Potential early candidates for Toronto’s mayoral byelection

10 March 2023 / by Daniel Centeno

The window to be officially named a mayoral candidate has yet to open, however several names have come forward hinting at a potential campaign for the June 26 byelection. 

Since former mayor John Tory’s surprising resignation on Feb. 10 and his official last day on the 17th, there has been speculation of who will throw their name into the election again. 

Tory admitted to an affair with a former staffer that lasted from the height of the COVID-19 pandemic to ending earlier this year.

Previously, Toronto had its election in October and is in the fifth month of the current term. 

Mayoral runner up to Tory, Gil Penalosa, confirmed his intention to run again. Penalosa gained 18 per cent of the vote in the previous election. 

If elected, Penalosa indicated on Twitter that he will not rely on the strong mayor system, and instead hope to gain at least half of the council’s approval on bills 

Former City Councilor Rob Davies said he will run for mayor when nominations open. 

Davies told CP24 in an exclusive interview that he wants to run to help make the city cleaner, safer, and kinder. Davies was a city councillor in the 1990s before Toronto’s amalgamation to include Scarborough, North York and Etobicoke.

He said Toronto and its council has to get back to providing the services that residents have come to expect. Davies considers himself a fiscal conservative, and one of his first objectives is to restructure public transit. 

Conspiracy theorist and social media personality Chris Sky announced during a rally outside of Queen’s Park his intention to run for mayor.  

Sky was one of the leading voices in opposing COVID vaccines and lockdown protocols during the height of the pandemic. 

Current city councillors who have expressed interest in possibly running include Josh Matlow, Stephen Holyday and Brad Bradford. 

Matlow was Tory’s most vocal critic in council, and continues to voice his opposition against the strong mayor system. 

Bradford, who was endorsed by Tory in the October election, is considered the ideological successor to the former mayor. 

Former University-Rosedale councillor Mike Layton announced on Twitter that he would not seek a nomination. 

Layton wrote in a statement that he was urged by many to consider running, but decided not so he can be a more present father to his young children. 

Layton cited this same reason to not run for re-election in October. 

The nomination window opens for candidates on April 3 at 8AM. 

Nominations will close Friday, May 12 at 2PM.

Advance voting will take place Thursday, June 8 to Tuesday, June 13, and the byelection will be held on Monday, June 26

More details to come. 

Listen to CJRU’s coverage of early potential mayoral candidates: