WITH A MUNICIPAL ELECTION ON THE HORIZON, WHAT HAS TORONTO’S MAYOR, JOHN TORY, BEEN DOING?

– restored adult decorum to City Hall after four years of Rob Ford’s chaos
– negotiated with the taxi industry and legalized Uber
– welcomed the first Lyft ride program outside the United States to the city
– sped up the rebuilding of the Gardiner Expressway project

– introduced raccoon-proofed green garbage bins
– got $150-million from the province to plan a Downtown Relief Subway Line
– endorsed a controversial one-stop Scarborough subway extension

– delivered the Bloor Street separated bike lanes after every survey imaginable
– repaved and/or added bike lanes to Richmond, Adelaide, Woodbine & Wellington Streets
– first time that I can remember – Montreal, Vancouver & Toronto, Canada’s three largest metropoli, have begun working together to solve mutual problems
reduced transit fares for people on the Ontario Disability Support Program; free rides for kids under 12; restored suburban bus services cut by the Ford administration
– initiated the King streetcar transit pilot project to speed up commutes – an immediate hit with riders, not so much with business owners

– kept residential property taxes below the rate of inflation (2% increase) – lowest in the Greater Toronto Area
– launched the Open Door program as an incentive to developers to build affordable housing
– increased funding for the rent supplement program
– marched every year with city councilors in the Pride Parade
streamlined Invest Toronto, Greater Toronto Marketing Alliance & city’s economic development division
– doubled the number of companies in Partnership to Advance Youth Employment (PAYE)
– kept his promise to keep Toronto Hydro a public institution

– promoted towing & ticket blitzes for traffic lane blockers
introduced full-time traffic wardens & a bike lane policing brigade
– shepherded first stage of The Bentway Skating Trail under the Gardiner through council
– supported Safe Injection sites for those addicted
– developed a climate change plan

– successfully passed city budgets with a minimum of council fights
kept his promise to hold at least one weekly press conference
– appears monthly on a CP24 television call-in show
championed the tech, film, and television industries

– developed good rapport with Prime Minister Trudeau & an on-and-off good rapport with Premier Kathleen Wynne

In a year-end interview with The Toronto Star, Mayor Tory has promised to work more closely with downtown councillors if he’s re-elected in 2018.  He’s proven himself a consensus builder who doesn’t go too far left or too far right – but in his first term he often seemed more allied with right-leaning suburban councillors.

Downtowners voted overwhelmingly for Mr. Tory in the previous election.  If history repeats itself, residents of the city’s core will no doubt expect their priorities will be among his priorities.

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