Toronto Mayor John Tory Officially Resigns on Feb. 17, Begins Transition Plan

Toronto Mayor John Tory Officially Resigns on Feb. 17, Begins Transition Plan
Toronto Mayor John Tory speaks during a press conference at city hall in Toronto on Feb. 10, 2023. (The Canadian Press/Arlyn McAdorey)
Peter Wilson

Toronto Mayor John Tory has submitted his formal letter of resignation effective Feb. 17 at 5 p.m., and will now begin a transition plan over the next two days.

Tory's official resignation notice came on the evening of Feb. 15, following a city council meeting that passed the 2023 budget and less than a week after the mayor announced he'd be stepping down because of an "inappropriate relationship" he'd previously had with a former staffer.
Tory, 68, has been Toronto's mayor since 2014. He says he will be spending the coming two days meeting with deputy mayor Jennifer McKelvie and City of Toronto staff "to ensure an orderly transition."
"I continue to be deeply sorry and apologize unreservedly to the people of Toronto and to all those hurt by my actions without exception," he wrote in his letter of resignation to the city clerk.

"This has been the job of a lifetime, and while I have let many people, including myself, down in this instance, I have nonetheless been deeply honoured by the opportunity to serve the people of this wonderful city for more than eight years and I hope I achieved some good for the city I truly love."

A by-election is expected to be held in the coming months to fill the vacant position as head of council, as stipulated by the City of Toronto Act, the provincial law that governs the operations of the city.
According to Section 226.10 of the act, Toronto city council must pass a by-law requiring such a by-election within 60 days of the vacancy.

'Upset the Apple Cart'

Tory's resignation comes amid calls from Ontario Premier Doug Ford to stay.
Ford said at a press conference in Brampton, Ont., on Feb. 15 that Tory was "the best thing we have in Toronto" and that he did not believe it was now time to change the city's leadership.

"Let’s not upset the apple cart for a personal issue he’s dealing with," Ford said, adding, "If a lefty mayor gets in there, God help the people of Toronto."

"If a left-wing mayor gets in there, we’re toast. I’ll tell you, it’d be a disaster in my opinion."

Members of the federal cabinet have also voiced their thoughts on Tory's resignation, with Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland saying she believes Tory made the right decision by resigning.

"Like very many Torontonians, I was very surprised, even shocked by what we learned on Friday night. Mayor Tory admitted to making a serious mistake and to a serious error in judgment," Freeland told reporters on Feb. 15.

"He took responsibility by resigning. That was the right thing to do and that was the necessary thing to do."

The Canadian Press and Tara MacIsaac contributed to this report.