Archive of – The History Of The 2019 Election

While running in Toronto Ward 29 (the ward is now extinct), I created the Blog The site was recently lost because of technical issues.

Fortunately the site was captured at So, for those who are interested in a bit of the history of Toronto Danforth see:


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John Richardson – Independent Judgment – Ward 29

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Ward 29 All Candidates Debate – October 5, 12, 14

Meet John Richardson and other Toronto Ward 29 candidates at the Ward 29 debates.

The remaining debates will be held on:

Tuesday October 12 – Goldhawk live

Tuesday October 14 – Pape Avenue



For a debate flyer click here.

“Our Six Candidates


“There are six very good people running in this election in Ward 29.  They will join each other for an all candidates meeting at Eastminster United at 7:30pm on Tuesday October 5th.  The candidates in alphabetical order:

Chris Caldwell

Mary Fragedakis

Jane Pitfield

John Richardson

Mike Restivo

Jennifer Wood

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A new sheriff in Ward 29

By: Matt Shott

“The challenge here is getting these incredibly diverse people, in this incredibly diverse ward to get out and express their preference” – Toronto  Ward 29 Candidate – John Richardson

For the first time in over 15 years, the city of Toronto’s Ward 29 will see a new city leader since current councillor Case Ootes has decided to retire from politics.

Upon hearing of the retirement, former Ward 27 councilor and 2006 Toronto mayor candidate, Jane Pitfield, despite living outside Ward 29’s boundaries, decided to throw her name onto the candidates list, along with four other candidates including John Richardson, who feels the voters will vote for the issues rather than the experience.

“I think the race is totally wide open,” Richardson said, “I feel the people are uncomfortable voting for someone who lives outside of the Ward.”

Pitfield became a city councillor of Ward 27 in 1997 after she initially lost the election by a close margin, but was later elected when it was decided the ward she ran for needed a third councilor.

With seven years of experience as a councillor under her belt by 2005, Pitfield decided to run for Mayor of Toronto in 2006.  Pitfield ultimately lost the election by over a 24% margin and had only recently decided her knowledge of politics would help Ward 29 become a better place to live.

One voice hoping to be heard is that of Chris Caldwell, a 41 year-old business analyst who registered as a candidate two days prior to Ootes announcing he would not be running for re-election.

“I looked forward to running against him,” Caldwell told the Town Crier publication in February, “There’s a lot I didn’t agree with Ootes on, but it runs deeper than that.  It is how people are engaged in the planning process.  They want to see their desires reflected in policy.”

Caldwell’s main issue is getting the community within Ward 29 more active in the decisions made by the councillor regarding the development of their part of town.  He is encouraging the residents to be involved with the issues within the city.

While his issues are quite similar to his opponent, Richardson’s biggest concern is that not enough people are voting, claiming that only 1/3 of the people who live in Ward 29 voted during the last election.

“The challenge here is getting these incredibly diverse people, in this incredibly diverse ward to get out and express their preference,” he continued.

Richardson admitted his biggest concern for the ward is the lack of voting and went on to say that if he wasn’t elected that it would not be the end of the world for him, as long as people went out and voted for the right issues and his issues were heard.

“My top priority would be to have the councilor represent the residents of the ward.” Richardson stated, “That includes actively seeking people’s views and concerns  on particular issues.”

“I would expect and hope that people understand that I am completely independent when it comes to political parties.”

Then there is the candidate Mike Restivo, a Toronto native who has lived in Ward 29 the entire 59 years of his life, who claims to know what the perfect candidate consists of.

“Each candidate needs to have three colors of strength,” Restivo explained, “Experience in the real world, education and intelligence, and a moral foundation.”

The main points in Restivo’s campaign mainly revolve around monetary issues, such as lower property taxes, yet raising TTC fares in order to make it a profitable business.

Restivo is well aware that a possible increase in TTC fares may not go over well at first, but he feels increased prices are a necessary step to take and claims it is still cheaper then parking downtown every day.

Though money is a sensitive subject for citizens of Ward 29 Restivo does not think it is the province of Ontario’s responsibility to just open their check books.

“No one should expect the province to bail out the City of Toronto,” he told the Town Crier. “We have to carry our own weight.”

The fifth candidate is the literally unknown candidate, Jennifer Wood, who has no website or information regarding her issues or philosophy of her campaign.

