(Bloomberg) — John Tory cruised to a third term as mayor of Toronto, as voters in Canada’s financial capital opted for a status-quo candidate with a strong fiscal pedigree at a time of growing economic uncertainty.
It’s the first time any mayor has won three consecutive elections in Toronto since it was merged with five other municipalities to create an enlarged city in 1998. Tory had 234,481 votes — more than three times that of his closest competitor — as of 8:24 pm with results in from 1,220 of 1,535 polls, according to cable news channel CP24.
Canada’s largest city is facing a number of challenges, including the lingering financial effects of Covid-19 lockdowns, a likely recession and a housing affordability crisis.
Among Tory’s main campaign promises was a pledge to fix the housing crisis. Years of rising prices and the recent surge in mortgage rates has kept home ownership out of reach for many residents, and rents are rising. Tory’s plan involves opening up vast tracts of residential land currently dedicated to single-family homes to multiplexes and apartment buildings.
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That promise resonated with voters, even as Tory’s Bay Street credentials won support from the right. A fiscal conservative, Tory hails from an established Toronto business family; a storied law firm, Torys LLP, was founded by his grandfather. The mayor previously served as leader of Ontario’s Progressive Conservative party.
Thirty-one candidates ran for the mayor’s office in Toronto, which has about 2.8 million people. Elections for four-year terms are also happening in other municipalities across Ontario, including Ottawa.