The no-politics mayoral candidate questionnaire: Mark Saunders

The no-politics mayoral candidate questionnaire: Mark Saunders

“My biggest pet peeve is when people don’t pick up dog poop”

Toronto mayoral candidate Mark Saunders

Long hours, combative colleagues and mean tweets for days: running Toronto is brutal work. The past two mayors left in ignominy. Why, then, is the slate of contenders longer than the line to eat at Alo? A record 102 candidates know that the city is on the verge of delivering huge, legacy-entrenching projects: thousands of affordable new homes, several new transit lines and the 2026 World Cup to cap it all off. If everything goes to plan, Toronto’s next mayor will get credit for lifting the city out of the pandemic and into a more hopeful future.

But, first, candidates have the daunting task of setting themselves apart from the crowd. For voters who can’t make up their minds based on hot-button issues like TTC safety, affordable housing and the future of Ontario Place, we present the ultimate tiebreaker: a questionnaire in which the front runners give answers on just about every topic other than politics—the theory being that, if their policies haven’t convinced voters, perhaps their personalities will.

Name: Mark Saunders

Age: 60

Neighbourhood: North York

Last job: Police chief of Toronto

My most impressive trait: I’m a good listener.

My least impressive trait: I can’t find my keys on a good day.

The last time I experienced joy: Every morning when my dog Copper’s wet nose wakes me up.

More Candidate Questionnaires

My biggest vice: Cherry cheesecake
My coffee order: Black
The fast food item I could survive on for the rest of my life: Ackee saltfish with fried dumplings
How much I usually tip: 18 per cent
The last book I read: The Fight by Norman Mailer

The last show I binged: Succession

The last concert I went to: Lenny Kravitz

A slightly embarrassing fact no one knows about me: I can’t carry a tune.

What a bad day looks like for me: Any day that doesn’t end in a “decompression talk” with my wife, Stacey.

My first job: Farmhand—hardest job ever

My biggest pet peeve: People who don’t pick up dog poop

My celebrity doppelgänger: I’d like to say Taye Diggs, but I’m not sure anyone agrees. 

My favourite curse word: I don’t really swear.

My last splurge: Anything tech—if there’s a new gadget, I’ve got it.

My biggest regret: Some homicide cases still keep me up at night.

What I’d like written on my tombstone:He made a difference.”

Car, bike or TTC: Car and TTC (a 60/40 split)

Raptors, Jays, Leafs, TFC or Argos: Raptors

My favourite watering hole: My balcony

The best view of the city: From a nighttime water taxi returning from the islands

The Torontonian I’d most like to spend a day with: Steve Paikin

Where I would live if not Toronto: There’s nowhere I’d rather be.