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The People for Mayor: Interviews with Toronto Mayoral Candidates 2023

In June, Toronto will vote for mayor. Now that may be partially a “vote by the people” in name only, because as few as 30% of citizens may vote in municipal elections. Shocking but true – and we encourage you to change that by getting involved and at minimum learning about the candidates for mayor.

We are researching and reaching out to mayoral candidates

How our process works: We reached out via email to each candidate on our short list. We contacted those who are actively getting press and considered among leaders.

We sent two emails. The first was an invite to speak with us on camera and off camera. The second was a detailed list of questions and link to our blog post. If a candidate cannot meet wth us, they can respond to our questions.

As we get responses we will update this post. and by the way we have no affiliation with any of the campaigns and we will not endorse a candidate.

Who will be the next mayor of Toronto? And will that person really represent the city?

So far there are 50 people running and a half dozen leaders. the front runners tend to have experience in politics: Olivia Chow, Josh Matlow, Brad Bradford, Ana Bailão, these people who have city council or other political experience first come to mind.

Is there room for challengers or newcomers? Is youth represented? Are marginalized communities represented? Do you feel represented?

We are reaching out to the campaigns to get their feedback on issues we think are important to our community of creators, artists and photographers.

What would you like to ask the candidates? What issues are important to you? What do you think of the candidates? Who is your pick?

Questions for candidates

These are our core questions for interview subjects. In the event that we cannot arrange an in-person interview we invite the offices of the candidates to submit answers in writing.

  1. About yourself and your background in this city. Who are you? Where are you from? What community do you live in?
  2. We are concerned about electoral reform. Where do you stand on changing the first past the post system, rank ballots and term limits at municipal or other levels?
  3. We are concerned about arts programming. What do you advise for how the city can best support the arts and creative culture?
  4. Safety in the streets and on transit. How can Toronto be a safer city, particularly on transit and in stations?
  5. Strong mayor powers. How can the mayor work responsibly with council to make sure rulings and new laws are democratic under a strong mayor system?

Responses from candidates

As we mentioned we have reached out to leading candidates and welcome any candidates in the broader field to get in touch wit us and meet with us or answer these questions for our coverage. We will repost answers as we receive them.

If you would like to support our endeavour by doing research or writing, or helping with interviews and camera work, please get in touch.

Thanks and good luck to all the candidates!


Josh Matlow – our first interview subject is Mr. Matlow, current city councillor for Trinity-St. Paul’s ward. We have posted the interview. Please give it a read.

Ana Bailão – We have contacted the office of Ms. Bailão and received a reply. We hope to arrange an interview soon.

Olivia Chow – We have reached out to Ms. Chow’s office. We have not received a reply to our request for an interview.

More candidates have been invited to participate and we’ll post their interviews as they are completed.

Resources and links

We recommend you read some articles to educate yourself about the issues facing Toronto and what the candidates promise.

City of Toronto election website candidate list

Toronto Star: List of “high profile” candidates /

The Local: Feature on where candidates stand on various issues and how they voted in relation to John Tory (if they are councillors).

Toronto Star: Adam Vaughn says mayoral candidates need to present housing plans

FairVote.caElection reform information addressing “first past the post” and “proportionate representation” as central issues.

Article about city politics, low turnout of voters, rank ballot and term limits (from 2022).

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