About the Ward

​​Located in downtown Toronto, between Dundas Street and Lake Ontario, Spadina-Fort York is one of the most contested races in the municipal election. With former councillor Joe Cressy not seeking re-election, 12 candidates are running to take his place. One of the fastest growing wards in the city, Spadina-Fort York is fairly young and educated, with the median age listed at 32.4 and 79 percent of residents holding a post-secondary education.

Where the Candidates Stand

Of the 12 candidates in the running, Ausma Malik, a former TDSB trustee for the area, is considered the frontrunner, but there are some other candidates with a strong shot. April Engleberg came second to Cressy in the 2018 election, and is running again. She made headlines when she floated the idea of building a lift bridge to the islands.

The matrix below provides a head-to-head comparison of where council candidates stand on key issues. The Local combed through city council records to review all the decisions made over the last four years and identify a dozen votes that are the most telling of where councillors stand on different issues: homelessness, transportation, housing, policing, taxes, and the environment. We then sent a survey to candidates asking them how they would have voted on those motions.

Nine candidates responded to The Local’s survey, including both Malik and Engleberg.

Here Are the Takeaways

  • Perhaps unsurprisingly for such a young ward, most of the candidates who responded to The Local’s survey supported progressive causes. Four of the eight candidates polled—Malik, Igor Samardzic, Andrei Zodian, and Kyle Enslen—said they support raising property taxes to fund a TTC fare freeze.
  • Rocco Achampong, a former PC candidate, voted against property tax increases. He commented that he doesn’t think taxes should be raised given Toronto’s affordability problems—instead, he has proposed a congestion fee charged to non-residents and non-business owners commuting to Spadina-Fort York for work.
  • Every single candidate polled by The Local was united on one issue: housing. They all support more affordable units for Housing Now developments, and banning above guideline rent increases for units in Housing Now.
  • Similarly, all candidates supported hiking the industrial wastewater surcharge.


Correction: October 19—A previous version of this page said that city council candidate Rocco Achampong was most aligned with John Tory, voting against tax increases. This has been changed to say that Achampong voted against property tax increases.

Information in Candidate Tracker was compiled and written by The Local’s team of journalists and fact checkers. City council candidates were emailed a questionnaire asking for information about their history, experience, and plans. They were also surveyed about their stances on twelve key votes that took place in the 2018-22 council term. Not all candidates were reachable or responded. The Local also conducted its own research to independently source and verify information about each city council and school trustee candidate. If you’re a candidate whose information is not here, please email us at elections@thelocal.to. Last updated: October 20, 2022.

Contributors: Inori Roy, Ann Marie Elpa, Nikky Manfredi, Danielle Orr, H.G. Watson, Emma Buchanan, Dhriti Gupta, Zeahaa Rehman, Neville Park, Nicholas Hune-Brown, Tai Huynh, Craig Madho, Steve Combes, and Lia Mattacchione.