Reports say that outgoing Mayor David Miller will announce Wednesday he is backing Deputy Mayor Joe Pantalone to be his successor as the city's top politician.

Miller is expected to endorse Pantalone during an event at the Canadian Centre for Language and Cultural Studies in the city's east end Wednesday morning.

To date, the outgoing mayor has stayed on the sidelines of the race. But Pantalone would be a logical choice for his endorsement. The three-decade councillor for Ward 19 (Trinity-Spadina) has been an ally of Miller’s and the only mayoral candidate pledging to preserve his legacy.
Pantalone's website alluded to the pending endorsement in a brief statement issued Tuesday afternoon. It said he will make "an important announcement about the election" at 11 a.m. at the Canadian Centre for Language and Cultural Studies near Eglinton Avenue East and Warden Avenue.

While Pantalone has been running third in the polls, he has also won endorsements by NDP Leader Jack Layton and former Canadian ambassador to the United Nations Stephen Lewis, among others.

Following a Tuesday night mayoral candidates' debate, Pantalone would only say that Miller will show "who the real progressive candidate is."

However, Coun. Joe Mihevc (Ward 21, St. Paul’s) is expected to endorse former deputy premier George Smitherman on Wednesday. Mihevc has also been a loyal ally of Miller on council.

Other endorsements of Smitherman’s candidacy are expected to come Wednesday afternoon.

Smitherman described the looming Miller endorsement of Pantalone as "the status quo endorsing the status quo."

Advance voting

Former mayoral candidate Sarah Thomson, who had been running last, showed up as advance polls opened on Tuesday to cast a ballot for Smitherman at City Hall.

"I think he’s the man that could lead Toronto forward," she told reporters. "He’s got a balanced-budget blueprint, he’s got an amazing transit plan."

Thomson threw her support to Smitherman after dropping out last week because she has said Coun. Rob Ford, the right-leaning frontrunner, would be a catastrophe as mayor of Toronto.

Her name is still on the ballot as Thomson did not drop out before the deadline of Sept. 10.

However, a vote cast for Thomson would not count as a vote for Smitherman, who is in the midst of a four-day blitz of the city’s 44 wards.

"I’m excited to be in the whistle-stop part of this campaign, covering the vastness of Toronto with my rolling home away from home," Smitherman told reporters about his camper.

Eligible voters can cast a ballot at the following polls, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

  • Toronto City Hall rotunda, 100 Queen St. W.
  • East York Civic Centre council chamber, 850 Coxwell Ave.
  • Etobicoke Civic Centre council chamber, 399 The West Mall
  • North York Civic Centre member's lounge, 5100 Yonge St.
  • Scarborough Civic Centre committee room 1, 150 Borough Dr.
  • York Civic Centre council chamber, 2700 Eglinton Ave. W.

Eligible voters are those who are Canadian citizens, at least 18 years of age and residents of Toronto who are not prohibited from voting by any law. Non-resident owners or tenants of land in Toronto or their spouse can also vote.

People will need at least one piece of ID with your name, address and signature. Alternatively, they will need two pieces of ID, one with name and signature, the other showing your name and address.

The advance voting will continue until Friday and then resume next Tuesday. Voters can cast a vote at any of the locations they find convenient.

About 42,000 Torontonians showed up at advance polls in the 2006 municipal election, but at the East York Civic Centre, there was a lineup out the door.

A few people said Tuesday they were surprised to see so many out, but thought the competitive nature of the election may be heightening interest.

Touch screens will be available at East York polls to assist voters with visual disabilities. See the Toronto Votes website for more information.

Some problems with the devices were noted at East York.

With a report from CTV Toronto’s Michelle Dube