The Monday October 22nd municipal election will feature incumbent showdowns, interesting newcomers, and two open seats that will be filled with fresh faces.
With just 25 council seats up for grabs, there will be some fierce battles in wards across the city.
Changing the rules by our Provincial government and slashing council has set up a number of fierce battles for Toronto city council seats. Here’s a look at some of the tightest races and my picks to be elected on Monday.
The mayoral race has no real competition for John Tory with Jennifer Keesmaat making a lot of costly promises without a realistic plan on how to pay for these changes. When voters go to the polls on October 22, John Tory will be re-elected.
Etobicoke North, Ward 1
Michael Ford, the premier’s nephew, has served on council since winning a 2016 by-election.
He’ll most likely have Ford Nation’s support in this ward, but Vince Crisanti is a strong competitor. Veteran Councillor Crisanti has been a loyal Ford supporter that got dumped as deputy mayor when Crisanti supported Doug Ford for mayor. This race is too close to call, but l will make a bold prediction and call Vince Crisanti to defeat Michael Ford.
Willowdale, Ward 18
Long-time incumbent John Filion initially said that he would not run for re-election, but had a change of heart or couldn’t get a real job and decided to enter the race. He is up against former councillor Norm Gardner and taxi industry rep Sam Moini who appears to have Ford’s support.
John Filion will hang onto this seat and be sent back to city hall on Monday.
Humber River-Black Creek, Ward 7
It’s a three-horse race to represent this diverse community with crime and housing being such important issues. Giorgio Mammoliti, known for his maverick issues has been a councillor since amalgamation. He is up against another long-serving politician, Anthony Perruzza, who won his old area in 2014 with more than 70 per cent of the vote. Making this race even more interesting is Tiffany Ford, a first-time candidate who is currently serving as a Toronto District School Board trustee. Rounding out this group is Ms. Deena Sgro who is Judy Sgro’s daughter the sitting MP for the area. Looks like there will be a split with all these candidates, but my call is Giorgio Mammoliti pulling this one out in a squeaker.
Toronto-St. Paul’s, Ward 12
This race has two popular incumbent councillors squaring off in the new Ward 12, and there are many similarities between Josh Matlow and Joe Mihevc. Both are well-liked in their old wards, and both are known for progressive stances on civic issues. Joe Mihevc in the last election defeated former mayor John Sewell and has very deep roots in this community.
I’m going to call an upset in this race, with Josh Matlow defeating Joe Mihevc. Josh Matlow has a tremendous record, as he had an impressive 86 per cent voter turnout in his last election win and this could be the edge to win it this time.
Toronto-Danforth, Ward 14
In the new Toronto-Danforth, a diverse community that was rocked by the deadly shooting this past July, this race is a north vs south fight. Mary Fragedakis has represented the northern half of the new larger ward and Paula Fletcher has been a councillor for the southern portion since 2003. This race between the two left-leaning incumbents will be a close race, but Paula Fletcher will prevail based on her deep roots to the NDP party that will pull out the vote for her to win victory on Monday.
Toronto Centre, Ward 13
This race is one that interests me the most with Kristyn Wong-Tam in the race as a favourite, but has some strong competitors with George Smitherman and Lucy Troisi. Mr. Smitherman, the former MPP and former minister of health for the Liberals is hoping to defeat Wong-Tam and take a run for the mayor’s chair in four years. There are more than 16 candidates in this race and that will elevate Kristyn Wong-Tam to a slight win on October 22 and will be returned to city hall.
Etobicoke Centre, ward 2
Stephen Holyday is up against John Campbell who are both card carrying conservatives and both sitting incumbents. Mr. Holyday’s father is the former mayor of Etobicoke and has great name recognition and that alone will re-elect Stephen Holyday over John Campbell.
Don Valley West, Ward 15
Jaye Robinson the former city staffer is up against Jon Burnside the former police officer and popular incumbent. This race will be won by Jaye Robinson quite convincingly and she will be returned for a second term to city hall.
York South Weston, Ward 4
Francis Nunziata is up against veteran Frank Di Giorgio and it seems that both of these incumbents have been around forever. This race has some personal attacks being launched at each other, but the victory will go to Francis Nunziata and she will be returned to council.
One final notable race to watch is veteran Norm Kelly against incumbent Jim karygiannis. Both are veteran councillors who are running to represent the new enlarged Ward 22, Scarborough-Agincourt. Jim Karygiannis is an unbelievable campaigner, he is a machine and has a well-oiled seasoned team. He will win this battle and be at city hall.
These are the races to watch that could tip the balance of power down at city hall.
Needing only 14 votes to get issues passed at city hall after October 22, these races are the ones that could tip the balance of power either way.