Tonight is the night many Torontonians have been awaiting for four years: our chance to put a close to Rob Ford’s term as mayor, finally and definitively. Can Doug Ford somehow win over voters exhausted by his brother’s litany of blunders and misdeeds? Will John Tory be handed the opportunity to restore boringness at city hall? Or will Olivia Chow somehow manage to pull off an upset? And what about all the small-but-vicious ward races playing out all across the city? We’re keeping an eye on all of it. Stay with us for live results, commentary, voter interviews, and other surprises throughout the evening.
Toronto Life’s election night coverage includes commentary, social-media watching, charts unlike those you’ll see anywhere else, as well as interviews with voters from across the city. Plus: live results, as they come in. Click here to see what’s newest.
Turnout, so far, is being estimated at around 64 per cent, which is significantly higher than the 53 per cent we saw in 2010—considered impressively high at the time. Clearly, something about this election had Torontonians riled up. We can’t imagine what.
His critics complain that his campaign lacked a full platform, but this was a very peculiar campaign in which no full platform was necessary. Torontonians, in electing John Tory mayor, have invested in him the most meagre possible hopes: just do better than the last guy, the crack-smoking global embarrassment.
And Adam Vaughan, speaking on CityTV moments ago, claims Tory’s been given the gift of the most right-of-centre council since amalgamation, which at least suggests some general affinity among the lot of them. It should be easy for an accomplished businessman like Tory to outperform expectations. Mind you, his political history is one of failing to meet expectations. But tonight, at least, is a fresh start.
.@JohnTory2014 is already boring me. I need a nap. #TOpoli
— Warren Kinsella (@kinsellawarren) October 28, 2014
John Tory begins Toronto's new era as the old ^$%#ing boring Toronto.
— cathalkelly (@cathalkelly) October 28, 2014
I'm already bored of John Tory.
— Mark Medley (@itsmarkmedley) October 28, 2014
Tory team is still waiting for Ford's concession speech as they prepare on stage, I'm told.
— Jennifer Pagliaro (@jpags) October 28, 2014
Ward 2: Andray Domise finishes in third place with less than 10 per cent of the vote.
Ward 17: Alejandra Bravo finishes with 900 fewer votes than Cesar Palacio.
Ward 12: John Nunziata loses to Frank Di Giorgio by 250 votes.
Ward 20: Terri Chu crushed by Joe Cressy by more than 7,000 votes.
Ward 30: Liz West loses to Paula Fletcher by 5,000 votes.
Mayor: Ari Goldkind garners less than 1 per cent of the vote.
My heart is broken. I still love you all.
Here’s campaign manager Andrew Young:
Thank you Toronto.
— Andrew Young (@SpartanVTyranny) October 28, 2014
And active tweeter J.P. Boutros came in fourth place in Ward 16 after Karen Stintz—for whom he served as transit policy advisor—endorsed slim-margin winner Christin Carmichael Greb.
Here’s campaign manager Brian Kelcey:
— Brian F. Kelcey (@stateofthecity) October 28, 2014
As for David Soknacki, he said what he wanted to say on Twitter earlier in the day, then turned up at the Tory bash:
Thanks to all who have been in touch. We did our best and I have no regrets. Remember to vote today, and to stay engaged. #TOpoli
— David Soknacki (@DavidSoknacki) October 27, 2014
Olivia’s concession speech showed her at her most passionate. Unencumbered by the blowhards who trailed her on debate night, her personality shone in a way that, I am convinced, will be new to many. Alas for her and for all of us, she saved her best for last.
It is fitting that Tory should win in a race that was his to lose but turned into a squeaker. Something about his campaigning style leads him to appear to always battle a headwind. He begins with confidence and stride, then slows inexorably. I imagine, in his mind’s eye, that every political finish line has been like a horror movie corridor, the door at the end of the hallway receding further away the more he strives to reach it. This time it was Doug Ford in a hockey mask trailing him, and finally he made it to safety.
I’ve met John Tory on a number of occasions, most of them while he was leader of the PC Party of Ontario. I profiled him for Toronto Life in those years, and came away convinced, as many others have been, that he truly believed in public service. He would have to. He has suffered some truly crushing political defeats. You would never come back for more of that punishment unless you felt it was some kind of higher calling.
He has wanted this more than anything. Finally, he’s got it. His bright future begins tomorrow.
The most text I have ever seen on a cake: pic.twitter.com/2DIsFkSdlU
— Jonathan Goldsbie (@goldsbie) October 28, 2014
— Alex Ballingall (@aballinga) October 28, 2014
— Deanne Shoyer (@OMum22) October 28, 2014
Swastica Jaglall, 50, Homemaker. At St. Joachim Separate School, Scarborough.
“He’s the man. It’s time for a change, a positive change. I would like to see the city represented better on the world stage. I think he’s the person to do it. I was torn between him and Olivia but I followed with my heart and voted John Tory.”
— Adam Stroud (@AdamCS1987) October 27, 2014
Lana Del Rey playing at the Ford party. She will love you til the end of time.
— Matt Elliott (@GraphicMatt) October 27, 2014
And would-be school trustee Mikey Ford is there—elusive as ever:
Michael Ford ensures everything is in place. pic.twitter.com/0wmWXsERC3
— Jamie Strashin (@StrashinCBC) October 27, 2014
Ward 2, Etobicoke North: Young Andray Domise is great on Twitter, great on radio and television, a progressive voice in northwest, undoubtedly part of the city’s political future if he wants to be. But probably not tonight. He’s up against Rob Ford in Ward 2.
Ward 17, Davenport: Alejandra Bravo ran against Cesar Palacio in 2003 and lost by 800 votes. In 2006 she closed the gap to 250 votes. She took a pass in 2010, but now, with Palacio closely aligned with the unpopular Ford administration, she’s back for another try.
