One Toronto councillor defeated: Don Valley West’s John Parker

Tonight’s municipal election results placed John Parker in a unique position. But not one he wanted.

Parker was the only incumbent Toronto city councillor to lose his seat. After two terms on council, he was defeated by Jon Burnside, the challenger who nipped at his heels, just 400 votes behind, in 2010.

Ward 26 hosted six candidates, also including Ishrath Velshi — who won the Toronto Star’s endorsement — and David Sparrow, Wasim Vania and Dimitre Popov.

Incumbent Parker received 6,167 votes, putting him in second place with 28 per cent. Burnside won with 9,415 votes, 53.1 per cent of the total.

When asked about the race, Parker said “there were two clearly distinctive products offered in Ward 26 in this election and the voters decided that they wanted the other product.”

The atmosphere was sombre from the start at the Parker party tonight, as many seemed to sense that defeat could be in the cards for the incumbent.

Hal Spradling, owner of All Canadian Self-Storage and one of Parker’s main supporters, believed Parker’s flaw was a lack of aggression.

“[John] almost lost last time, and this time, I think, had he been more aggressive and gotten his message out to people and they saw what he had done, and the intelligent way he had represented this community, they would have voted for him.”

At the campaign party tonight, Parker addressed his team and supporters saying, “You couldn’t have done anything more or different.” The he added: “If the election results were determined by the quality of people that associated themselves with the particular candidates, I have no doubt at all who would have won today.”