About the Ward

With a population of 108,805, Parkdale-High Park includes the neighbourhoods of Swansea, High Park North, The Junction, Runnymede-Bloor West Village, Lambton Baby Point, Roncesvalles, and Parkdale. Just 26 percent of the Ward’s residents are visible minorities, far below the city average of 51 percent. Gord Perks, the current councillor, has served on city council since 2006.

Where the Candidates Stand

There are six candidates in the race for the Parkdale-High Park city council seat, including incumbent Gord Perks, who is widely regarded as the leader of council’s left wing. With the recent departures of progressives like Joe Cressy, Kristyn Wong-Tam, and Mike Layton, the counterbalance to Mayor John Tory rests in places like Parkdale-High Park, a traditionally progressive ward. There are five challengers to Perks: Siri Agrell, Andrew Gorham, Christopher Jurik, Chemi Lhamo, and Steve Yuen (see their fact-checked bios in the next section).

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 identified a dozen votes that are the most telling on different 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 Perks voted. And the results are illuminating.

Firstly, we got full participation in the survey—permitting a head-to-head comparison among all six candidates.

Here Are the Takeaways

  • Incumbent Gord Perks took a progressive stance on a number of issues, often voting in opposition to Mayor John Tory.
  • Challengers Christopher Jurik and Chemi Lhamo took identical, progressive stances as Perks across the 12 votes.
  • Siri Agrell—a former staffer with John Tory and was recently endorsed by him, but has indicated that she’s not beholden to him—did not vote completely in alignment with the mayor, electing instead to hike property taxes and contain the police budget; in contrast to other candidates, Agrell chose not to respond to the vote calling for a judicial inquiry into encampment clearings.
  • In contrast to other candidates, Andrew Gorham and Steve Yuen voted down the motions to rent toilets for encampments, and to hike property tax by an additional 2 percent.

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 11, 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.