Toronto voters will have chance to hear from some of the mayoral byelection candidates in upcoming debates

A trio of debates featuring some of the candidates running in Toronto's mayoral byelection are slated to take place this month.

By AMARACHI AMADIKE, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Toronto’s mayoral candidates are gearing up for the upcoming byelection as the campaign approaches debate season. With numerous issues looming large, it is important for local residents to understand their potential representative’s mindset towards key topics in the lead up to voting day.

Here are three upcoming debates in which community members can learn more about what the candidates feel about issues such as community safety, affordability, transit, and much more.

It should be noted that as of 2 p.m. on Thursday, May 4, there were 70 candidates registered to run for Mayor of Toronto. Not all of the candidates are invited to the debates listed below. Which candidates are invited to the debates is at the discretion of the organizers.

Surviving to Thriving: Tackling Toronto’s Affordability Crisis

On Monday, May 15, Daily Bread Food Bank will present the campaign’s first debate, Surviving to Thriving: Tackling Toronto’s Affordability Crisis.

The event, which is hosted by Maggie John, takes place at Daily Bread’s headquarters (191 New Toronto Street) from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.

Candidates will discuss their plans to address Toronto’s affordability crisis as poverty and food insecurity continues to grow in various parts of the city.

In-person tickets are currently sold-out for this debate. However, interested voters can watch the free livestream at

Our Scarborough

On Wednesday, May 24, Scarborough residents will  have the opportunity to hear from select mayoral candidates.

Our Scarborough, a debate in which candidates will speak about matters that affect Scarborough residents such as transit, lack of opportunity and more will take place at the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus (UTSC) on Military Trail. Candidates will also discuss city-wide issues such as housing affordability and poverty reduction.

“Scarborough’s many voices need to be heard in this election,” said Scarborough Community Renewal Organization (SCRO) President Larry Whatmore. “If Scarborough doesn’t speak up, others will speak for us. Let’s move the centre of political gravity in Toronto a little bit to the east.”

The event runs from 6:30 p.m. until 8 p.m.

CityNews has joined the organizers of the Scarborough Mayoral Candidate Debate as broadcast partner. The broadcast will be on Channel 100 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Seating at the debate auditorium at UTSC’s Academic Resource Centre is nearly sold out. Anyone interested in attending can register at

Organizers of the debate are the Scarborough Community Renewal Organization, Scarborough Business Association, Scarborough United Neighbourhoods, and Scarborough Community Action Network (SCAN). Community sponsors of the debate are Hardy Stevenson and Associates Limited , Scarborough Civic Action Network and Scarborough Rotary Passport Club.

For more information about Our Scarborough, contact Peter Haggert at or Dave Hardy (416-358-9881).

Our Future, Our Vote: A Toronto for All

A widely anticipated debate will take place at Toronto Metropolitan University’s Ted Rogers School of Management on Wednesday, May 31, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Hosted by United Way Greater Toronto, Toronto Metropolitan University, and The Toronto Star, Our Future, Our Vote: A Toronto for All gives a select number of candidates a chance to further explain how they intend to tackle some of Toronto’s most pressing issues.

Along with responding to each other’s ideas, candidates will also address questions from audience members. The debate will be attended by a broad range of community sector leaders and moderated by Toronto Star columnist, Edward Keenan.

“This election is both so unexpected and so crucial for a city that feels like it is at a crossroads moment,” said Keenan. “The range of qualified candidates putting forward different visions of Toronto’s future is inspiring—finally we have a real choice in front of us.”

For candidates, the debate is an invite-only event. The organizers said that only mayoral candidates who have received a minimum level of support of five per cent in polls conducted by leading public opinion polling organizations between May 1 and May 18 are welcome to participate. Averages will be calculated using the most recent public results of polls conducted by members of the Canadian Research Insights Council.

For more information on this debate, please visit

Participating candidates for each of the upcoming debates are yet to be announced.

Amarachi Amadike’s reporting for Beach Metro News is funded by the Government of Canada through its Local Journalism Initiative.

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