It seems to be a consensus among the candidates that their biggest goal during this election is to make the city they live in a better place not just for themselves, but for every person who lives in it.

“Toronto is my home and where I live,” Richardson said, “and I have great interest in trying to contribute to it”.

Matt Shot is a journalism student at Centennial College.

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Veteran Toronto politician Ootes to retire

Veteran Toronto politician Case Ootes has announced plans to retire.

Veteran Toronto politician Case Ootes has announced plans to retire. The Globe and Mail

‘I want to pursue some other things in life,’ says 68-year-old city councillor

Jennifer Lewington

Toronto — Globe and Mail Update Published on Wednesday, Jan. 06, 2010 9:56AM EST Last updated on Wednesday, Jan. 06, 2010 1:43PM EST

Veteran Toronto politician Case Ootes, who played a major role in merging seven municipal governments into one jurisdiction 12 years ago, has decided to retire.

“I want to pursue some other things in life,” the 68-year-old city councillor (Ward 29, Toronto-Danforth) said this morning. He will make a formal announcement when he meets with city hall media this afternoon.

First elected almost 22 years ago, the veteran politician led a right-leaning minority on council in opposition to the majority led by Mayor David Miller, who is not seeking a third term.

Mr. Ootes, who suffered a near-defeat in 2006 but won by a margin of 20 votes, said he made up his mind about a year ago to leave local politics.

“I’ve had a wonderful career as a councillor,” he said, adding “I felt this was time to let people know.”

Another veteran councillor, Kyle Rae (Ward 27 Toronto-Centre Rosedale) announced last month he will not run again either.

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Jane Pitfield won’t rest on her laurels

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Political newcomer defeats Jane Pitfield in Ward 29

Jane Switzer

Globe and Mail Update

Published Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2010 2:25PM EDT
Last updated Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2010 2:31PM EDT


In a surprise victory Monday, political newcomer Mary Fragedakis won the Ward 29 council seat, beating out former councillor and mayoral candidate Jane Pitfield and ushering in change to a ward that hasn’t seen new leadership for nearly two decades.

Ms. Fragedakis, who describes herself as a community activist, small business owner and cofounder of the Broadview Community Youth Group, will replace longtime councillor Case Ootes who announced his decision not to seek re-election earlier this year. Continue reading

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Fragedakis keeps campaigning in victory

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Geoff Mosher
Posted 25 October 2010


The election winner in Ward 29 addressed her supporters with the same theme of change she employed during the campaign.

The retirement of Case Ootes in Toronto-Danforth sparked one of the most hotly contested council races in Toronto.

Mary Fragedakis claimed a resounding victory Monday night, over a strong field of candidates, including Jane Pitfield, Chris Caldwell and Jennifer Wood. Fragedakis received almost 42 per cent of the vote, with Jane Pitfield the runner-up receiving approximately 28 per cent. Continue reading

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Pitfield doubts she’ll run again after Ward 29 loss

Pitfield doubts she’ll run again after Ward 29 loss

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Veronica Blake
Posted 26 October 2010

Veronica Blake/Toronto Observer
Jane Pitfield with supporters, including retiring councillor Case Ootes, at her post-election party.

Jane Pitfield thinks that NDP endorsements contributed to her loss in Ward 29. Continue reading

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Who will replace Ootes in Ward 29?

Six vie for open east end council seat
By Kris Scheuer

October 18, 2010

It’s shaping up to be one of the most hotly contested council races in town: Toronto-Danforth’s Ward 29.

It’s got everything: no incumbent, a former councillor as candidate and a party-backed star candidate.

Case Ootes, who’s held the ward for almost 22 years, is not seeking re-election. Six candidates in total are vying for the job: Jane Pitfield, Jennifer Wood, Mary Fragedakis, John Richardson, Mike Restivo and Chris Caldwell. Continue reading

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Pitfield denies asking rival to drop out

By DON PEAT, Toronto Sun

Don’t forget the comments:

Last Updated: October 14, 2010 9:20pm

City council candidate Jane Pitfield was accused of impeding democracy by a rival Thursday.

Fellow Ward 29 candidate Jennifer Wood said one of Pitfield’s supporters sent an e-mail asking her to “do the right thing” and drop out of the race.

Pitfield — a former councillor for Ward 26 who gave up her seat to make a failed mayoral bid against David Miller in 2006 — denied she had anything to do with the e-mail and said she’s dedicated to democracy.

