Former Toronto Mayor John Tory, who announced his resignation last week over an inappropriate relationship with a staffer, delivered his final speech on Friday before leaving City Hall for good.
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After formally tendering his resignation to City Council on Wednesday following the passage of the 2023 city budget, John Tory resigned as mayor at 5pm on Friday.
“Working hard and collaborating is the Toronto way. And that made being the mayor of this city the best job you could have. It breaks my heart to have to go but it’s the right thing to do, difficult as it is,” Mr Tory said during his last press conference.
The outgoing mayor addressed journalists with no questions asked.
He admitted the scandal uncovered by The Toronto Star surrounding his affair with an employee while he’s married will certainly rub off on his legacy as mayor. However, he expressed a wish that Toronto residents would long-term remember a mayor who reinstated Toronto’s public transportation projects, gambled on building new housing to combat high housing prices, and tried to be as inclusive as possible to be.
John Tory criticized the “age of polarization and division” we live in and urged his successor to make inclusion one of his priorities. “This responsibility of the mayor will have a lot to do with whether the city can thrive and continue to move forward,” he predicted.
Former leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario, John Tory, was first elected mayor of Toronto in 2014. He succeeded Rob Ford, whose antics at City Hall had made headlines for more than just a recovery. He was easily re-elected to a third term last fall with 62% of the vote.
Deputy Mayor Jennifer McKelvie took over from Mr Tory after unsuccessfully trying to persuade him to stay. “I think he went to his heart and decided what was best for him, for his family and for the city of Toronto. And I think that’s admirable,” she commented.