Wards to Watch

Click here for the article as it appears on EYE WEEKLY’s official website. Originally published August 26, 2010.

Etobicoke North Ward 2
With Rob Ford running in the mayoral campaign, there’s a new Ford model — his brother Doug. If Etobicoke North is looking for a change, Jason Pedlar is casting himself as a proactive choice for getting things done in the clamshell. Health professional and activist Cadigia Ali, who finished second to Rob Ford in the last election, is running again.

York West Ward 8
In the last election, the police had to be called in after allegations of shoving at polling stations in the North York ward. Anthony Perruzza beat his long-time political rival Peter Li Preti by 579 votes. The race was heated, with nasty allegations coming from both sides. It resulted in the unseating of an incumbent — Li Preti had been a councillor since 1997. It’s time for the rematch.

North York Centre Ward 10
Mike Feldman is retiring after nearly 20 years on council. Nancy Oomen, his senior executive assistant, is running to replace him. Her stiffest competition will likely come from Ward 5 school-board trustee James Pasternak. Brian Shifman, who has worked in municipal government in Vaughan, is making his political debut where he lives this year.

Davenport Ward 18
As Adam Giambrone steps aside, the rapidly changing neighbourhoods of Davenport may consider a new direction. Former Ontario Green Party leader Frank de Jong has some new ideas about property taxation aimed at curbing sprawl. Kevin Beaulieu, Giambrone’s executive assistant, hopes to offer his experience at City Hall and a slightly different take than his former boss. Ana Bailão, who came in second to Giambrone in the last election, is running again.

Parkdale-High Park Ward 13
Junction residents are interested in being involved in changes to their neighbourhood. Everything ranging from the new Starbucks to recent proposals regarding some century homes is proving to be a controversial sign of change. Can incumbent Bill Saundercook hang on?

Trinity-Spadina Ward 19
This ward is host to a battle of celebrity candidates vying to replace mayoral candidate Joe Pantalone including Michael “Son of Jack” Layton and Sportsnet broadcaster Sean “Don’t call him a jock” McCormick. Layton has built a career in public consultation. McCormick was sick of complaining about waste at city hall and decided to do something about it. Also running is Karen Sun, who has served as executive director of the Chinese Canadian National Council–Toronto Chapter for the last four years.

St. Paul’s Ward 22
Chris Sellors is another executive assistant aiming to replace his boss, retiring councillor Michael Walker. He has attracted some attention for setting his campaign office up close to a developer. His main challenger is the Ward 22 school-board trustee Josh Matlow. Both candidates offer valuable experience, which puts 22-year-old rookie candidate William Molls in a tight spot. The key issues in this area are development, intensification and the future of light rail transit on Eglinton Avenue.

Don Valley West Ward 26
John Parker took over from Jane Pitfield when she ran for mayor in 2006, but he only won by a hair. Jon Burnside, an ex-cop and ex-husband of Carla Collins, is hoping to mount a substantial challenge to Parker. Burnside’s involvement in house-league hockey actually touches on a major issue in Leaside, the lack of access to rinks. There are also candidates like Mohamed Dhanani and Sagu Vinothachandran who are drumming up support from the substantial South Asian community in the ward.

Toronto Centre-Rosedale Ward 27
With Kyle Rae gone, Toronto Centre-Rosedale is a hotly contested race. Enza Anderson (formerly “Supermodel”), the transgendered Metro columnist, is returning to fight again after Rae defeated her in the last election. Though relatively young, candidate Chris Tindal has some experience campaigning as an Ontario Green Party candidate. Kristyn Wong-Tam who has received heavyweight endorsements from Ward 20 Councillor Adam Vaughan and social activist Michele Landsberg. Simon Wookey (who challenged Adam Giambrone last election) is hoping to break through in his home ward after having a successful career in heritage-related development.

Toronto-Danforth Ward 29
With Case Ootes retiring from the Toronto Danforth seat, former Leaside councillor and 2006 mayoral contender Jane Pitfield is trying to reclaim a council seat. Mary Fragedakis is a solid opponent who has MPP Michael Prue and federal Toronto-Danforth MP Jack Layton as supporters. Chris Caldwell and John Richardson were in the race before Ootes retired. Caldwell hopes to involve citizens more in the planning process. Richardson is focused on keeping property taxes low and finding alternative funding for the TTC. Mike Restivo is a retiree who declared after Ootes retired that he wants the city to take responsibility for its own finances.

Beaches-East York Ward 32
Candidates in this ward are no strangers to controversy. Sandra Bussin was under fire for her involvement in the zoning of a house on Beech Ave. as a heritage property. Bruce Baker, who once got into a legal battle with former councillor Tom Jakobek, declared his candidacy long before the 204 Beech controversy. Martin Gladstone, the man behind the documentary film that provoked the Queers Against Israeli Apartheid–Pride Toronto debacle, is also running in this ward.

Scarborough Southwest Ward 36
While Brian Ashton’s departure has left a wide-open race in Scarborough Southwest, there isn’t much debate. The candidates seem to be united in opposition to wind turbines, both the land-transfer and vehicle-registration taxes and development of the Quarry Lands. Gary Crawford, veteran TDSB trustee, is the most likely contender.

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