These former Toronto mayoral candidates say they’ll run to replace Tory in a 2023 byelection

Gil Penalosa, who finished in second place in the 2022 municipal election, has announced his intention to run for mayor of Toronto after John Tory resigns.  

John Tory announced he would resign in the coming days Friday evening when news of an affair with a staff member broke.

Penalosa, who earned roughly 18 per cent of the vote, told CP24 Saturday morning that he plans to toss his hat in the ring for a second time.

“Yes, I’m considering because nothing has changed in the last 100 days,” he said, pointing to his plan to make Toronto a more “affordable, equitable, and sustainable for everyone.”

Calling what has occurred a “transformative 24 hours for our city,” the Colombia-born urbanist said he made a commitment to the 100,000 or so people who voted for him last fall and he intends to keep it.

“I had more votes than the five top counselors together. So I do think that there is a responsibility with them,” Penalosa said, adding, while the news of Tory’s resignation is shocking, the focus should be on what’s going to happen with the city over the next four years. He pointed to the need for safer streets as well as his plan to replace the Gardiner East with an at-grade boulevard.

“I think that we were moving in the wrong direction. I think that Toronto has a fantastic opportunity to rethink issues,” he said, referring to City Council’s recent decision to not pass a motion that would extend the opening hours and duration of emergency warming centres.

Penalosa also noted that the 2023 budget has not yet been approved.

Former 2022 election candidate Blake Acton, who finished fourth with 8893 votes, has also declared his intention to run in the upcoming mayoral byelection. Acton said on Twitter that he wants a “clean and safe” city.

“No drama, No empty promises, No back room deals, No violent streets, No filthy streets,” he wrote.

Chloe Brown, who also ran in the last municipal election and came in third place, told CTV News Toronto Saturday she also may run.

“[There’s] a lot of buzz right now,” she said.

“I’m seriously thinking about it.”

2022 Toronto Mayoral Candidate Chloe Brown can be seen above. (Chloe Brown/Facebook)

Brown ran against Tory, Penalosa, Blake Acton, Sarah Climenhaga, and Stephen Punwasi, among others, in the 2022 municipal election, garnering 34,821 votes.

Former long-time city councillor Joe Mihevc, who temporarily replaced former Spadina-Fort York representative Joe Cressy when he vacated his seat last spring to work at George Brown College, said maybe it’s best for now that everyone take some time to absorb what has happened.

“For the moment, it is time to feel the pain of the moment, to wish and pray that Mayor Tory and all involved work this through in a good way. The time to consider the future politics of TO can wait a moment,” Mihevc wrote in a tweet.

At this point, Tory has not formally stepped down from his role as Toronto’s mayor.

“The Mayor has not submitted a letter of resignation to the City Clerk at this time and remains Mayor. Once a resignation notice is received, the City will be able to advise on timelines and next steps,” a city spokesperson wrote in an email to

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