City council sees tight races, new faces

Toronto will have several new faces at City Hall, and there will be some old ones who scraped by in tight races.

Toronto will have several new faces at City Hall, and there will be some old ones who scraped by in tight races.

In the heart of the city, former television reporter Adam Vaughan won Ward 20 Trinity Spadina, one of the most closely watched races in the city.

Vaughantook 51 per cent of the vote in a race which was closeduring early results. Helen Kennedy, who worked as assistant to former councillor Olivia Chow, had 35 per cent of the vote.

In the northwest end of the city, incumbent Peter Li Preti was ousted from his council seat in Ward8 York Westby newcomer Anthony Perruzza, a former member of the Ontario Legislature. It was Perruzza's third time trying to unseat Li Preti,who lost by just over 500 votes.

City election officials took the unusual step of hiring paid police officers, at a cost of $23,000 to taxpayers, to guard the polling stations after allegations that voters from outsidecommunities cast ballots in the ward.

In the wide-open race in Jane Pitfield's ward and the one with the highest number of council candidates, with a total of 15, former area MPP John Parker came out on top in Ward 26 Don Valley West.

Parker had 20 per cent of the vote, with Mohamed Dhanini close behind with 18.8 per cent and Abdul Ingar with 17.55 per cent.

Tight races

Several close races saw incumbents hang onto their seats by anywhere from several hundred to several dozen votes.

The closestrace wasin Ward 29 Toronto-Danforth, where unofficial results put incumbent Case Ootes with a 20-vote lead against his closest challenger, Diane Alexopoulos.

David Shiner, who has been councillor in Ward 24 Willowdale since amalgamation in 1998, held onto his seat with 54 per cent of the vote.

In a race largely seen as a referendum of the St. Clair streetcar project, Joe Mihevc easily held his Ward 21 St Paul's with 56.6 per cent of the vote.

Mihevc, who supports the plan, has served as city councillor for the past 15 years. Former Toronto mayor John Sewell, a strong opponent of the right-of-way streetcar, trailed behind with 23 per cent of the vote.

For the second time in a row, the race in one of the most diverse wards in the city, Ward 17 Davenport, wasdecided byseveral hundred votes.

In the 2003 municipal election, Cesar Palacio won by 700 votes over his closest challenger Alejandra Bravo. This time, it was even closer, with Palacio winning with only 281 votes over Bravo.

In another open race where 14 candidates were running, Gord Perks won in Ward 14 Parkdale-High Park with an 800-vote lead over his closest challenger, Rowena Santos.

Perks was supported by David Miller, who easily secured his second term in office in Monday’s civic election.