Any talk of specific candidates—most of whom should be focusing on the jobs they already have, at this stage—is nothing more than a wildly premature parlour game. Keeping that in mind, let’s play.
THE USUAL SUSPECTS
There’s already a list of potential candidates for the next mayoral race being tossed around in the media. Here they are, listed in descending order of the likelihood that they will run:
Rob Ford: Natch.
Shelley Carroll: The most likely standard-bearer for the left. She was Miller’s budget chief but represents a suburban neighbourhood, and is a consensus-builder more than an ideologue.
Adam Vaughan: Forceful, intelligent, and articulate, Vaughan is arguably the most high-profile councillor other than Doug Ford. But it’s uncertain whether he could channel his inner suburbanite, or whether he’d even want to.
Karen Stintz: Many say she’s already the acting mayor—an impression reinforced by her surprise OneCity proposal—and she’s a conservative now working with lefties. However, she categorically says she will not run.
John Tory: At this point, force of habit makes speculating about Tory’s political prospects automatic.
Kristyn Wong-Tam: She’s level-headed, a great speaker, and unafraid of wild ideas. But it’s likely too early in her political career, and she’s the ultimate downtowner
Olivia Chow: She knows her way around City Hall and she’s the beloved widow of Saint Jack. She even has a stepson on council. But with the NDP leading in the federal polls, she could be in line for a potential cabinet job in a few years, so a homecoming is unlikely.
THE WILD CARDS
Some names never get seriously mentioned, though it would be more interesting if they did. So we’ll mention them.
Matt Galloway: He’s the sensible, reasonable voice of Toronto on CBC radio, with proven expertise in facilitating an intelligent, wide-ranging civic conversation
Steven Page: Mayor June Rowlands once banned his band from Nathan Phillips Square. Now the Scarborough-bred novelty-singer-turned-balladeer (and NDP activist) can exact his revenge.
Andrew Coyne: On the one hand, the National Post columnist is in favour of road tolls and constantly tweets about Toronto’s need to loosen up. On the other hand, he appears to hate the city.
Heather Reisman: Could a Michael Bloomberg-esque business titan be the ticket? Maybe. But we fear she’d want to de-emphasize government services and devote more Toronto floor space to greeting cards and gifts.
Wes Williams, a.k.a. Maestro: An elder statesman in Toronto’s now world-beating music scene, he built his name as a Kennedy Station enthusiast with a penchant for getting backbones sliding on the left-left and on the right-right.
Bob Rae: Now that his ambitions to be Liberal party leader have been thwarted, perhaps everyone’s favourite statesman can try for a job with real power.
Margaret Atwood: Her war with Doug Ford and her social-media activism have raised the hope that our most beloved novelist might make a frizzy perfect mayor.
Michael Ondaatje: His novel, In the Skin of a Lion, is among the best explorations of Toronto identity—it mythologizes both our infrastructure and our diversity. He gets us.
Ken Dryden: Look, the city needs a mayor and the Leafs need a starting goalie. This hall-of-fame netminder, author, lawyer, businessman, and politician may be better than the alternatives for both roles.