Timeline of John Tory’s surprising resignation as Toronto mayor

21 February 2023 / by Daniel Centeno

John Tory’s time as mayor came to an end as of Friday, Feb.17 at 5PM. 

This is one week since he announced his intention to resign after disclosing a relationship with a 31-year-old staffer, which he said was consensual and ended earlier this year. 

Around 8pm on Feb. 10, the Toronto Star released an article that outlined Tory’s relationship with a 31-year-old staffer that began during the earlier parts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Tory called it an error of judgement, and that the relationship ended in early 2023. The staffer no longer works in the city. Tory confirmed the accuracy of the article and called for a press conference at 8:30 PM when he announced his intention to resign. 

The aftermath of Tory’s resignation produced mixed feelings from politicians and residents. 

Toronto Centre MPP Kristyn Wong-Tam tweeted out their initial reactions to the news. They said it’s no secret that John Tory and they had political disagreements. Wong-Tam agrees that he should resign. 

They said the affair was not a simple, one-time lapse of judgement, and that it was a maintained, inappropriate multi-year relationship with a junior staff person. Further, Wong-Tam said Tory abused his power and breached the code of conduct of his elected office.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford said he wanted Tory to stay on and told the media that a “leftie” left wing mayor would cause more harm than good. 

By Wednesday Feb.15, Tory was back in city hall to finalize the city’s 2023 budget. 

The meeting was hampered by individuals in the press gallery who interrupted motions and criticized Tory over his integrity. 

Approval of the budget included Tory’s proposal to increase the police budget by about $48 million, which pushes it to about $1.6 billion for 2023. 

Other votes included the decreased TTC budget that will lead to reduced service and a 10 per cent fare hike per ride. 

Tory did not speak to the media, but sent in his formal letter of resignation to the city clerk.  

Finally, 30 mins before his resignation became official at 5PM on Feb.17, Tory addressed the media. He called Toronto the “best city in the world,” spoke about his dedication to his job and the transition towards making Deputy Mayor Jennifer McKelvie the leader until a by-election is called. 

Tory was first elected as mayor in 2014. Prior to that, he held several of positions on a variety of boards, including Rogers Communications. 

His political career also saw him become leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservatives in the early 2000s. 

After two full terms as mayor, his third one ends at four months and 15 days since the October 2022 Ontario election. 

Listen to CJRU’s coverage of John Tory’s resignation: