Advance voting for the Ward 12 byelection was solid, says the returning officer.

By the time the early polls closed on Thursday, 3,721 people had cast ballots at the voting station in Meadows Community Recreation Centre.

"This number gives us an early indication of the turnout for the election itself on Feb. 22," Laura Kennedy said in a news release.

"It was a good turnout, and so we are hoping for healthy participation on election day."

Ward 12 voters must select a city councillor from a daunting number of 32 hopefuls.

It has been a hotly contested race ever since Amarjeet Sohi resigned seat last year to run in the federal election. He is now infrastructure minister in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government.