with such an exciting race that there will be an all-candidates debate in ward 36 that you and other voters can go to. You can ask the candidates to keep you up-to-date on any events like that being held in the next two months.
        I would love to do more profiles, but as I said, in this case it would be in my spare time for my blog not for the newspaper I work for. It is so tempting as I am also curious about candidates I am not writing about. I am also hopeful that other papers such as the Town Crier’s competition the Mirror/Guardian papers with editions in Scarborough will do profiles on candidates. Or perhaps because it is such a big race in ward 36, the larger publications like the Toronto Sun will do some coverage. Gloria please keep me updates on your race. Thanks, Kris

  4. Edward Zaretsky

    Edward Zaretsky is running for the 1st. time for Councillor in Ward 10. he can curb spending and increase services. It’s about time we looked at how our money is being spent and why. To spend Billions of dollar on bike pathes etc. and not have money for kids sports and day care is criminal. Why do we have to cater to bikes, how many bikes will use it during the year Are they going to pay the sme amounts cars (Toronto Road Tax) do ? The Allen south of Eglinton won’t cost $500 million but maybe 1 billion plus maintenance we cannot afford it when so many other areas needs help.

  5. You’re right, the city’s website is all messed up. Jim McQueen lost to Geri Gershon, not Adrian Heaps for school trustee. Hope the city fixes this soon.

    Thanks for clarifying the comment about the other candidates in Ward 26.

    • Steve,
      thanks for writing and encouraging me to check out the validity of comments people post about how well a candidate is supported in the community/by others. In terms of the city’s election website, I doubt they are aware of the mistakes re: 2006 results because they are so focused on the 2010 election. I will call or send them and email though because it’s not just in ward 26 that the info is all messed up.
      By the way, please keep me in the loop about Ward 26. I cover it in stories I write for work, but live downtown, so it helps to get your insight.

  6. I live in Flemingdon and Dhanani’s done absolutely nothing for Flemingdon since the last elections. He’s nothing but an opportunist. The food bank almost collapsed under his watch. My vote’s going to Parker. At least he’s honest.

    • Hi Steve,
      my understanding from doing a story on the food bank moving to it’s new location when the plaza kicked them out was that Mohamed Dhanani was instrumental in helping to support keeping it going.

      • Has he done anything other than be an executive director of this food bank? As the ED, would he not be responsible for trying to keep it going? Nothing special about that. I think you need to dig deeper into the politics of this food bank and political motivations behind it. How would it have looked if the food bank had closed under his watch when he was planning to run for city countil? I doubt you’ll find any other good things that he has done for Flemingdon Park.

      • Steve,
        I guess my point was in response to your original Feb 8 comment that Mohamed Dhanani’s done nothing for Flemingdon. And so my response was he’s one of the people who’s helped saved the Flemingdon Park Food Bank. Dhanani is one of the directors on the food bank’s board but doesn’t run the food bank. That job is done by Minister Helena-Rose Houldcroft who is the interim director of the food bank that is run by the Flemingdon Park Ministry. I wrote a story on it a few months back, read it here.
        The Red Cross ran the food bank until seven years ago, when the Flemingdon Park Ministry took it over. Now the Ministry is looking to incorporate so it can qualify for grants. My understanding is Dhanani is helping with that.

      • My mistake about ED. I was under the impression that Dhanani was made the ED of the food bank back in 2006.

        Kris, you state that “Much of the field from last time is stepping back this time to support Mohamed ” and I wonder about the validity of using the quantitative word “much”. We’ve only heard of 1 person choosing to support Dhanani instead of running himself. Did you interview all the other candidates from 2006 to see what their intentions were? If so, I’m curious to know exactly how many of them said they are supporting Dhanani.

      • Hi Steve,
        no worries it is easy to mistake that Dhanani is one of the directors on the food bank board as opposed to being THE director running the food bank.
        In terms of the comment “Much of the field from last time is stepping back this time to support Mohamed ” that was made not be me but Rob Newman on Feb. 3. Newman is a Liberal, card carrying I believe. I have seen him at a series of Liberal events I have covered over the years. I think Newman is working on Dhanani’s campaign because when I saw him at two events recently: the provincial Toronto Centre byelection win by Liberal Glen Murray Feb 4. and a charity fundraiser Feb. 6, Mr. Newman was asking a bunch of people if they knew Dhanani and was talking him up as a candidate.
        No I have not interviewed the 13 others (besides Coun. Parker and Dhanani himself) who ran in ’06 to see if they are supporting Dhanani. The vote is Oct. 25 so as the campaign progresses, I will try and contact the ’06 candidates to see where they stand. You are right. We can’t assume Newman’s statement to be true.

