Monday’s municipal election was the first under the new ward boundaries brought in by the provincial government, a decision that cut the number of seats — which had been set to increase to 47 from 44 — roughly in half. As a result, the city saw not only brand new candidates fighting for a position, but also incumbent councillors facing off against each other in whirlwind campaigns to remain on council.
In the shakeup, some who have held positions on council for years found themselves on the cutting room floor.
After serving 44 years on council, Norm Kelly was defeated by fellow veteran politician Jim Karygiannis in Scarborough-Agincourt. Karygiannis has been in Scarborough politics for three decades, and picked up around 47 per cent of the vote over Kelly’s 37 per cent.
Controversial and longtime councillor Giorgio Mammoliti was ousted by rival incumbent Anthony Perruzza after their old North York wards were combined. And Joe Mihevc, a councillor since 2000 in the old Ward 21, lost to former Ward 22 councillor Josh Matlow in the new Ward 12, Toronto—St. Paul’s.
There were only two city wards without incumbent councillors running for the seat. In Beaches—East York, newcomer Brad Bradford pulled off a win over the presumed front-runner Matthew Kellway, who had the backing of outgoing councillor Janet Davis. Cynthia Lai won the other open seat in Scarborough North.
And one new-to-city hall challenger managed to successfully defeat the incumbent councillor in their area: Jennifer McKelvie won the seat in Ward 25, Scarborough—Rouge Park, with only 154 more votes than incumbent Neethan Shan.
It remains to be seen how the new, smaller city council will handle issues that come with larger boundaries and bigger populations per ward, with many councillors now responsible for more than 100,000 people.