Race for Toronto mayor closely watched as Ontario voters head to the polls

Millions of people were casting ballots in civic elections across Ontario on Monday but most eyes were on the mayoral vote in the country’s largest city thanks to its outgoing incumbent, Rob Ford.

TORONTO — Millions of people were casting ballots in civic elections across Ontario on Monday but most eyes were on the mayoral vote in the country’s largest city thanks to its outgoing incumbent, Rob Ford.

Even though cancer forced the disgraced, scandal-plagued mayor from the race for Toronto’s top job, Ford was still running for election as a councillor in his west-end ward. His brother, Coun. Doug Ford, had jumped into the fray to replace him.

Ford’s admissions of smoking crack cocaine in a drunken stupor, his profanities and offensive behaviour garnered national and international headlines and made him the butt of late-night television jokes.

The pending end of his reign at city hall did not go unnoticed in the comedy realm.

TV host John Oliver lamented Ford’s passing as mayor, but found solace in the possibility that his brother might replace him.

“Look, Toronto: I think I speak on behalf of the rest of the world when I deliver you this message,” Oliver said in a recent segment.

“Please, please elect this man. I beg you.”

In all, 65 candidates were hoping to succeed Ford as mayor, but polls suggested the winner would most likely come from a trio of front-runners, former Ontario Progressive Conservative leader John Tory, former New Democrat MP Olivia Chow, and Doug Ford.

About 1.6 million city residents were eligible to vote at 1,679 polling stations that were to remain open until 8 p.m. Eastern, with results known within about 30 minutes given the use of electronic tabulating machines.

While the race to replace the infamous Ford was drawing the most attention, Toronto isn’t the only city replacing a controversial incumbent.

Voters in London were choosing a successor to Joe Fontana, who resigned as mayor this summer after he was convicted of government fraud for forging a check while he was a Liberal MP.

In Brampton, a spending scandal could affect Mayor Susan Fennell’s tenure after an audit found more than $172,000 dollars in expenses that breached city policies — though some $41,000 was repaid, and a forensic audit later concluded that Fennell owed just $3,500.

In northern Ontario, many residents of Elliot Lake were wondering whether fallout from the deadly collapse of a shopping mall roof in June 2012 would influence the outcome of the election there.

A report released last week found municipal officials — including the incumbent Mayor Rick Hamilton — turned a blind eye to worsening conditions at the Algo Centre Mall before the roof caved in, killing two women and injuring 19 others.

Meanwhile, Mississauga’s 93-year-old mayor — “Hurricane” Hazel McCallion — winner of 12 consecutive mayoral elections, has thrown her support behind Bonnie Crombie, who’s battling Steve Mahoney for the top job.

Just Posted

Eager-beaver cannabis entrepreneurs already waiting outside Red Deer City Hall

Appications will be accepted on a first-come basis starting on Tuesday

Like father like son: Red Deer area Dreeshen family dedicates life to public service

There are three jobs that could be considered the Dreeshen family business:… Continue reading

Restaurant owner concerned about Gasoline Alley road changes

Nearly 20 trucks were lined up on the service road in front… Continue reading

Preliminary hearings set for two men charged in weapons and drugs bust

A Red Deer man and Sylvan Lake man are facing 80 charges

Eight dogs found in Innisfail hotel room were kept in cages

Eight dogs, kept in cages in a small hotel room in Innisfail… Continue reading

WATCH: Hypnotizing show at Westerner Days

Hynotist and mentalist Joshua Seth performs three times a day at Westerner Days

PHOTOS: River Town Saints rock Red Deer

River Town Saints play Westerner Days Friday in Red Deer

PHOTOS: Dogs, horses and more animals at Westerner Days

Westerner Park’s pavilions were filled with animals during Westerner Days

Red Deer residents can’t get enough mini-doughnuts

Mini-doughnuts were the biggest draw to Westerner Days according to a Red… Continue reading

Four-car crash, including RCMP vehicle, on Highway 2

Two sheriff vehicles were also involved in the collision

Divers hunt for 4 after Missouri duck boat sinks, killing 13

BRANSON, Mo. — Divers are searching Friday for four people still missing… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer’s noxious weeds are a goat’s dietary delight

Piper Creek Community Garden gets chemical-free weed control

‘Amazing Race Canada’ competitors face B.C. challenge

They drove Corvettes, mastered falconry basics, and ate blueberry pie in the Cowichan Valley

From hot to not? The Baloney Meter weighs in on Scheer’s economy claims

OTTAWA — “Justin Trudeau inherited a booming economy, but he’s squandering it.… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month