About the Ward

With a population of 129,080, Etobicoke-Lakeshore includes the neighbourhoods of Mimico, New Toronto, Long Branch, and the southern part of Etobicoke bordering Lake Ontario. It’s a rapidly changing ward, with a population that’s increasing at twice the city rate, driven by an influx of working-age individuals in recent years. The average household income is $105,994, slightly higher than the city’s $102,721. The current councillor, Mark Grimes, has served on city council since 2003.

Where the Candidates Stand

There are six candidates in the race for the Etobicoke-Lakeshore city council seat, including incumbent Mark Grimes. In the 2018 election, Grimes, who had the endorsement of Mayor John Tory, won with 41 percent of the votes, ahead of Amber Morley’s 27 percent. Despite being under fire for improper dealings with two condo developers and poor attendance at council meetings, Grimes was endorsed by Tory and his victory was aided by Tory’s robocalls. Morley is taking another run at the council seat, this time backed by endorsements from the Toronto & York Region Labour Council and Progress Toronto. While the Morley vs. Grimes rematch is definitely the one to watch, there are four other candidates involved in the race: Zeynel Ari, Bonnie Hu, Mary Markovic, and Marco Valle (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, adding the results to what we already know about how Grimes voted. And the results are illuminating.

Firstly, the participation rate was high—permitting a head-to-head comparison among five of the six candidates. The only candidate who did not participate was Mary Markovic (fact-checked bio below).

Here Are the Takeaways

  • Incumbent Mark Grimes, who has been endorsed by John Tory, consistently voted with the mayor (and other right-leaning councillors).
  • Challengers Amber Morley, Zeynel Ari, Bonnie Hu, and Marco Valle all had similar survey results, taking progressive stances on many issues.
  • Comparing Grimes and Morley head-to-head, it’s clear that Grimes is in favour of more funding for the police while Morley is not; Grimes wants to keep taxes low, while Morley is in favour of raising taxes in order to pay for city services like the TTC; Morley would like to see Housing Now (an initiative created to rezone and lease City-owned land for mixed-income, mixed-use development) more committed to affordable housing, while Grimes would not.

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 14, 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.