About the Ward

Ward 6, York Centre, is roughly bordered by Steeles Avenue West to the north, Bathurst Street to the east, Highway 401 to the south, and Jane and Keele Street to the west. At $86,717, the average household income in the ward is below the city average ($102,721). The population is 104,320. The area is slightly less diverse than Toronto: 46 per cent of people are visible minorities, compared to 51 per cent for the city as a whole. Current councillor James Pasternak has served on council since 2010.

Where the Candidates Stand

Pasternak may be one of the longest serving councillors, but a small field of candidates is mounting a strong challenge. Mike Arkin, a progressive, is running on a platform of improved road safety and housing affordability. Hope Schrier is courting the youth vote—she’s a content creator with 6,500 followers on social media.

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 asked all candidates to participate in a survey on how they would have voted on those same 12 motions, adding their responses to Pasternak’s votes.

Two of the three candidates—Arkin and Schrier—responded to The Local’s survey.

Here Are the Takeaways

  • The youth candidate, Schrier, voted along the lines of the much more senior John Tory. She doesn’t support raising property taxes or enacting a personal vehicle tax (though she would hike property taxes to support a TTC fare freeze).
  • The only issue that all three candidates are aligned on, along with the mayor, is introducing a stormwater charge.
  • Arkin, who does not support toilets in encampments, notes that he thinks more housing is the solution, not more policing.

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.