About the Ward

With a population of 114,395, Eglinton-Lawrence borders GO Transit’s Barrie line to the west, Yonge Street to the east, Highway 401 to the north, and Eglinton Avenue to the south. Just 32 percent of the Ward’s residents are visible minorities, and just 39 percent are immigrants, both well below the Toronto average. Household income is well-above the city average at $162,674. Ward 8’s current councillor, Mike Colle, has served on city council since 2018.

Where the Candidates Stand

There are five candidates in Ward 8, including incumbent Colle. Up against him is an experienced slate of businesspeople, advocates, and politicos.

It will be interesting to see how they fare against Colle, who has a long career in politics at the municipal and provincial level. Colle has also been endorsed by Mayor John Tory. However, he has also courted controversy. He came under fire for making anti-Asian comments during a community council meeting in May 2022, referring to the stretch of apartments in midtown as “Shanghai on Yonge“; he had also previously vowed to stop Toronto from becoming “the next Singapore.”

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 Colle’s votes.

Three candidates in Eglinton-Lawrence responded to The Local’s survey.

Here Are the Takeaways

  • All three challengers in Ward 8 seem wary about raising taxes. Philip Davidovits would not raise any, nor add a personal vehicle tax, stormwater charge, or industrial waste surcharge. Wendy Weston would only raise property taxes to support a TTC fare freeze. Evan Sambasivam declined to vote on property tax increases, adding in survey comments that while he isn’t opposed to raising taxes, he’s running on a platform of re-evaluating the city’s budget before deciding where tax hikes and cuts are necessary.
  • None of the new candidates support increasing the police budget to combat gun violence—in this, they diverge from both Tory and Colle.
  • Evan Sambasivam declined to vote on whether he supported more affordable units for Housing Now developments, or cutting the police budget to pay rent supplements. In his comments, he wrote that he’d like to negotiate for a higher percentage of affordable housing units than the Housing Now standard, and that he’d like to increase funding for rent supplements regardless of the police budget and instead reallocate police funds to the Community Crisis Response Program if necessary.

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.