Candidate Profile: Olivia Chow


  • Olivia Chow has served Toronto residents as:
    • School Board Trustee (1985-1991),
    • City Councillor (1991-2005)
      • Chow served on Toronto’s Budget Committee for ten years
      • Mayor Mel Lastman appointed her Toronto’s Child and Youth Advocate
      • Introduced the student nutrition program which today feeds hundreds of thousands of students across the city, and free dental care for children in poverty.
    • Member of Parliament. (2006-2014).
  • As a founder of the Institute for Change Leaders, Chow and her team have trained thousands to organize and advocate for progressive change at the local and national level.

Key Themes

  • More funding for Toronto
    • Increasing funding streams from the provincial and federal governments would be a key part of her plan. 
  • Strong Mayor’s Powers
    • She also vowed not to use the city’s new strong-mayor powers to overrule council.
  • Therme Spa at Ontario Place
    • She does not support the province’s proposal to have a private company build a sprawling indoor spa and waterpark at Ontario Place
  • Ontario Science Centre  
    • The Ontario Science Centre should not be moved it has been a beacon of science education and exploration for more than 50 years. It is a vital part of the Flemingdon Park and Thorncliffe neighbourhoods, and a precious space for local kids to gather, play and explore.
    • started a petition to oppose Premier Doug Ford’s decision to rip the Science Centre out of Flemingdon Park and Thorncliffe.
    • The Science Centre should be revitalized in consultation with the local community, and it should happen alongside a meaningful investment in improved services and affordable housing.
  • Housing


  • Create 1,000 new rent supplements to help people secure permanent housing.
  • Her City Homes Planwill allow the City to act as a developer to build 25,000 rent-controlled homes on city-owned land. There will be a minimum of 7,500 affordable units, including at least 2,500 rent-geared-to-income units.
  • Doubling the reach of Toronto’s Rent Bank to help 5,500 people each year and expand eligibility requirements to assist more tenants with grants to help cover rent.
  • Tripling the reach of the Eviction Prevention in the Community program to help over 3,000 people a year avoid eviction by providing case management, mediation with landlords and more.
  • Scaling up the Toronto Tenant Support Program to fight evictions and illegal rent increases and support tenant organizing initiatives.
  • Giving RentSafeTO real teeth by investing in more by-law enforcement officers and staff to support investigations of unsafe conditions, more contractors so the city can fix the problems if the landlord has refused, and more staff to better enforce standards on landlords and hold them accountable. 
  • Olivia will establish Toronto’s Renters Action Committee composed of renters, housing providers, advocates, councillors and the mayor. The Renters Action Committee will work to improve fairness for renters, protect tenant rights, prevent illegitimate evictions and homelessness, address the affordable rental housing shortage, and improve existing city programs and services for renters.
  • Create the Secure Affordable Homes Fund – a historic $100 million annual investment to stop renovictions by helping purchase, repair and transfer affordable rental apartment buildings to not-for-profit, community, and Indigenous housing providers (i.e. land trusts) so they can be preserved as affordable rental homes.


  • She will raise the Municipal Land Transfer Tax on luxury homes, with new graduated rates on purchases of homes valued at over $3 million. She’ll use the money to support people experiencing homelessness and help people stay housed.
  • Olivia will raise the Vacant Homes Tax from 1% to 3% to make more homes available, and she will use the funds from the tax for affordable housing initiatives.