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Toronto Region Board of Trade comments on results of Mayoral By-Election

Toronto's City Hall against a blue sky

TORONTO, June 26, 2023 Today, the Toronto Region Board of Trade responded to the results of the Toronto Mayoral By-Election:

The Toronto Region Board of Trade congratulates Olivia Chow on winning the Toronto Mayoral By-Election. She and her team ran a strong campaign, and we look forward to working with her to build toward a more livable city for all.

Thank you to all candidates who put their names forward to lead our great city. It takes an enormous amount of commitment and dedication to put one’s name on the ballot. There were many credible candidates with strong ideas, and we hope their voices, and the voices of those who voted for them, will continue to be heard throughout the remaining three years of this Council term.

TRBOT conducted its own campaign throughout this by-election, deploying issues guides and op-eds on the TVO website, as well as hosting a Mayoral Debate. Our Election platform – What’s at Stake, Toronto? – was a call for voters to understand that this campaign is taking place at an inflection point in our city’s history, and for candidates to respond with real plans to address these issues: congestion, public safety, homelessness, and affordability. What connects these challenges is our broken fiscal framework, which makes it impossible to keep up with the costs of solutions.

As the 66th Mayor of Toronto, Mayor-Elect Chow is stepping into this role at a critical juncture. These challenges have reached crisis levels and threaten to stall the forward momentum Toronto had pre-pandemic. At the root of that threat is how our city is funded. Once sworn in, Mayor-Elect Chow will be responsible for a $21 billion service organization – one with a $1.6 billion budget gap. 

Consider the City’s cost burden of providing massive-scale regional services: Toronto spends a staggering $1.1 billion per year on services that are the responsibility of federal and provincial governments – housing, social supports, and health services. 

The City is uniquely responsible for the largest stock of public housing in the country, the maintenance of two regional highways, and the largest but least subsidized transit network in Canada. We welcome and receive 34% of all newcomers to Canada but have insufficient support for housing them. The City simply does not have the means to deliver the scale of critical services expected of it, and the new mayor must work toward a new deal with the provincial and federal governments.

The job of Toronto’s Mayor is one of the most complex and impactful jobs in the country. We welcome the opportunity to work with Mayor-Elect Chow, and we will always make ourselves available to offer insights and propose solutions to further our shared goal of making Toronto the most competitive, livable, and sought-after business region in the world.


The Toronto Region Board of Trade is one of the largest and most influential business chambers in North America and is a catalyst for the region’s economic agenda. We pursue policy change to drive the growth and competitiveness of the Toronto region and facilitate market opportunities with programs, partnerships and connections to help our members succeed – domestically and internationally.

Media contact:

Jeff Lang-Weir

Director of Communications