Skip to main content

Ontario big city mayors set to test out strong mayor powers within a year


Ontario's big city mayors elected to a new term in office may soon have enhanced powers at their disposal to tackle tough issues like housing.

But experts say the use of so-called “strong mayor” powers may not be clear-cut, and their use may be limited by budgetary constraints and other factors.

Housing was a major election theme in municipal campaigns across the province, particularly related to affordability.

Ontario's Progressive Conservative government recently passed a law giving mayors of Toronto and Ottawa veto power over bylaws that conflict with provincial priorities like housing, and Premier Doug Ford says the powers will be extended to other cities in a year.

Monday night's municipal election results mean Ford could be extending those powers to former foes in provincial politics, with former leaders of the NDP and Liberals elected as the mayors of Hamilton and Vaughan, respectively.

McMaster University political scientist Peter Graefe says it will be interesting to see how different municipalities use the strong mayor powers depending on local pressures on councils and from voters. Top Stories

Stay Connected