Olivia Chow elected as the new mayor of Toronto

Chow speaks to her supporters and Torontonians moments after being elected mayor.

Former city councillor and MP Olivia Chow will be the next mayor of Toronto, after capturing over 37 per cent of the vote in the mayoral byelection.

She has become Toronto’s first woman of colour elected mayor, first female mayor since amalgamation and only the third woman in the city’s history.

“Whether you voted for me or not, we are united in our love of this great city. I pledge to you I will dedicate myself to work tirelessly in building a city that’s more caring, affordable, and safe for everyone,” Chow said in her victory speech.

“If you ever doubted what’s possible, if you ever questioned your faith in a better future and what we can do with each other, for each other, tonight is your answer,” she continued.

The city clerk’s office says the election results will be certified by Wednesday and Chow will officially take over as mayor on July 12. The mayor-elect requested to take office on that date, according the city’s clerk.


Chow immigrated to Canada when she was 13 and first entered politics in 1985 when she was elected as a school trustee. She then spent 13 years as a city councillor before heading into federal politics as an NDP MP.

Chow first ran for mayor in 2014 but finished third behind former Mayor John Tory and Doug Ford. Her win as a progressive candidate ends more than a decade of conservative rule at city hall.

“Keep speaking out with your ideas, keep helping out, keep caring for each other, because what we’ve won today is opportunity,” said Chow.

Early results showed a lead for former Deputy Mayor Ana Bailão before Chow took over, capturing 37 per cent of the vote. Voter turnout has exceeded the 2022 election.

Bailão congratulated Chow on Twitter, saying, “I wish you all the best in the years ahead. The time is now to come together as a city to solve our biggest challenges.”

Former police chief Mark Saunders finished in a distant third with eight per cent of the vote. Anthony Furey and Josh Matlow rounded out the top five finishers.

Chow took the opportunity to thank all 102 candidates who ran in the election and pledged to work with those still on council. “I want to thank you for all of this. For all of you, sharing your ideas and [the] passion we all share in this city is driven by a common belief that everyone should have affordable place to live.”

Deputy Mayor Jennifer McKelvie, who has assumed mayoral duties in the last four months and did not run in the byelection, released a statement, saying she has committed to supporting an orderly transition of the Mayor’s Office in the coming days.

“Toronto is a great city and I have been honoured to lead Council over the past four months. I hope the new Mayor will work with Councillors to build on the progress we have made on housing, on transit, on community safety, and on affordability,” continued her statement.

Premier Doug Ford tweeted out a statement, congratulating Chow on her win. “While we are 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,” read his statement.

“Mr. Premier, we’re ready, let’s work together,” said Chow in her victory speech Monday night.

Ford endorsed Saunders during the campaign, stating if Chow did win, it would be a “unmitigated disaster,” for Toronto.

From the start of this campaign, Chow was considered a frontrunner, appearing first in every opinion poll released.

Building more affordable housing, with the city as the developer, along with helping better-protect renters from eviction quickly became key promises in Chow’s campaign.

Chow hasn’t said how much property taxes will go up if elected – other than the increase would be “modest.” She has argued there’s a need to look at what services are priorities and see what the rate of inflation will be first.

In her victory speech, Chow focused on affordable housing, funding social services and “building a city where everyone belongs.”

“The work of changing a city left behind by decades of neglect is not going to be easy. The work of change is always hard. We will face some roadblocks along the way but we know we can make it happen.”

A record 102 candidates lined up to replace former Mayor John Tory, with roughly a half-dozen names rising to the top of the field over the course of the 12-week campaign.

Chow will have to deal with a nearly $1 billion budget shortfall, a housing affordability crisis and aging public infrastructure, among other issues.

Advance polls held earlier this month saw 129,745 people cast a ballot, an increase of 14,000 over early voting in the October election.

That election saw a record low 30 per cent voter turnout in a race where Tory cruised to a third term against a field absent of any contenders with high-profile name recognition and experience in elected office.

The byelection for a new mayor was triggered after Tory officially stepped down back on Feb. 17 after announcing he had an “inappropriate relationship” with someone who used to work on his staff.

You can find more election coverage at here, including ward-by-ward results.

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