Toronto Council Renewal Project

TCRP Recommended Candidate: Joe Cressy

Boundaries: Dundas St. W. to the north, Bay St. to the east, the waterfront to the south and Dovercourt Rd. to the west.
Demographics: There are 115,506 people with an average age of 36. The average household size is 1.7 people with a median household income of $76,270. The percentage of visible minorities in the ward is 42%. [ Info Toronto Star | Sept 24]

Ward 10 - Spadina - Fort York

Michael Barcelos:
Barcelos, a recovered crack cocaine addict, is running for council because he disagrees with the city's approach to dealing with drugs and addicts. He claims that the St. Felix Centre low-barrier respite shelter is a threat to his three young children and that transients who use the shelter shoot up and throw their dirty needles on the sidewalk right below the balcony where his children play. There is also a safe injection site within walking distance of their home. Barcelos, who is critical of incumbent Joe Cressy, says that if elected he’d be “out and about consistently meeting” with people in his ward - not just showing his face at election time. He says that he has a perspective on how to deal with drugs that does not involve “enabling people.”

Al Carbone:
Carbone is famous for erecting a middle-finger ice sculpture in front of the Kit Kat, his restaurant on King Street, in opposition to the King Street transit pilot project. The project prohibited cars from going along a section of King to make it easier for streetcars and the public. Carbone is one of the driving forces behind the development of the Entertainment District Association in the 90s and has the nickname “Mayor of the entertainment district.”  Carbone fought against increases in tax assessments in the mid-’90s; the city’s smoking ban in the late ’90s; and condo encroachment in 2013. He said that “Common sense must prevail.”

April Engelberg:
"I just had to run. I’m so passionate about city affairs and I want to make everyone’s day-to-day life easier,” says Engelberg, 30, a lawyer who has taken to standing at street corners to hear from residents about what changes they want to see. Making sure a future downtown subway relief line extends into the neighbourhood is top of mind, she says.

Engelberg is in favour of improved transit, including a downtown relief line that extends into this ward, making streets safer, improving green space, affordable housing, and green initiatives around waste.

Dean Maher:
Communications analyst and editor Maher is running for council for a second time. Maher founded the City Place Residents' Association (CPRA) and the Fort York Neighbourhood Association (FYNA). Both associations have been a platform to connect community champions and drive many improvements for our community. He has worked with community leaders in Bathurst Quay, the Waterfront, the Entertainment District, King/Spadina, Spadina and more. Maher wants to see the construction of more affordable rental housing, transit innovation, bringing nature back to the downtown through a park renaissance, and building and expanding the Rail Deck Park further east.

Andrew Massey:
Working in Toronto for a Japanese government tourism agency, former English teacher Massey wants to be a City Councillor because he doesn’t want people his age and under to feel politically disenfranchised. “There have been many calls for more moderate, civic-minded young people to engage politically with our electoral system,” he says. “I want to answer those calls and do everything that I can to help restore and maintain the integrity of public office.”

Karlene Nation:
Nation is a former journalist and CTV producer and the founder of a media and communications company that helps small businesses and not-for-profits get media coverage.  This is her first run at city politics, although she ran for the Conservative Party in Trinity-Spadina in 2011 and 2014.  She frequently retweets the views of prominent Conservatives.  On August 1st, 2018 Nation retweeted Sue-Ann Levy: "Tax, tax, tax for bike lanes, street furniture, streetcar pilots, complete streets, and more grandiose visions that do not include the car!" On August 7th she retweeted Saskatchewan Scott Moe's comment "Our nation can and should replace imported oil from Saudi Arabia and all foreign dictatorships. And western Canada should supply it, say, through a pipeline. #EnergyEast"

Nation is in favour of community policing and more security cameras; support for local businesses; changes to the King Street Pilot Project; the creation of more jobs and apprenticeship programs for youth.

Kevin Vuong:
Vuong, a former banker and University of Toronto law school graduate, is currently a lecturer in the Faculty of Medicine’s Translational Research Program at his alma mater and serves as an Officer in the Canadian Forces Naval Reserve. Named as one of Canada's Top 30 Under 30 due to his extensive work on charitable boards, Vuong has worked with developers and the City of Toronto to provide services for vertical communities such as building wider, accessible sidewalks and minimizing noise during construction. Vuong advocates for improved transit and is building bridges within the community by founding and leading the King Street Eats initiative. Kevin is endorsed by mayoral candidate Sarah Climenhaga.

Issues - Vuong wants to see the downtown transit relief line built as soon as possible and he wants to improve conditions for cyclists in the ward. He strongly supports the development of Rail Deck Park. He would like to see the current property tax system improved to include participatory budgeting. Vuong supports TransformTO and is dedicated to ensuring its funding and implementation.

Edris Zalmai:
Zalmai, who is new to politics, is running for City Council because the city he grew up in is changing. He says Toronto finds itself in a precarious place - the recent spike in gun violence has made this clear. Communities are experiencing the gentrification of historical neighbourhoods, and the housing affordability crisis continues to worsen. He worries there is a drug addiction epidemic while safe injection sites are put into residential neighbourhoods.​

Issues: The housing crisis, mental health, transit and the arts are his main concerns.

Andrei Zodian:
Zodian is the president and founder of the Sheppard West Neighbourhood Association, which covers the area from Jane Street in the west and Northwood and Dells Parks to the east.

