Candidate Profile: Ana Bailão

Fixing services, building housing and making life affordable are Councillor Ana Bailão’s key pitches to voters. Winning three consecutive elections in ward 9 (Davenport) since 2010, increasing her share of the popular vote each time, Bailão served as John Tory’s deputy mayor from 2017 to 2022. She also served on the city’s executive and planning and housing committees.

Today, she argues, “Torontonians are paying more, and they’re getting less.” Her motivation for running for mayor stems from a desire to create the same opportunities she had when she immigrated to Canada at the age of 15.

Good transit is foundational to tackle congestion, Bailão stated in an interview, making a firm commitment to restore post-pandemic cuts to TTC service. To improve safety, she advocated hiring additional staff, expanding security camera footage, bringing cell service to the subway and additional cleaning.

To relieve traffic congestion, she committed to investing more into Bike Share Toronto, additional red-light cameras, traffic wardens, and ticket-and-tow enforcement during rush hour. Asked about transit projects being delivered from other levels of government, Bailão said lessons would be learned from the Eglinton Crosstown LRT construction. She expressed excitement at the possibilities of the Waterfront East LRT and Eglinton East LRT.

On community safety, Bailão passionately described how she felt safe taking the subway home from her part-time job downtown when she was growing up. She’s committed to expanding the successful Toronto Community Crisis Service, which connects people in crisis with trained mental health experts, from covering 60% of Toronto to 100% coverage.

Other strategic investments she would make include deploying mobile mental health clinics, refocusing police resources, and advocating for bail reform.

On housing, Bailão spoke about her younger sister’s difficulty looking for a home and affording rent. To address the housing crisis, Bailão committed to building 285,000 new homes by 2031. She will champion reforms to planning regulations to get “missing middle” housing built, which includes housing of medium scale and density.

Bailão also plans to expand the Dufferin Grove pilot project city-wide to support persons living outside, establish an Anti-Displacement and Evictions Prevention Unit within Municipal Licencing and Standards and freeze proposals that would demolish rental apartments.

Bailão says she does not require the strong mayor powers provided by the provincial government last year that allow the mayor to impose decisions backed by less than half of City Council, highlighting the support she has gained from a significant number of current councilors.
Contact: [email protected]