The contest between Liberal candidate Adam Vaughan and NDP candidate Olivia Chow was seen as the biggest battle in all of Toronto’s ridings, and deemed one of the tightest races in Toronto’s election history.
But in the end Adam Vaughan celebrated at The Rivoli, on Queen Street West, in a red sea of Liberal supporters, having won with more than 50 per cent of the popular vote.
This marks the second election Olivia Chow has lost in less than a year, after dropping her MP position back in 2014 to run for mayor of Toronto. That was when Vaughan was elected to represent Trinity–Spadina in the resulting byelection, beating the NDP’s Joe Cressy.
“The urban agenda is back on the main stage,” Vaughan said in his victory speech. “To those of you who see four or five packed streetcars run by King Street every morning, you now know that help is on the way.”
The new riding of Spadina-Fort York covers the south portion of the old Trinity-Spadina and Toronto Centre ridings, and includes the waterfront, Toronto islands, and most of the expanding downtown core.
It possesses one of the most diverse populations in Canada, with most living in the many highrises in the area. This riding has more 40-plus-storey buildings than all of Canada combined. So it was only natural the community has demanded better transit, policing and housing.
Vaughan, who is the Liberal party’s urban affairs and housing critic, promised to stick to his party’s pledge of investing in a national housing strategy as part of its 10-year infrastructure plan, averaging near $20 billion.
Vaughan went on to thank Olivia Chow “for everything she has done for this city”, and said she is an important political figure to be respected.
He added, “I’m exhausted, we’re exhausted. Time to enjoy a cold one and celebrate with all of the family in this room.”