Tory registers to seek third term as Toronto election gets underway

John Tory has formally registered to seek a third term as Toronto’s mayor, one which could make him the city’s longest serving chief magistrate should he be re-elected and stick around for another four years.

Tory was one of the first candidates to file his papers with the city clerk on Monday morning, as the window to register as a candidate for mayor, councillor or school board trustee officially opened ahead of the Oct. 24 municipal election.

Tory was first elected in 2014 and was re-elected in 2018, defeating former chief planner Jennifer Keesmaat by a comfortable margin. He announced in March that he would seek a third term.

“I'm happy to have submitted my registration again so that I can offer myself to the people to provide strong and experienced leadership, to move the city forward and to make sure that we can recover (from the COVID-19 pandemic) as strongly as ever. So that is what I will be trying to do. But in the meantime, I'm going to continue to be the mayor,” Tory told reporters, shortly after filing his papers. “I have that responsibility, I take it very seriously and I'll just continue to do the job. There will be lots of time going forward for discussion of future plans for the city and discussion of all the issues that are out there that confront city, of which there are many.”

Tory is the only high profile candidate to date to declare their intention to run for mayor, though others could certainly step forward between now and nominations closing on Aug. 19.

Should Tory be re-elected he would have an opportunity to surpass Art Eggleton (1980 to 1991) as Toronto’s longest serving mayor.

The former cable executive, however, was not interested in discussing matters of legacy on Monday at city hall or his plans for the upcoming campaign for that matter.

“I have a job to do it and it is a job I take very seriously. I've worked day and night on that job for years now and especially during the pandemic and I will continue to do that because I have the responsibility,” he said. “I also look forward to participating in a campaign because I'd like to set out some of the thoughts I have for the future but in the meantime, I'm completely occupied doing my job as mayor.”

All prospective candidates for municipal office are prohibited from raising money for their campaign or spending it until they have officially filed their registration paperwork with the city clerk.

So far a number of incumbent city councillors have already announced that they are not seeking re-election this October, including former Board of Health Chair Joe Cressy and longtime downtown councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam.

Notable candidates to formally register so far:

  • Current TDSB Trustee Chris Moise is registered as a candidate for city council in Ward 13. The ward is currently represented by Kristyn Wong-Tam, who is leaving city politics to run in the upcoming provincial election.
  • Former journalist Siri Agrell, who served as Tory’s director of strategic initiatives during his first term, is registered as a candidate in Ward 4. The ward is currently represented by longtime city councillor Gord Perks.
  • Former TDSB Trustee Ausma Malik is registered as a candidate in Ward 10. Joe Cressy, who stepped down as the ward’s councillor last month in order to take a job at Humber College, has endorsed Malik.