By-election season has arrived once again in Ward 20—Scarborough Southwest, triggered by a cascading series of by-election campaigns across the suburb this year. 

In early spring, Mitzie Hunter, MPP to Scarborough-Guildwood next door, resigned her role to run for Toronto mayor. That led to Scarborough Southwest councillor Gary Crawford resigning to run for Hunter’s provincial seat as a Conservative candidate, only to lose to Liberal candidate Andrea Hazell. Now, with Crawford’s seat on city council vacant, voters are headed back to the polls later this month—likely hoping this will be the last time for a while. Advanced polling is on November 25th and 26th, and election day is on November 30th.

Abutting the lake and bordered by Eglinton Avenue to the north, Victoria Park Avenue in the west, and Markham Road to the east, Scarborough Southwest is one of the city’s largest wards, and one characterized by stark demographic differences. The north of the ward is home to working-class families in highrises, while lakefront residents sit in the lush gardens of their million-dollar homes. The ward’s population is older and more diverse than the city average, with a majority being visible minorities, and the average household income is significantly lower than the city average. Residents of the ward’s lower-income neighbourhoods have spoken of affordability and food scarcity issues, a lack of social services, failing transit, and road safety.

There are 23 candidates vying to tackle these issues, and with no incumbent in the field (13-year councillor Crawford is not running again), the race is wide open. Scarborough Southwest has, in recent elections, been characterized by tight wins. This spring, Olivia Chow won over Ana Bailão by just five percent points. Last fall, incumbent Crawford faced a valiant challenge from Parthi Kandavel, a two-term TDSB trustee running for councillor, who was just five points behind at the end of the night. Kandavel is running again, and is joined by other familiar names, including Kevin Rupasinghe, a community and road safety advocate who finished third in 2022. Current TDSB trustee for the ward, Malika Ghous, is also running, as is her competitor from that election, safe schools advocate Anna Sidiropolous. Ghous beat Sidiropolous by only 65 votes last year.

The Local has compiled fact-checked biographies and summarized platforms, organized in alphabetical order, for all 23 candidates running in the by-election. Platforms will be updated right up to voting day.

Information in Candidate Tracker was compiled and written by The Local’s team of journalists and fact checkers through independent research and verification. The Tracker will be regularly updated as candidates register and expand their platforms. If you’re a candidate whose information is not listed or up to date, please email us at Last updated: November 30, 2023

Contributors: Inori Roy, Emma Buchanan, Rebecca Gao.