Toronto has a female candidate for mayor, with the CEO of a business newspaper for women filing to become a candidate.

Sarah Thomson, 42, founded Women's Post Media, which publishes the Women's Post, started in 2002 as a newspaper but currently a glossy magazine.

She told reporters on Tuesday that she wants to build a city that is vibrant, free of debt and open to new ideas.

"It will take all of us to work together to fix this city," she said.

One of her ideas is "managed competition," where public employees would bid against private companies, non-profits and other agencies "for the privilege of providing services to the people of Toronto," she said.

Toronto Community Housing is one example of an agency that could use some competition, she said.

Thomson said Torontonians want an extensive subway system, but the current Transit City plan would see a vast network of mostly surface light-rail transit developed. Light rail is cheaper to institute than subways.

Thomson has no political experience whatsoever with the exception of an unsuccessful run for a seat on Hamilton's city council.

On her website, Thomson declares, "I am not a politician, but a visionary who understands what needs to be done to make Toronto into a great city."

She said at her news conference that "it is time to question the entrenched politicians who say, ‘We can't,’ with those who say, 'We can'."

Three people with significant experience in elected politics are running, and a fifth is expected to join them next week.

Deputy mayor Joe Pantalone (Ward 19, Trinity-Spadina) and Coun. Giorgio Mammoliti (Ward 7, York West) are both council veterans.

Coun. Adam Giambrone (Ward 18, Davenport), chair of the TTC, is expected to join the race on Feb. 1.

George Smitherman has never held elected office at the municipal level, but was a one-time chief of staff to Mayor Barbara Hall. He also served for 10 years as a Liberal MPP, held cabinet positions and was deputy premier.

Rocco Rossi has never held political office, but he is the former national director of the Liberal Party of Canada and had run John Tory's unsuccessful mayoral campaign in 2003.

A total of 21 people, including Thomson, have registered to run for mayor.