(Photo: Mayor Chow and Cycle Toronto supporters gather at City Hall.)
Mayoral By-Election 2023: Toronto Votes For Change
After John Tory’s surprising resignation in February, a long list of candidates began campaigning to become the new mayor of Toronto. Stakes were high - the 2023 by-election winner would play a crucial role in guiding city council’s policies on transit, active transportation, the environment, and the expansion of Toronto’s cycling network. Leading up to the election Cycle Toronto surveyed candidates on their commitment to several road safety policies. Our survey results were shared widely and gave voters a better sense of which candidates would prioritise making our streets safer.
On June 26th, Torontonians had their say and voted for change, electing Mayor Olivia Chow. Almost 50% of voters cast a ballot for a candidate who supported all ten of our road safety priorities, including the acceleration of the cycling network plan to provide safe and connected bike lanes in every ward. Over 85% of voters rejected the divisive rhetoric of candidates who tried to use bike lanes as a wedge issue. Plus, the city elected its first mayor who rides a bike to work since the 1980s.
(Photo: Former Mayor John Sewell and current Mayor Chow.)
On Mayor Chow’s first day in office, Cycle Toronto invited hundreds of supporters to welcome our new Mayor on a bike ride to City Hall. As we slowly rode together down Bay Street, the sense of optimism and excitement was inescapable. After all, many on the ride have never felt represented by a Mayor who champions active transportation and who gets around by bike herself. It felt like an incredible milestone.
Although there is plenty of optimism surrounding our city’s future, it’s clear that our work is not over. Our ride was a reminder that our potential remains unrealized because too many people still don’t feel safe riding a bike for everyday transportation. Regardless of who has been in the Mayor’s office over the past decade, Cycle Toronto has been a non-partisan leader helping shape policy and build tremendous momentum for the cycling movement. We will continue to do so under Mayor Chow.
(Photo: Mayor Chow addresses Cycle Toronto supporters. Credit: Tharanga Ramanayake)