IG news Update,
The Toronto municipal election is just over a month away. This means it is time for voters to think about which issues matter most to them.
With 31 candidates for the chair of mayor and 164 for a seat on the council, this election will shape the city for years to come.
- A complete list of certified candidates for city mayor, council, and school board trustee can be found here. The link also includes contact information for any candidates who have voluntarily provided it.
- Not sure if you’re registered to vote in this election? This handy guide can help.
Last week, CBC Toronto asked you to tell us about the concerns that are top of mind about the October 24 vote.
From the nearly 100 responses so far, clear threads have emerged – most of them stemming from the perennial frustrations of many who call Toronto home.
Two themes in particular come up frequently: safety (or lack thereof) on city streets and the housing crisis.
There were also issues that intersect with other elements of daily life in Toronto, such as public transportation, construction and policing.
- Do you have a question about Municipal Government? Would you like to tell us what issues you will focus on when you cast your ballot? There is still time to fill out our questionnaire.
Here’s a sampling of what you told us so far. We’ll keep this story updated as the campaign unfolds.
The question of roads and who they should be for is a near-constant point of political tension in the city. It is clear from the responses that making roads safe for cyclists and pedestrians is a major issue for many voters.
“Prioritize cycling and pedestrians over cars in every area of the city, but especially in the city,” A defendant living on Danforth wrote. “Create different bike lanes on each road. Make walking and cycling easier.”
Similar sentiments were echoed by others.
“Toronto needs … to raise the speed limit on all residential roads to 30 km/h and on all main roads to 40 km/h (unless the higher speed limit can be reasonably justified), and the city Complete the Bloor-Danforth-Kingston and Yonge bikeways for. Boundaries by 2026. Establishment of bike lanes requires a fairly rapid pace,” A downtown defendant wrote.
Several people who filled out the informal survey also said they would support the illegal turning on of red beacons in the city.
Of course, bike lanes and pedestrian infrastructure are not supported by everyone, especially drivers who feel they contribute to Toronto’s infamous traffic congestion.
“Remove bike lanes. Main roads like Bloor and Yong are gridlocked in one lane. Even emergency vehicles can’t go. Cafetto is a pestilence of the past and is unnecessary and always empty when I pass by. Also breaks along the way There was unnecessarily more traffic jam at the end of November.” A respondent from Midtown wrote.
Just as in June’s provincial vote, the crushing cost of housing and a growing lack of affordable options will be a top issue in the municipal election.
Several respondents said they support significant zoning reforms to allow for more mid-rise construction, or what is sometimes referred to as the “missing middle.” The province’s Housing Affordability Task Force, in its February 2022 report, found that in about 70 percent of Toronto – the roughly 200 square kilometer area known as the Yellow Belt – zoning guidelines prevent all single-family homes from being built. .
“End exclusionary zoning. Stop endless meetings and delays for every single attempt to build homes for people,” One person wrote.
“Revise zoning restrictions to allow for mixed buildings – retail at street level, residential above – up to six floors on any street served by transit; buildings up to three floors on residential streets, subdivision of lots ; and exemption of development charges for rental housing comprising 20 per cent of affordable units,” Wrote another from East York.
Housing affordability is already prominently visible on the campaign trail. Mayor John Tory, who is running for re-election, used his first official campaign program to nail down his plan to build more housing. You can read about it here.
Meanwhile, Gil Pealosa, one of Tory’s challengers, has also released a detailed housing plan, which you can read about here.
Many local councilors are also putting housing at the core of their platforms, while advocacy group More Neighbors Toronto has registered as a third-party advertiser for the campaign.
If you’re interested in hearing city employees’ perspectives on the future of housing development, you might want to check out Metro Morning’s recent conversation with Toronto chief planner Greg Lintern:
Metro Morning13:06Could building more multiplexes help solve Toronto’s housing crisis?
Other municipal issues repeatedly raised by the respondents include:
- Police and Police Budget.
- Homeless and Park Cantonment.
- Roads and sidewalks closed for condo construction.
You can tell us what your main issues are by filling out the survey below: