What happens if the Mayor's seat on Council is declared vacant

Dear residents,

On Friday, January 25th at 10:30am, we will find out the court’s ruling on Mayor Rob Ford’s appeal.

To be clear, no matter what happens with this case, I can assure you that garbage and recycling will still be collected, the city’s lights will remain on and the City of Toronto will continue to function as imperfectly as it always has. In other words, the sky will not fall and life will go on.

However, the course we take moving forward is important and there has been much confusion about what the process of choosing a new mayor is if, indeed, Mayor Ford’s appeal is unsuccessful.

Therefore, I am providing a summary to you of the next steps in the event that the Mayor's seat becomes vacant.

If the Mayor's seat becomes vacant for any reason:

1. the Deputy Mayor automatically assumes the powers and duties of the Mayor until Council fills the vacancy.  There is no gap and no risk that City business will be interrupted by the vacancy.

2. City Council has 60 days to (a) fill the vacancy by appointing any person qualified to hold office, or (b) pass by-laws to hold a by election.  The relevant sections of the City of Toronto Act is section 208 found here:


3 If Council chooses to hold a by-election, the Clerk must fix nomination date (i.e., close of nominations) no longer than 60 days from the time Council passes a by-law.  Voting day will be 45 days following that. I expect the by-election would end up being sometime in May of this year.

The relevant sections of the Municipal Elections Act governing the by-election can be found here:


In the event the Mayor's seat becomes vacant, City Council will need to decide these matters.  The Deputy Mayor, having the powers of the Mayor (during this interim period), can call a special meeting to consider this matter.  The City Clerk will submit a report to Council with all of the rules and steps required to fill the vacancy.

If you have an opinion on whether Council should hold a by-election or appoint an interim mayor until 2014, please let me know.  And, what arguments you believe are important for me to consider.

I do hope you find this information helpful.



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