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Free ice cream & cheap beer on offer for voting early in Toronto municipal election

Although voting is its own reward, some Toronto restaurants are offering tasty incentives to Torontonians for voting in advance polls.

Marcello Cabezas, creator of “#HappyVotingHourTO” wants to drum up a thirst for municipal politics by offering food and drink specials to people who vote in advance polls.

Advance polls opened Tuesday and close Sunday at 7 p.m.

Click here for more information on how and where to vote in advance polls.

“What if we actually turned voting into a celebratory idea or happening? Turn it into an event, like going to a game with your buddies, or going to a park with your friends, or going out for dinner,” Cabezas said.

Four bars, in partnerhip with Steam Whistle Brewing, will offer specials on Wednesday and Thursday evening, with more to be announced on Friday and the possibility of a brunch event on Saturday, Cabezas said.

See the group’s Facebook event for a full list of bars.

The event struck a chord said Cabezas, and has already spurred spin offs, something Cabezas said the core organizers are “rolling with.” The Office Pub in the Entertainment District tweeted it will offer specials.

And people are taking to Twitter to ask their local to participate in the pro-voting event.


Cabezas said organizers consider advance voting an “underknown entity” and hope to increase early participation.

It seems to be working already, as Sweet Olenka’s ice cream and chocolate shop is offering free sweets to early voters at their Mimico and Queen Street West locations.


Cabezas hopes his event and others will lead to a boost in voter turnout.

In the 2010 municipal election 50.55 per cent of eligible voters turned out, up from 39.3 per cent in 2006.

But Cabezas has loftier goals, citing the 84 per cent turnout in Scotland’s recent referendum as a benchmark.

“This is about Torontonians coming together and saying we care about this city and we want to do what we can in order to help define the future,” Cabezas said.

“The world is watching.”