The 1997 Toronto municipal election was the first election held for offices in the amalgamated "megacity" of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The elections were administered by the old City of Toronto and its five suburbs within Metropolitan Toronto. The vote was held November 10, 1997, electing the mayor and 56 councillors in 28 wards who took office on January 1, 1998, the day of the amalgamation.
Ward by ward results for mayor. Lastman won North York and the other suburbs while Hall won the southern and central areas.
The mayoral race saw incumbents from the two largest former cities run to be mayor, the left-leaning Barbara Hall and the right-leaning Mel Lastman. Lastman won the election by a narrow margin, around 40,000 votes.
Anna Stella is a longtime community activist in the Black Creek area of Toronto. She applied to replace Anthony Perruzza as North York's fifth ward councillor in 1990, after Perruzza was elected to the provincial legislature and council decided to nominate an interim replacement rather than hold a by-election. She was turned down in favour of Claudio Polsinelli. Stella was later elected to the Metro Toronto Separate School Board in the 1994 municipal election, easily defeating four other candidates in Ward Twelve. She supported greater parental involvement in school affairs and a zero-tolerance policy toward violence, although she opposed Scarborough's policy of expulsion. In the 1997 election, she was endorsed by Art Eggleton and Annamarie Castrilli.
Connie Dejak is a longtime administrator at Runnymede Chronic Care Hospital. As of 2006, she is the hospital's president and chief executive officer. When a reviewing committee appointed by the Mike Harris provincial government decided to close Runnymede in 1997, she organized the hospital's successful challenge against the decision. Dejak is also a community activist, and has served on a police liaison committee for her neighbourhood. She and David Miller were endorsed by the Toronto Star newspaper in the 1997 campaign. She later sought an appointment to the Toronto Police Serves Board in 1999, but was passed over in favour of Alan Heisey. In the 2003 mayoral contest, she supported John Nunziata. Dejak is a member of the Liberal Party, and there are reports that she considered running for the party in a 2006 provincial by-election in Parkdale—High Park.
Ed Hooven has a PhD in Sociology, and is currently an assistant professor at York University. His formal biographical sketch indicates that his past works have focused on European integration, the post-war Japanese economy and North American free trade agreements. His current work focused on the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and "judicial activism". He has contributed a chapter to "Canada and the New Economic Order", entitled "The New World Order: In a New Millennium". Hooven has called for governments to distinguish between the "deserving" and "undeserving" when determining policies on social assistance. He has written against multiculturalism and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as leading to "creeping moral relativism", and has also criticized the powers of the Canadian judiciary. He has accused feminists of seeking to destroy the nuclear family. Hooven has been active with the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario, and was research director for the Republican candidate for governor in the 1998 New Hampshire state elections. He is a member of Republicans Abroad Canada. He also plays guitar in the Mississauga Big Band Ensemble. He is considered by many to be a fascist.
Walter Melnyk was a teacher in Peel, and later worked in sales. He was a member of the Metro Toronto Separate School Board from 1980 to 1988. He was first elected in the 1980 municipal election, defeating incumbent trustee Edward Boehler in the city's first ward. During this campaign, he called for better services for graduating elementary students entering the public school system. In 1984, he brought forward a motion to provide medical services for students afflicted by poor environmental conditions in Toronto's Junction Triangle. Melnyk also promoted mandatory physical education programs. In January 1988, he brought forward a motion criticizing existing practices on the Separate School Board, suggesting that the board consider breaking itself up into regional bodies. He argued that the board was dominated by a secretive "old guard", who often reduced other trustees to the role of passive spectators. The board rejected his motion. Melnyk also called for non-Catholics to be allowed into Catholic schools. He was defeated by Barbara Poplowski in the 1988 municipal election; a newspaper article from the campaign lists him as thirty-nine years old. After the election, he was appointed as a school representative on the Toronto Board of Health. He campaigned for a seat on the Toronto City Council in 1991, promising to introduce a taxpayers' bill of rights. He narrowly lost to New Democratic Party incumbent Rob Maxwell in the eleventh ward. Melnyk was later banned from running in the 1994 municipal election, after failing to file a financial statement for his 1991 campaign. He worked as the campaign manager for city council candidate Alex Chumak, but was forced to leave this campaign amid controversy. Chumak informed the media that Melnyk had offered a rival candidate a position on the Toronto Board of Health in return for leaving the race; Melnyk said that he did nothing wrong. Melnyk ran for a position on the new city council in 1997, and was defeated. He tried to return to the Separate School Board (now renamed as the Toronto Catholic District School Board) in 2000, but lost to Barbara Poplowski for a second time.
^Stasia Evasuk, "Runneymede hospital home to 114", Toronto Star, August 12, 1989, F6; "Converted school turned hospital hosting reunion" [press release], Canada NewsWire, October 12, 1990, 12:57 report; "McGuinty Government's Infrastructure Investments Building Opportunity For Ontarians" [press release], Canada NewsWire, October 10, 2006, 10:09 report.
^Nicolaas Van Rijn, "Chiefs, staff 'devastated' as axe falls", Toronto Star, March 7, 1997, A10; Theresa Boyle and Rita Daly, "Witmer gives reprieve to 3 Toronto hospitals", Toronto Star, December 16, 1999, 1.
^Leslie Ferenc, "Liquor licences fuelling trendy west-end boom", Toronto Star, July 18, 1994, E1.
^Helen Branswell, "Word that Canadians felt ...", Canadian Press, September 21, 2001, 18:32 report.
^Geoff Chapman, "Big Band ensemble puts Mississauga on the map", Toronto Star, December 26, 1993, E12.
^ ab"The candidates", Toronto Star, November 11, 1988, A14.
^Julia Turner, "Get rid of portables, separate school hopefuls say", Globe and Mail, November 5, 1980, P5.
^Suzanne Wintrob, "RC board urges clinics for Junction children", Globe and Mail, September 24, 1984, M2.
^Darcy Henton and Brian McAndrew, "MDs deplore health habits of schoolkids", Toronto Star, January 17, 1987, A1.
^"Break up separate board angry Metro trustees say", Toronto Star, January 21, 1988, B7; Walter Melnyk, "Options open to Catholic trustees" [letter], Toronto Star, February 10, 1988, A14.
^Rita Daly, "Metro separate trustees say no to smaller boards", Toronto Star, March 29, 1988, N5.
^Walter Melnyk, "Catholic schools should rescind ban" [letter], Toronto Star, June 19, 1988, B2.
^Walter Melnyk, "More facts needed on school meal plan" [letter], April 14, 1991, B2.
^"City of Toronto Mayor, councillors", Toronto Star, November 7, 1991, G1. The Toronto Star also reported that Melnyk wanted to make Toronto a "Communist-free zone". He later indicated that he made the comment as a joke, and charged the Star with diminishing his status as a serious candidate by printing the reference. The press council expressed some reservations about the paper's decision, but ruled that the paper did not violate Melnyk's rights as a candidate. See "Star not biased in election coverage press council rules", Toronto Star, November 16, 1992, A13.
^Danielle Bochove, "Candidates banned from '94 vote", Globe and Mail, October 12, 1992, A11
^"Trustee candidate charged with fraud", Toronto Star, November 12, 1994, A4.