Olivia Chow elected mayor of Toronto

BARRIO – Olivia Chow has been elected mayor of Toronto ending almost 13 years of right-leaning rule at Toronto City Hall and becoming the first woman and the first visible minority person to lead post-amalgamation Toronto.

Chow, 66, was the favourite to win the race from the moment she entered and managed to command a decisive lead in the polls, though the race on election night ended up being a photo finish between her and Ana Bailão.

CP24 made the call at 9 p.m., with Chow appearing to have secured 37.2 per cent of the vote with more than 96 per cent of polls reporting. Bailão came in a close second, with 32.5 per cent of the vote.

A packed crowd of supporters erupted into cheers as the result was announced at Chow’s campaign headquarters.

Chow came out to speak with supporters shortly after 9:30 p.m.

“Wow. Thank you, Toronto! Thank you everyone. What a night!” she said, flanked by family. “If you ever doubted what’s possible together, if you ever questioned your faith in a better future, in what we can do with each other, for each other, tonight is your answer.”

She thanked the people of the city for their “mandate for change” as the city’s new mayor and pledged to dedicate herself to “work tirelessly to build a city that is more caring, more affordable and safe, where everyone belongs” and also thanked her supporters and volunteers for their tireless efforts.

“I know things are tough these days. It’s harder to get by and harder to get around, but don’t give up. Toronto is a place of hope, a city of second chances,” Chow said.

She called Toronto “a city where a kid from St. Jamestown can be standing in front of you as your new mayor” to loud applause and added that the city is a place “where if we chip in a little more we can improve public services and make out city more livable.”

She was cheered on by ecstatic supporters.

“We’re gonna have a very different Toronto where equity and sustainability will be part of everything the city does,” former candidate Gil Penalosa told CP24 as the results rolled in.

He said he was glad he dropped out of the race to support her, saying if he had gotten the 100,000 or so votes he got last time he ran, she might not have won.

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