Nominated for: turning out in record numbers.
Torontoist is ending the year by naming our Heroes and Villains—the people, places, things, and ideas that have had the most positive and negative impacts on the city over the past 12 months. Cast your ballot until 5 p.m. on December 30. At noon on December 31, we’ll reveal your choices for Toronto’s Superhero and Supervillain of the year.
Odds are, you voted in this year’s municipal election. Like or loathe the outcome, Torontonians came out in record numbers this year, with 54.7 per cent of eligible voters casting a ballot. That number is up 66 per cent over the past eight years, from a paltry 39 per cent in 2006. As an amalgamated city, we’ve never seen voter turnout this high.
Why the record numbers? It’s not difficult to guess. Probably you voted either to prop up or dismantle Ford Nation. A divisive mayor, to say the least, Rob Ford gave Torontonians a reason to show up on October 27.
During advance voting, a record 161,147 Torontonians went to the ballot box, double the early turnout of 2010. These votes fuelled winner predictions, which in turn further motivated voters to refute or validate the best guesses of political analysts.
Yes, voting was reflective of income. And, no, city council does not yet look like the city itself. But with more people coming out to vote, there is hope that, in years to come, a growing pool of voters will result in more diverse representation.
On election night, lines were long, but you waited. You made your vote count. That determination wins Toronto voters a spot on our heroes list this year. Let’s see if you can do it again in 2018.