John Tory’s affair, resignation blow up Toronto mayor’s legacy as calm, stable leader

John Tory's affair, resignation blow up Toronto mayor's legacy as calm, stable leader
Toronto Mayor John Tory speaks during a press conference at City Hall in Toronto on Friday, February 10, 2023.

Political analysts say John Tory’s recently disclosed affair with a former staffer and resulting resignation as mayor of Toronto have brought a blowout ending to the straight-laced, button-down moderate conservative’s otherwise uneventful tenure in the city’s top job.

Tory set off a political bombshell late Friday after two relatively scandal-free terms at City Hall, when he admitted to having an “inappropriate relationship” with a former member of his staff and abruptly announced plans to step down.

Zachary Taylor, associate professor at Western University’s political science department, says Tory originally promised to only run for two terms and could have left public life in the fall respected by people across the political spectrum.

Taylor says Tory’s decision to run for a third term and admit to the affair has blown up his image as a squeaky-clean mayor who never raised his voice or did things that are unreasonable.

Matti Siemiatycki, a professor at the University of Toronto’s geography and planning department, says Tory’s whole raison d’etre was stable, calm leadership with no drama following the scandal-plagued mayoralty of his predecessor Rob Ford.

Gil Penalosa, who lost the mayoral race to Tory in October’s municipal election and announced he will run to replace him, says he will be remembered as a hard worker who was committed to reshaping the city’s image, but one that failed on issues of equity, affordability and climate change.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 12, 2023.

The Canadian PressThe Canadian Press

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