Most of Toronto’s leading mayoral candidates gathered for a debate in the city’s east end Tuesday night, touching on transit and other hot topics as the race for city hall heads into its final stretch. 

“We need to invest in buses now,” mayoral hopeful Olivia Chow told the crowd at Greenwood Community Centre. “Let's rebuild old, purchase new ones so we can have immediate improvement.” 

Chow had earlier in the day restated her support for building a light-rail transit system in Scarborough, in opposition to the approved subway plan endorsed by her main opponents Rob Ford and John Tory. 

Candidate David Soknacki also spoke up in favour of an LRT

“If we are going to provide transit in the areas of Scarborough, I believe the light rail transit is the best,” he said. 

Tory, who earlier in the day was endorsed by Scarborough-area Liberal MPP and cabinet minister Brad Duguid, favours subways. 

He said whoever wins the Oct. 27 election must arrive “ahead of anything else to substantially improve the existing system.” 

Mayor Ford was not at the debate. He dropped out a few days earlier and instead went campaigning in the west end. 

“We plan to canvas 1,000 homes versus 50 people in a basement,” said the mayor’s brother and campaign manager, Coun. Doug Ford. 

Ford is scheduled to announce details of his transit platform on Wednesday. 

With files from CBC's Natalie Kalata