Toronto’s municipal election is just under a week away. Are you ready to vote?

If your answer to that is no, fret not. With a shrinking city council and a seemingly endless list of candidates, it can be hard for a busy student to keep up with politics. The Ryersonian has compiled the essential information you need to know in order to make an educated decision about who to vote for.

Can’t find what you’re looking for? More detailed information can be found on the City of Toronto’s website.

The Basics

In order to vote, you must be a Canadian citizen and at least 18-years-old. If you don’t live here, you or a spouse must own property in the city. If you’re a student from out of town and you live in Toronto for school, you can vote in elections for both municipalities.

When you go to cast your ballot, you need to bring ID with you that shows your name and your address. Some examples are a driver’s license, a pay stub, a utility bill or any documents from an Ontario Band Council, as established under the Indian Act. Your voter information card will not work as an acceptable form of identification.

If you change your mind while voting, ask for a new ballot instead of scratching it out. If you require an interpreter, keep in mind that they cannot go behind the voting screen with you. Voting by proxy is also possible for those who can’t make it to a voting centre – contact the city at 416-338-1111 or email them at voterregistration@toronto.ca for more information.

Voting information is available online in 25 languages, from Arabic to Tagalog to Urdu. Share this resource with someone you know who may not feel confident enough in their English to participate in the election.

Wards

As of Sept. 19, the Court of Appeal for Ontario reinstated Bill 5, shrinking city council from 47 wards to 25. This drastically changed Toronto’s electoral landscape.

If you’re not sure what ward you live in, click here to find out. You can also visit the City of Toronto’s website to find out more about the new 25-ward system, including maps and voting locations.

City Council Candidates

Ryerson is located in Ward 13, where we have 19 candidates running for city council. Below is a list of eligible candidates.

Darren Abramson

Abramson’s platform is unavailable.

Aftab Khuram

Khuram’s platform prioritizes affordable housing and poverty, which he feels is the root of violence in Toronto. Gun violence is also a major issue for Khuram.

Jon Callegher

An instructor at George Brown College, Callegher wants to provide free and high-quality mental health counselling to people who need it. He recommends hiring security guards to patrol every floor of Toronto community housing to prevent crime and wants to keep neighbourhoods clean. As with nearly all other candidates, affordable housing is one of Callegher’s primary concerns.

Richard Forget

Forget’s website describes him as a bilingual lawyer, a vegan and a “community concerned individual.” If elected as city councillor, he wants to support small businesses and affordable housing projects.

Tim Gordanier

A small business owner, Gordanier seeks to get involved with Toronto’s entrepreneur mentorship program and the Indigenous Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. He also wants to halt the expansion of safe injection sites in Ward 13, rebrand affordable housing as “Adaptive Living” and create more dog-friendly public spaces.

John Jeffery

Jeffery’s platform supports more cautious city planning, the protection of the uniqueness of the Village and revamping the city’s sidewalks. He wants to lower real estate taxes for local businesses and build more affordable housing.

Walied Khogali Ali

Ali supports affordable and safe childcare, affordable housing and building inclusive communities. He also wants to see investment in internships and job placements for students from marginalized communities.

Gladys Larbie

In her early adulthood, Larbie became homeless and was supported by Salvation Army Transitional Housing. As a city councillor, she seeks to support homeless shelters and ensure hospitals are well-prepared to deal with mental health emergencies.

Barbara Lavoie

Lavoie has three missions – to use dormant city-owned buildings for affordable housing, construct a GO line along Finch Avenue from east to west and to bring back carding. Her platform is based on affordable housing, less traffic congestion, lower crime rates, lower tuition, a plan for seniors and arts funding.

Ryan Lester

A senior director at the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion, Lester wants to make the city safer by establishing a new police unit for parks and other public gathering places. He will also revitalize Church Street, build 7,200 new supportive housing units and over 1,000 new shelter spaces and lower transit fares for low-wage workers and students.

Kyle McNally

McNally’s platform is unavailable.

Catherina Perez

Perez wants to fight corruption in city politics, support small businesses in Ward 13 and enforce proper building regulations for new residential projects.

George Smitherman

Smitherman is a former MPP. He wants to redevelop Regent Park based on the terms outlined by the local community, find a solution to poverty and promote cycling.

Jordan Stone

Stone advertises himself as being the only Ward 13 candidate who seeks to allow Toronto police back in Pride. He supports carding and wants to regulate condominium developments.

Lucy Troisi

A Regent Park native, Troisi is currently a councillor for Ward 28. She believes Toronto should join British Columbia in its lawsuit against pharmaceutical companies that may be responsible for the opioid crisis. Troisi does not support constructing more safe injection sites in her ward.

Megann Willson

Willson supports affordable and supportive housing, an efficient transit system, safe streets for active transportation and a responsive city government. She recently eschewed plastic lawn signs for recyclable paper signs in an effort to reduce environmental clutter.

Rob Wolvin

Wolvin has a long history of activism in Toronto and currently works in the film and television industry. His platform is based on affordable housing, congestion, addiction and mental health, development and the economy.

Kristyn Wong-Tam

The incumbent city councillor for Ward 13, Wong-Tam wants to push the province to increase funding for mental health initiatives. She also seeks to ban the sale of handguns and assault weapons in the city, prioritize social infrastructure and expand Toronto’s arts and culture grants.

Mayoral Candidates

There are a whopping 35 mayoral candidates running in this year’s election. Below is a list of five candidates and brief details about their platforms.

Sarah Climenhaga

Climenhaga’s platform seeks to address transit issues, unaffordable housing and traffic deaths. She wants to build a safe city for Toronto’s children.

Saron Gebresellassi

Gebresellassi is a multilingual lawyer. Her “Six for the 6ix” platform includes the right to housing, the right to transit, the right to fair allocation of city resources, the right to employment outside the downtown core, the right to mental health and accessibility and the right to diversity in city politics and hiring.

Jennifer Keesmaat

Supporting the arts, gender equity and a transformation of Yonge Street are part of Keesmaat’s mayoral platform. As former chief city planner of Toronto, she wants to build 100,000 affordable housing units in the next 10 years and facilitate a Rent-to-Own Home Ownership Program.

Knia Singh

Singh’s priorities are community safety, affordable housing, efficient transportation, advanced education and preventative measures to end gun violence in Toronto.

John Tory

As incumbent mayor, Tory supports a transit network plan, keeping property taxes at or below the rate of inflation and, among other things, attracting global investment.

See the full list of mayoral candidates here.

Can’t find what you’re looking for? More detailed information can be found on the City of Toronto’s website.

There you have it. Take a few minutes out of your day to find out who is running in your ward and what they are proposing. Get out there and vote, Ryerson!

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