Ward 12, York South-Weston: Nick Dominelli, a restaurant owner and former city hall staffer. He nearly won last time and would be a welcome change. Then again, first-time candidate Lekan Olawoye also looks good. Heck, former federal Liberal child star John Nunziata is running in this ward, and even he looks good compared to incumbent Frank Di Giorgio, council’s most ephemeral nonentity.
Mayor: Ari Goldkind’s I-call-bullshit ethos made him a refreshing, energizing post–Labour Day presence in the campaign. In debates, he could neutralize Doug Ford in ways that neither John Tory nor Olivia Chow possibly could. Goldkind scared the daylights out of all of them. No matter what percentage of votes he pulls, his will undoubtedly be tonight’s best party.
Bianca Bolognese, 65, Retired hairdresser. At Don Bosco Catholic Secondary School, Etobicoke.
“I love the Fords because they say what they do and they do what they say. What their personal life is is not my business, even if the media wants to get on it. I couldn’t care less. I don’t care for all the news about it, I just watch the track record, what they do. I think they do really well…anything Ford is my favourite.”
Jacqueline Samuels, Mature student. At Don Bosco Catholic Secondary School, Etobicoke.
“I really love this city and…so does the Ford family, they love the city. It’s not just about politics and who gets to be the boss and who gets to move and groove our city—it’s about people that care. I’ve heard testimony from many seniors, people that don’t even have kids in school, but when they had a problem, who are they going to call? And who helped to resolve their problem? You’ll hear lots of that going on. The people’s man. That’s right, that’s right. If you ask everybody around here, at the end of the day, the people count.”
Twister Chow! (April)
— Don Peat (@reporterdonpeat) April 29, 2014
60th birthday bash (May)
— John Tory (@johntoryTO) June 14, 2014
Robyn Young, 39, Teacher. At Metro Hall.
“I just feel that she’s the best representative for such a diverse city, one of the most diverse cities in the world. She’s a minority, and also a female would be a good representative for Toronto. It’s not so much about her platform, it’s more about just the kind of person that I think she is.”
Virginia Ohorodnyk, 83, Homemaker. At Don Bosco Catholic Secondary School, Etobicoke.
“I like her. I like her ideas. She’s really interested in the subway and all that stuff and I think that means a lot for people that don’t have cars and can’t drive. I’m sure she’s got a lot of other things up her sleeve.”
I spoke with two people today who wondered when the hell the city expected them to vote. Polls didn’t open until 10 a.m., after they were at work. After work there were kids to gather from daycare, dinner to make, dishes to clean, baths to draw and stories to read, which essentially ran through to 8 p.m. The rituals of the polling station have not kept pace with people’s lives.
Meanwhile, at my home base in Peterborough, I voted on Sunday night at 10:30 p.m. Everyone in the house was asleep, so I was alone to ponder the weight of my choice in silence, for as long as I bloody well wanted, without a lineup of other harried voters exhorting me to hurry up. It took less than ten minutes and involved a slightly byzantine system of password creations, confirmation emails and secret-code retrievals (for the purpose of ensuring my ballot was kept secret). I highly recommend it.
The Liberal-NDP proxy fight reaches beyond Ward 20. Provincially the New Democrats took a beating at the hands of the Liberals, who stole 3 of their 5 ridings. One of the remaining NDP footholds (federally, provincially and municipally) is Toronto Danforth, where Ward 30’s Paula Fletcher is up against Liberal-approved Liz West. In 2010 Fletcher barely edged out West’s tide of red signage. This time around, with Jane Farrow potentially splitting the vote on the left, this could be West’s year.
Idil Burale, Ward 1:
— Idil Burale (@IdilBurale) October 17, 2014
Niels Christensen, Ward 4:
First sign ready to go! Many thanks to the volunteers! pic.twitter.com/dMSg0XiGmd
— Niels Christensen (@electniels) October 2, 2014
Lekan Olawoye, Ward 12:
— Craig Ruttan (@crut) October 18, 2014
Saeed Selvam, Ward 17:
— Aurelija (@jusytea) October 15, 2014
And Jane Farrow, Ward 30:
— Zoë Gemelli (@zoegemelli) September 27, 2014
Just noticed this presumptuous change to the Tory logo on the passes being worn by all pic.twitter.com/XyKpPujwFv
— Jennifer Pagliaro (@jpags) October 27, 2014
The Wifi password at the Tory party is "torywins!" Says @DavidNickle: "They're going to make us type those words 1 way or another"
— Ann Hui (@annhui) October 27, 2014
Well, this is different. (At Jane and Wilson) pic.twitter.com/H9trjDikOh
— Karolyn Coorsh (@KarolynCoorsh) October 27, 2014
For all the effort that Ward 7 candidate Harp Brar put into evoking the hackneyed “Keep Calm and Carry On” poster, the least he could have done was have a website that lived up to the refined tackiness. The design he settled on would make any potential voter more nervous.
At least he figured out how to stand out in a crowd of red-and-white signs.
— Trevor Dunn (@trevorjdunn) October 27, 2014
But another candidate running against Ward 7 incumbent Giorgio Mammoliti gave Brar’s sign the facepalm it probably deserved at first glance.
— Keegan Henry-Mathieu (@Keeganhm) October 16, 2014
Graeme McEachern, the former Rob Ford receptionist who has been on the campaign trail with Doug, has posted some potential parting shots on Twitter:
And here’s the candidate himself on YouTube with a 4 p.m. reminder that there were only four hours left to vote. (The video has only been viewed by a few dozen people.) This is a long way down from the Ford Nation YouTube show, back in the days of fighting words with Kevin Spacey.
— Doug Ford Campaign (@DougFord2014) October 27, 2014