Toronto

John Tory snags endorsement, Olivia Chow begins 'closing case'

With four days to go before election day, the city's aspiring mayors are eyeing the finish line in the months-long mayoral campaign.

Doug Ford under pressure to apologize for alleged derogatory remark

Olivia Chow, Doug Ford and John Tory will debate one another on Thursday evening. (Chris Young/Canadian Press)

With four days to go before election day, the city's aspiring mayors are eyeing the finish line in the months-long mayoral campaign.

John Tory, who has been leading in the polls in recent weeks, acknowledged Thursday there's a limited amount of time in a campaign and only so many voters he can directly bring his message to.

"You could never possibly meet every one of the voters when you have a city this big," he told CBC News.

Tory said he'll continue to bring his message to voters over the weekend, as he makes his final push in the mayoral campaign.

He also picked up an endorsement from Monte Kwinter, the longtime Liberal MPP, who Tory sat on the other side of the legislature from when serving as the Ontario Progressive Conservative leader.

"Obviously, we remained friends during that time, which I guess indicates that I can work together with people from all parties and that he still has confidence in me today these years later," said Tory.

In a statement released by Tory's campaign, Kwinter said he believes Tory will be a "great advocate" for Toronto.

Chow: Tory is a Tory with 'nicer packaging'

Olivia Chow told reporters Thursday that she's feeling confident about her campaign.

"I'm getting really, really good support," she said Thursday morning, during a visit to a coffee shop near Dundas Street West and Roncesvalles Avenue.

John Tory picked up a new endorsement on Thursday, while Olivia Chow began making her 'closing case' to voters. (CBC)

Chow was making what her campaign described as the start of her "closing case" to voters.

Criticizing the direction the city has headed under the administration of Rob Ford, Chow said that a vote for Tory is simply a vote for more of the same type of politics at city hall.

"We can't replace another Tory with another Tory because we need a complete change of direction," she said.

Chow said that Tory, her opponent, is a conservative in "nicer packaging," who offers the same policies.

She is urging voters to support her bid for mayor.

"My pitch is this: let's work together and vote for a better future rather than being stuck in fear, because ultimately, hope is better than fear," she said, using a phrase that her late husband, Jack Layton, used in a farewell letter to Canadians.

A long campaign

For Chow and Tory it's been a long journey to Election Day: Tory formally entered the mayoral race in February, while Chow threw her hat in the ring in March.

Fellow high-profile candidate Doug Ford joined the race at the very last minute after his brother Mayor Rob Ford withdrew from the race.

Mayoral candidate Doug Ford is seen posing for a photo as he visited a Toronto Community Housing building on Lumsden Avenue on Thursday. (CBC)

Doug Ford is facing calls Thursday to apologize for an alleged derogatory remark he made to a Toronto Star reporter. He denies saying "anything" about the reporter in question.

He spent the day campaigning in Toronto-Danforth and Beaches-East York.

One of his stops was at a Toronto Community Housing building on Lumsden Avenue, in the Dawes Road and Danforth Avenue area, where Ford posed for photos and spoke to residents.

"Do you know what happens? You build up a relationship with these people over four years and you get attached to 'em," he said after a meeting with a woman who had a "Ford Mayor" sign on her door and who greeted him with a hug.

"And they come down to the office, they’re there to support you and then when they need support, you've got to be there, right?"

Chow, Ford and Tory are debating one another on Thursday evening. The debate is being hosted by CityNews.

When the polls open Monday, voters will be able cast their ballot between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m.

More than 161,000 of Toronto's estimated eligible electors voted early during a period of advance voting.

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