      • Steve, so far Coun. John Parker and Jon Burnside are the only registered candidates in Ward 26. If I look back at the ’06 results of the 15 candidates running, so far other than Parker of course seeking re-election, none of the others are running yet. But I think someone has hacked into the city’s election website because when i look at “previous election results” it is really messed up in almost all cases. For example, it states Jane Pitfield ran here in ’06 (she ran for mayor thus leaving Ward 26 with no incumbent) and that Coun. Sandra Bussin ran here (she was re-elected in her Ward 32) and John Adams ran here (he ran unsuccessfully against Coun. Joe Mihevc In Ward 21). And these mistakes were not always here as I have had occasion to check these results a series of times over the years.

    • Steve, you’re a troll. Dhanani is not the ED of the food bank. Dhanani is a director on the board. In spite of Parker’s office’s inability to get them the permits last year, Dhanani is the force behind a local walk-a-thon planned for this spring to raise money and awareness for the food bank. I hope you’ll support this worthy event.

      The better question, however, is what has Parker done to help Flemingdon? The answer is absolutely nothing. Parker wouldn’t even canvass the neighbourhood in 2006.

      Parker is an unmitigated disaster. He hasn’t accomplished anything for Ward 26 and isn’t even an effective part of the opposition faction of city council. You could get more effective representation by electing a twig.

      • Bob,
        I don’t agree with your insults about Steve or your comment about Councillor Parker. They seem exaggerated for effect. Why do you think Coun. Parker hasn’t done a good job?
        You are right that Dhanani is a director on the board but doesn’t run the food bank. Most of the stories I have written where I have interviewed John Parker have focused on businesses and development in Leaside and recreation space in Flemingdon. I have not heard before that Parker wouldn’t canvass Flemingdon in ’06 but I’d find it very surprising if it were true.

  7. real conservative

    I like that you are looking at school trustees. They need more coverage.

    • RC,
      thanks. What’s your interest in the school trustee race?
      St. Paul’s trustee race will be a crowded an interesting one (the incumbent Josh Matlow is running for council). Maya Worsoff has registered here, but I know another 5 people who have told me are considering running: Shelley Laskin, Adam Chaleff-Freudenthaler, Jim Walker, Heather Johnston and Phil Egginton.

  8. Just wanted you to know, I’m undecided whether to WALK for Mayor, or RUN against Maria Augimeri.

    • Hazel, whatever you decide I admire anyone who runs for public office and participates in the democratic process.
      I’ll look for your name on the list of registered candidates. If you are running for fun, it won’t matter much whether you choose to be a candidate in a councillor race or for mayor.
      But my advice to you or anyone running seriously is to be able to answer some questions on why you are a candidate, to have study, research and speak to people about issues you care about city wide or in the ward. And think of ways to get noticed among all the people running for mayor or the incumbent councillor. Keep me abreast of your decision and good luck.

  9. Interesting (well, mildly anyway) observation re: both hearing from Councillors and the visibility of John Parker (Ward 26). Because in the last few months – and definitely since declaring to run for re-election – Mr. Parker seems to have been more visible, more communicative, and even more activist than in the three years before that (combined)…

  10. That IS an interesting point, nussy!

    Because WHY doe other candidates not have access to the e-mail list that are kept by Councillors?
    They are elected, publicly paid, representatives of the WHOLE Ward, including those who did not vote for them.
    I very much doubt they keep the list at home, by themselves, at night. Which means it is being kept by staff, who are paid by US! And the list is (or should be) not theirs, but PUBLIC PROPERTY.

    Or: Councillors should not be allowed to use these e-mail lists!!! Or there should be a provision by which other candidates can use the same list (probably to be kept by somebody independent, privacy-issues and such).

