Let’s review the websites of Toronto’s mayoral candidates

Let’s review the websites of Toronto’s mayoral candidates


They say you can tell a lot about someone by what kind of shoes they wear. Right? They say that? Still?

Anyway, if that’s even true, then surely it must also hold that you can gain insight into Toronto’s mayoral hopefuls by looking at their websites, which are now all online. So, let’s do exactly that.

Rob Ford

Address: Robfordmayor.ca

Tagline: It’s all about respect for tax payers. [Sic. “Taxpayer” is usually spelled as a compound word.]

Palette: The classic red, white and blue that mark Rob Ford as what he probably thinks he is: some Great Northern mutation of an all-American dixiecrat politician good ole boy.

Social media: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube.

Tentpole issues: Keeping taxes low, the Scarborough subway extension, being Rob Ford.

Review: Ford’s campaign site is a Burroughsian cut-up of mismatched fonts and design elements. Italics and ALL CAPS are deployed with abandon.

Bonuses: All those Ford Nation YouTube videos are there, whew.

Grade: B-


Olivia Chow

Address: Oliviachow.ca

Tagline: New Mayor. Better City.

Palette: Purple and yellow, with no sign of NDP orange.

Social media: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Flickr.

Tentpole issues: Children, jobs, transit.

Review: Chow’s website plays down her marriage to the late Jack Layton, something many might have expected her to coast on. The site works across partisan divides, mentioning honours from both the Toronto Sun (readers’ choice gold award for being a Top Torontonian) and NOW (where she took best city councillor honours nine times). She also goes by “Olivia,” which is just friendly as heck.

Bonuses: Responsive design! (But then, most of these sites have responsive design, which just means they’ll look as good on your iPad or iPhone as they do on your desktop computer.)

Grade: B+


David Soknacki

Address: Soknacki2014.com

Tagline: Make Soknacki Mayor

Palette: Orange and yellow. It looks like a bag of candy corn. Or a molten Bart Simpson popsicle.

Tentpole issues: Adorably, Soknacki plays up his no-name, li’l guy bona fides by defining issues in terms of “David vs…” There’s David vs. Gridlock, David vs. Partisan Gridlock, David vs. Secrecy and David vs. Red Tape.

Social media: Facebook, Twitter. Sadly, David Soknacki does not have an Instagram for tasteful photos of him dispassionately making levelheaded budget decisions. Maybe he’s on Tinder?

Review: This website looks like absolute trash. It offends the eyes. It’s like looking at the website of a mayoral candidate in a Klasky Csupo cartoon, like if Assistant Principal Bone on Doug ran for mayor. What are these fonts? Flintstones fonts? But beneath that Soknacki-ish crudité, there is a Soknacki-ish efficiency.

Bonuses: It takes your eyes four minutes to readjust after looking at David Soknacki’s website for just ten seconds.

Grade: D+


Karen Stintz

Address: Karen2014.ca

Tagline: Karen’s Toronto

Palette: Lots of yellows. And flowers. Sort of a “Canadian Cancer Society” aesthetic.

Tentpole issues: Fiscal responsibility. Transportation gridlock. Responsible and accountable government

Social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, a broken RSS feed.

Review: This is pretty bare bones. There’s basically three blurbs on policy and then an “About Karen” page that names her children and mentions that she skis. So if your only criteria for voting for someone are “skis” and “has a nine-year old boy named Jackson,” then you’re fine. Otherwise, there’s not much here. Though given that Stintz is somewhat, ugh, mercurial (read: compulsive flip-flopper), she probably wants to give herself the breathing room to change how she feels about issues five times before she abandons ship and joins John Tory’s campaign by mid-summer.

Bonuses: None, really.

Grade: C


John Tory

Address: Johntory.ca

Tagline: John Tory

Tentpole issues: John Tory

Social Media: Facebook, Twitter

Palette: Distinguished greys, serious blacks, and emerald greens.

Review: Before you can even get into the site proper, a big splashy box appears asking you to become a supporter by entering your e-mail. It’s like, “Tory. Buddy. Calm down. I don’t want to register. I just want to look at your website so I can make fun of it.” Otherwise, John Tory’s website is high on its John Tory-ness, constantly mentioning his name, his credentials, but making no real policy commitments beyond the downtown relief line. Also, like his fellow candidate D-Soks, he uses the gridlock metaphor to refer to political gridlock at City Hall. Snooze! Still, the man looks elegant as heck in just an Oxford and a v-neck.

Bonuses: A video of John Tory talking at you.

Grade: John Tory