Wood said she was quite surprised to receive the e-mail Thursday.

“I consider myself a clear frontrunner,” Wood said. “I think that it is inappropriate for Jane to suggest that that would be doing the right thing for the community. I think that she should clearly let the voters of Ward 29 decide who is the best person to represent the community.”

In the e-mail, Rita Smith asks Wood to “give serious consideration to doing the same thing” as mayoral candidate Rocco Rossi and drop out of the race to replace Case Ootes.

“Staying in just gives Mary Fragedakis that much more chance of winning by 100 votes,” Smith wrote. “I hope you will take this opportunity to positively build your profile and reputation in our community. There will be lots of other elections in the years ahead.”

Pitfield said her campaign did not send the e-mail but it was a member of her campaign acting as a private citizen.

“I had nothing to do with it, she has just done it as a private citizen…this is a communication between Rita Smith and Jennifer Wood,” Pitfield said. “(Wood) can say whatever she likes, personally, I’m delighted there are five candidates, six of us all together, and I think it has been a great race.”

Pitfield said she wishes Wood and her other rivals “the best of luck” in the race.

“I personally feel that everyone has a right to run, as I proved myself, despite the odds, I ran for mayor for 11 months and never considered dropping out,” she said.

Wood dismissed Pitfield’s explanation.

“For Jane to suggest that one of her closest advisors was acting on her own, I find that rather hard to believe,” Wood said. “It’s an example of Jane feeling she’s entitled to this position and not wanting the voters to decide.”

But Smith said it would be “beyond ludicrous” to think Pitfield had anything to do with the e-mail.

“(Pitfield) had nothing to do with this e-mail,” she stressed.

Smith said she met with Wood earlier this year as a volunteer for Equal Voice — a multi-partisan organization dedicated to electing more women in Canada – and sent her the note Thursday morning as a private citizen.

She was shocked to see Wood react to her email in this way.

While she is not a paid employee of the Pitfield campaign, Smith said it is no secret she supports her.

Before Martin Gladstone dropped out of the race against Sandra Bussin to support Mary Margaret McMahon, Smith worked for Gladstone and felt maybe with Rossi’s exit, Wood would drop out of the race and back Pitfield. She pointed to a poll by the Rob Ford campaign published in the Sun Saturday that put Pitfield ahead.

“I kind of thought maybe lightning would strike twice,” she said.

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Candidate accuses Jane Pitfield campaign of ‘impeding democracy’

Don’t forget the comments:

The tight race in Ward 29 took a nasty turn Thursday, with candidate Jennifer Wood accusing the campaign of rival Jane Pitfield of “impeding democracy” after a former Pitfield campaign worker urged Ms. Wood to withdraw from the race.

Rita Smith, the political organizer who wrote the email, said she was simply providing Ms. Wood with advice that could help her career in the future. Ms. Pitfield said that Ms. Smith hasn’t been involved with her campaign for weeks. Continue reading

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Council races heating up, Ford’s numbers show

“Former city councillor and the woman who dared run against David Miller in 2006, Jane Pitfield, is holding her own in Ward 29 at 36% against NDP pick Mary Fragedakis, who is at 28%.
Pitfield said she always run likes she’s in last place and will continue to work as hard as she can until Oct. 25.”

By SUE-ANN LEVY, City Hall Columnist

Hang on to your hats, Toronto.

Change is definitely in the wind on city council.

At least three long-time incumbents are in danger of losing their seats and there appears to be a definitive shift to the centre-right in many tight ward races, according to polling results obtained by the Sunday Sun.

Council speaker Sandra Bussin – under fire most recently for championing a controversial 20-year deal with Tuggs Inc. for control of food and beverage sales on the Eastern Beach — faces a possible upset in her fiefdom of Ward 32. Continue reading

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Parking, transit, parks: some issues concerning Ward 29 residents

admin | Monday, September 27th, 2010 | 2 Comments »


With longtime councillor Case Ootes retiring from municipal politics, the door is wide open for a new councillor to be elected in Ward 29 Toronto-Danforth.

Candidates Chris Caldwell, Mary Fragedakis, Jane Pitfield, Mike Restivo, John Richardson and Jennifer Wood are vying for the open seat in a ward where there isn’t a lone issue galvanizing the debate. Parking, transit and transportation, parks, and changing the way city hall operates are a few of the issues that are of concern in the ward. Continue reading

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