About the Ward

With a population of 104,310, this downtown ward includes the Annex, Yorkville, Little Italy, Rosedale, and the University of Toronto campus. It’s one of the wealthiest wards in the city, with an average household income of $170,832 (far higher than the city average of $102,721). Rents in the ward are high, with 52 percent of renters spending more than 30 percent of their income on shelter costs. Outgoing councillor Mike Layton has served on council since 2010. With Layton not seeking re-election, the lack of an incumbent makes this race one of the most tightly contested in the city.

Where the Candidates Stand

There are a whopping 12 candidates running to represent Ward 11—that number would have been higher, but two candidates, Diana Yoon and Ann Rhomer, dropped out of the race.

Among the higher profile candidates are Norm Di Pasquale, the TDCSB trustee for Ward 9, Robin Buxton Potts, the current interim councillor for Ward 13, and Dianne Saxe, an environmental lawyer and the former environmental commissioner of Ontario.

The matrix below provides a head-to-head comparison of where council candidates stand. The Local combed through city council records to review all the decisions made over the last four years and identified a dozen votes that are the most telling on key issues: homelessness, transportation, housing, policing, taxes, and the environment. We then sent the candidates a survey asking them how they would have voted on those same 12 motions.

The response to The Local’s survey in Ward 11 was excellent—seven candidates in total sent in answers.

Here Are the Takeaways

  • Buxton Potts and Di Pasquale are closely aligned on the issues. They support the same largely progressive causes.
  • Most of the candidates in Ward 11 would be considered progressive compared to more conservative councillors. All support affordable housing, and most support making ActiveTO bike lanes permanent.
  • All candidates, save one—Axel Arvizu—do not want to hike the police budget to combat gun violence.
  • All candidates except Arvizu support the city leasing toilets for encampments, while Dianne Saxe chose not to answer the question, saying “it makes sense for the City to pay for water and toilets for encampments, but only if the encampments are going to stay in place; I hope to find better solutions.”
  • The most contentious issue is raising property taxes two percent, which is only supported by Buxton Potts and Di Pasquale. Dianne Saxe and the other candidates don’t support the initiative, or did not respond to the question. Saxe offered additional clarification, saying “there are better alternatives to increasing city revenues, we should not depend so heavily on the property tax.” Adam Golding did not vote on the motion, saying “increasing property tax is contingent on first passing ‘Real Rent Control,’” citing Bill 23, Rent Stabilization Act, a private member’s bill that was introduced but did not pass in 2021.
  • In a later email to The Local, Andrew Layman indicated he had mistakenly voted against considering the stormwater charge, which he would in fact support.


Correction: October 23—A previous version of this page said “All candidates except Arvizu do not support the city leasing toilets for encampments” when it should have said the opposite.

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.