Toronto’s 50 Most Influential: #3, John Tory
3He’s not quite Frank Underwood, but Tory has shown himself to be a master of political back-channeling. The result is a welcome change from the fractious days under Mayor Ford: a council that gets things done, and with minimal drama. In 2016, Tory corralled the 27 council votes needed to endorse a one-stop Scarborough subway extension, legalized Uber and convinced Metrolinx to build six new GO stations—the first step toward the realization of SmartTrack (however bumpy its future may be). He also staunched the spread of dispensaries, faced his Black Lives Matter critics and stepped up the crackdown on traffic. Tory has leveraged his direct line to Wynne and Trudeau to wrangle money and promises from both, including a $150-million commitment from Queen’s Park to pay for the planning of a relief line.
He’ll try to convince council to support taxes and fees to pay for transit infrastructure—without losing crucial votes in 2018.