About the Ward

Toronto Centre is one of the city’s fastest growing wards, with a population growth of 10.5 percent from 2011-2016. Covering the heart of the downtown core, the ward includes neighbourhoods such as Regent Park, St. Jamestown, St. Lawrence Market, Church and Wellesley, and Cabbagetown. Affordable housing is a key issue in Toronto Centre, with 46.5 percent of tenants spending more than 30 percent of their income on rent. 82 percent of private dwellings are high-rise buildings. As a result, the ward is the most crowded, with a density of 184 people per hectare. Kristyn Wong-Tam resigned from her council seat in early 2022 to run in the provincial election, making this ward one of the most contested in the city.

Where the Candidates Stand

Nine candidates are running in Ward 13—a mix of experienced activists, politicians, and neighbourhood advocates. Chris Moise has been the local TDSB trustee since 2016, and was the former vice-chair of the board from 2017 to 2018. Colin Johnson is a longtime activist and volunteer on issues relating to harm reduction, HIV/AIDS, decolonization, anti-Black racism, and 2SLGBTIQ rights. Miguel Avila is an Indigenous activist who previously ran for city council in 2014 and placed seventh. And Nicki Ward is a human rights and environmental activist. (See their fact-checked bios in the section below)

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 challengers a survey asking them how they would have voted on those same 12 motions.

Four candidates replied to The Local’s survey.

Here Are the Takeaways

  • Most of the candidates who responded took progressive stances on most issues. Chris Moise and Miguel Avila both would increase property taxes, and would not hike the police budget to combat gun violence.
  • Dan Cortez Manalo, who does not have a platform posted online, would vote most in line with John Tory. He was against most tax increases, and a judicial inquiry into encampment clearings.
  • Nicki Ward, who took progressive stances on most issues, would not increase property taxes, stating that “Residential Tax Rate affects renters, low income families and RGTI [rent geared to income]—tax is hidden in rent and any increase is flowed through directly to renters. In favour of fair taxation but NOT at the expense of renters.”

Correction: September 28—A previous version of this page misidentified the Colin Johnson running for council in Ward 13.

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.