Sabrina Zuniga:
Educational consultant Zuniga ran as a Conservative candidate in Spadina-Fort York in 2015.  During that campaign Zuniga, a strong supporter of the oil industry, famously said that oil is a natural substance and that spills are absorbed back into the earth.  With a PhD in Education, she has a strong professional and charitable background in that field. 

If elected Zuniga will strive to make our streets and sidewalks safe and our transit reliable, keep our parks clean and our trees healthy, support mental health and physical health services to those in need, make housing affordable with mixed use neighbourhoods and keep the vibrancy of small unique shops and businesses.

There was no information on the following candiates:
Ahdam Dour
Rick Myers
John Nguyen




Cressy, the enthusiastic councillor for the millennial's ward

Spadina-Fort York sports one of the youngest populations in Toronto. From Liberty Village to Queen's Quay, a generation of millennials reside in the futuristic style of vertical living. No councillor better represents the enthusiasm of the young than the young enthusiastic councillor himself, Joe Cressy, the TCRP choice for Ward 10.
Son of former Toronto City Councillors, Gordan Cressy and Joanne Campbell, Cressy was elected to City Hall in 2014.

Since entering city politics, Cressy has chaired a plethora of committees and volunteer groups. With a natural penchant for social media, Cressy has been active and outspoken on issues ranging from income equity and affordable housing to green space and climate change. His voting record reflects his progressive views on urban planning, finance and civic liberties. 


When Doug Ford was elected Premier, first-term councillor Cressy said it was “terrible news for the residents of our city. There’s no sugar-coating it. On every file of importance - whether it’s affordable housing or minimum wage legislation or transit funding - this is a disaster.” Cressy was perhaps the strongest voice on council opposed to the shift to 25 wards. “This decision is only going to hurt the 2.9 million residents who call our city home,” he said. Running for election in the new ward 10, Cressy says it will mean fewer opportunities for residents to work with their local councillor to improve their parks, shape local developments, or create safer streets. “It will mean Councillors will not be available to local residents. And, it means critical issues like local development won't get the attention they deserve. It will mean residents won't get the local representation they deserve.”

Cressy has been very visible in the community. He supports causes such as income equity, LGBTQ issues, affordable housing, green space, climate issues, bike lanes, and 21st century transit. He was instrumental in getting the King Street transit project and Bloor Street bike lanes implemented. Other Cressy projects include Rail Deck Park (a parking lot right now) and the 250 Davenport Road TCHC revitalization project.

The son of former Toronto City councillors Gordon Cressy and Joanne Campbell, Cressy has worked on various social justice issues for many years, beginning in high school during a year in South Africa, continuing in the movement opposed to the Iraq war, as well as on anti-poverty initiatives in Canada and Africa as a student and later as an employee of the Stephen Lewis Foundation. Cressy supports LGBTQ issues at home and abroad, volunteering for an LGBTQ organization while studying in Accra and supporting the NDP’s call for a visa ban against legislators who passed anti-gay laws in Russia. Cressy has been endorsed by the Toronto & York Region Labour Council. 

Boards and Committees: Toronto and East York Community Council; Aboriginal Affairs Committee; Board of Health; Community Development and Recreation Committee; Nominating Panel - McCormick and Bill Bolton Arena, Chair; 58 Cecil Street Community Centre Board of Management; Campbell House Board of Management; Harbourfront Centre Board of Directors; Scadding Court Community Centre Committee; Toronto and East York Community Preservation Panel; Toronto Arts Council; Toronto Community Housing Corporation Board of Directors; University Settlement Community Centre Board of Management; William H. Bolton Arena Board; Young Ambassadors Selection Committee for Learnx Foundation.

Voting Record 2014 - 2018: Cressy voted in favour of keeping bike lanes on Bloor; against considering child care space reductions; in favour of a long-term financial plan for the city; against the Scarborough subway extension; against considering budget cuts that would impact quality of life for Toronto Community Housing Corporation residents; in favour of exploring the feasibility of a Toronto sales tax; in favour of adding 1,000 new beds in the 2018 Shelter Infrastructure Plan; in favour of full funding for TransformTO, the city's long-term climate action plan; against naming a stadium after Rob Ford.

2014 electoral results and 2017 attendance: 1st runner-up Terry Chu got 30% of Cressy's vote count. Cressy has a very good attendance record, missing just 7.4% of recorded council votes.




Cressy is an important ally to the progressive bloc of downtown councillors. With the likes of Joe Mihevc, Josh Matlow, Kristyn Wong-Tam, Paula Fletcher, Mary Fragedakis and Mike Layton, Cressy is a vital counterweight to the conservative suburban faction now over represented in Council; thanks to Premier Doug Ford’s ward reduction bill. 

In Spadina-Fort York, Cressy has the benefit of running unopposed. Some of his liberal cohorts now face election battles in key downtown wards that will consequently diminish the voice of the progressive bloc. Cressy’s election win is central to preserving policy continuity and leadership to the wider constituency of Ward 10. His influence in politics is greatly felt to help promote the crucial issues at hand. 

Joe Cressy has a long and fruitful political career. Now in a 25-Ward system – he is about to face his biggest challenge yet. Go get ’em Joe! 

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