About the Ward

Toronto-Danforth is bordered on the south by Lake Ontario, on the east by Coxwell Avenue, on the north by Taylor Creek and the Don River East Branch, and on the west by the Don River. It’s an established neighbourhood, with 63 percent of homes built before 1960. Like so many wards, Toronto-Danforth has huge disparities in wealth, with 28 percent of residents having a household income above $125,000, while 46 percent of renters spending more than 30 percent of their income on shelter. Incumbent Paula Fletcher has been on Toronto city council since 2003.

Where the Candidates Stand

There are just four candidates challenging Fletcher this year, and one does not have a platform available online. Wali Abro is a Municipal Socialist Alliance candidate who has volunteered with both the Liberal and PC parties. Denise Walcott is a Danforth resident who works in marketing. James Dyson is a small business owner. (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, and compared the results to Fletcher’s votes.

Only two candidates responded to The Local’s survey.

Here Are the Takeaways

  • John De Marco has the most conservative position of those polled. He does not support any measure, save having a judicial inquiry into the encampment clearings.
  • Abro’s positions are much more progressive, though he did not respond to whether he would support tax increases; Abro offered the following clarifications, saying “my votes have everything to do with placing the burden of funding and of tax increases on homeowners’ primary residences, small businesses, the working class, and financially vulnerable persons. Large corporations and the extremely wealthy should be taxed more to fund city services.”
  • Incumbent Paula Fletcher has generally voted with the progressive wing of council, though she voted against more affordable units for Housing Now, and did not vote on whether there should be a judicial inquiry into encampment clearings.

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 22, 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.