    I would LOVE to see somebody challenge these kinds of totally immoral, hopefully illegal advantages of incumbents. Because there are many more of them (like printing campaign literature under the guise of ‘Ward information’). Also interesting: are Councillors with publicly funded websites allowed to campaign on those? Shouldn’t be, now should it? Are they paying website costs from their personal budgets – which should then still be counted against campaign budgets (and associated maximums)?

    At least at the Provincial and Federal level, there are some rules around seperation of ‘party/politician’ and ‘elected office’. Even though the rules are regularly broken there as well, of course. I guess there are very few politicians who’ll make a point of this, as many of them stand to gain – especially by the enormous incumbency advantage on the local level.

    • Wilmar,
      I agree it’s a huge advantage that councillors have these massive emails lists. But they are not illegal. They aren’t buying emails lists say, without people’s consent, these databases are built up by councillors and their staff over years. So if there is a public meeting and people sign in with their email address because they WANT to be updated on an issue, now the councillor has their email. Or if a constituent emails a councillor to complain, compliment them or ask a question then the councillor now has that person’s email.
      In one way it is part of how they do their job, which is to communicate with the people they represent. But it becomes a HUGE advantage during an election because challengers don’t have this email list. All candidates will get a voters list in the ward they are running in by September.
      The print newsletters and councillor’s websites those are paid for through their $53,100 annual office budget.
      During election time if they have a re-election website that must be paid for as part of the legal campaign expenses and can only launch after they have registered for re-election.
      But I will look into campaign expenses and what the rules are.

      • Yes, TOwriter, please do. Might give it a shot myself.

        However, even if it’s technically legal now.. that itself does not make it right.

        Of course I sign up for my Councillor’s newsletter, I want to be informed about how he’s representing me. I’m interested in him in his capacity of Councillor. The only thing he should be allowed to do with those list is “Councillor’s business” – NOT campaigning.
        The most likely legal avenue for a challenge would be via ‘ownership’, I’d guess. Not a lawyer, but probably an exciting legal subject, with databases, privacy, and virtual communities far from settled as legal issues.

        A well, back to work.

  11. Although I don’t see David Shiners name of the list of candidates I suspect he will be running.

    No contact for a couple of years and now we get regular emails from him.

    This mornings email is a reminder about a Transit City meeting.

    This is an advantage the incumbant has because anyone running against him does not have access to his email list.

    • Nussy, I could have added David Shiner’s Willowdale Ward 24. I found he’s registered late in the campaign in both ’06 and ’03. In 2003 there were candidates registered and he had not signed up, but then when Shiner filed his papers the challengers all withdrew and he was acclaimed. It’s interesting that you are starting to get emails from the councillor again. And yes that email list of constituents and the fact incumbents can continue to make announcements and stay in the public eye is a huge advantage.

  12. HiMY,
    I am most interested in your candidacy as you are running in the ward I live in. So I hope to speak to you as a voter. But I will also be interviewing candidates running in about 20 city wards for the Town Crier throughout the 10-month election campaign.

  13. Good Afternoon Kris,

    Thank you for reminding everyone that there are 44 ward races that are as important in our neighbourhoods’ futures as is the Mayor’s race which has dominated the Toronto 2010 Election VoteTO Headlines through January.

    Look forward to speaking with you soon.

    HiMY SYeD

  14. Next to Ward 22 in Ward 26 look for Mohamed Dhanani, second in a large field in 2006, to run again against John Parker. Much of the field from last time is stepping back this time to support Mohamed from their collective belief that John Parker has been a near no-show in the ward over the past three years.

    • Rob,
      yes Ward 26 is interesting. Last fall, my Town Crier colleague Karolyn Coorsh interviewed Mohamed Dhanani about his candidacy and several people have told me he will register.
      While Dhanani has certainly done some great work in the ward especially in Flemingdon, this race is not the same as 2006.
      In that election there was no incumbent and then councillor Jane Pitfield ran for mayor. So 15 candidates lined up and John Parker edged out Mohamed by 214 votes.
      This time John is the incumbent and there won’t be as crowded a race with votes being diluted among many candidates.
      As to your comments about John being a “near no-show” I have not found that in my many interviews with him on issues. He is always up-to-date and well informed. I say this not as endorsement, just my professional opinion as a reporter.

  15. Pingback: Scheuer: Another Six Wards To Watch | Toronto Election News

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