Kristyn Wong-Tam

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Kristyn Wong-Tam
Kristyn Wong-Tam at International Women's Day Celebrations in 2018
Wong-Tam in 2018
Toronto City Councillor for (Ward 13) Toronto Centre
Ward 27 (2010-2018)
Assumed office
December 1, 2010
Preceded byKyle Rae
Personal details
Born1971 (age 48–49)
Hong Kong
ResidenceToronto, Ontario
OccupationReal Estate Agent, businesswoman, politician
Kristyn Wong-Tam
Traditional Chinese黃慧文[1]
Simplified Chinese黄慧文

Kristyn Wong-Tam (About this soundListen) (born c. 1971) is a Canadian politician. She is councillor for Ward 13 - Toronto Centre, formerly Ward 27, since 2010. She was elected to Toronto City Council in the 2010 city council election to replace Kyle Rae who had chosen to retire,[2] defeating opponent Ken Chan in the heated race by just 400 plus votes.[3][4] She was re-elected in 2014,[5] and again in 2018 in the newly redistricted ward boundaries.


Born in Hong Kong and raised in a Buddhist family,[6][7] she immigrated to Toronto with her family in 1975.[8] She grew up in the Regent Park neighbourhood of Toronto, with her family settling there first before a move to the suburbs.[4] A real estate agent and business owner, she is the former owner of a Timothy's franchise in Toronto's Church and Wellesley Village,[9] and the owner of the KWT (formerly the XEXE) contemporary art gallery at Bathurst and Richmond Street West.[3][10]


Wong-Tam, who is a Canadian of Chinese origin, came out as a lesbian in high school, at the age of 16[11] and has been an activist for both LGBTQ and Asian Canadian community issues, serving on the Chinese Canadian National Council[9] and helping to found Asian Canadians For Equal Marriage[12] and the Church and Wellesley Village's business improvement area.[9] In 2011, she cooperated with Toronto's Lesbian Gay Bi Trans Youth Line to create an award, named in memory of Toronto artist Will Munro, to honour LGBT youth involved in community arts projects in Ontario.[13]

Prior to the 2010 Toronto municipal election, it emerged that Wong-Tam had provided support for the political advocacy group Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (QuAIA). In an interview with the Toronto Sun newspaper, she said that she lent her credit card to register the group's website because no one in the group owned a credit card. Wong-Tam "listed her home address in the registration but gave the contact number as her Coldwell Banker real estate office on Yonge St."[14] Wong-Tam was the registered owner of the site until August 31, 2010.[15]


In the 2010 election, Wong-Tam was endorsed by the Toronto and York Labour Council.[16] She was also supported by neighbouring councillor Adam Vaughan, street nurse Cathy Crowe and author Michele Landsberg.[17]

Wong-Tam, in a post-election interview with the Toronto Sun, says that she is "really looking forward to working with the Mayor" and that she supports Mayor Rob Ford's campaign pledge to scrap the personal vehicle tax and the land transfer tax. She also noted that she did not renew her New Democratic Party membership, saying: "I think all (council) rookies are saying the same thing – they don't want to be pigeon-holed."[18]

In the lead up to the 2018 Toronto municipal election, City Council approved a redrawing of municipal ward boundaries, increasing its size from 44, after an independent consultant recommended the City adopt a 47 ward system.[19] However, the Ontario government under Progressive Conservative Premier Doug Ford amended the Municipal Elections Act, forcing the City of Toronto government to cut the size of its City Council from 47, plus the Mayor, to 25, plus the Mayor. There was swift reaction regarding this move from various council members, including Wong-Tam, who called the move "extremely anti-democratic" and described it "as a takeover of Toronto." Wong-Tam said in an interview "This greater concentration of power does not give and deliver better government", and "He [Ford] will speak in populist platitudes about saving taxpayer dollars, but it's going to come at the cost of the erosion of the democratic process."[20]

Election results[edit]

2018 Toronto Election, Ward 13 - Toronto Centre[21]
Candidate Votes %
(*) Kristyn Wong-Tam (X) 15,706 50.26%
George Smitherman 4,734 15.15%
(*) Lucy Troisi 2,698 8.63%
Khuram Aftab 1,794 5.74%
Walied Khogali Ali 1,408 4.51%
Ryan Lester 968 3.10%
Tim Gordanier 734 2.35%
Jon Callegher 713 2.28%
John Jeffery 530 1.70%
Catherina Perez 511 1.64%
Megann Willson 411 1.32%
Barbara Lavoie 176 0.56%
Jordan Stone 161 0.52%
Richard Forget 150 0.48%
Jonathan Heath 144 0.46%
Kyle McNally 138 0.44%
Darren Abramson 108 0.35%
Gladys Larbie 101 0.32%
Rob Wolvin 64 0.20%
Total 31,249 100%
2014 Toronto election, Ward 27[22]
Candidate Votes %
(*) Kristyn Wong-Tam (X) 19,682 62.49%
Megan McIver 5,340 16.96%
Benjamin Dichter 1,528 4.85%
Jordan Stone 1,270 4.03%
David Byford 839 2.66%
Susan Humfryes 794 2.52%
Robin Lawrance 704 2.24%
Kamal Ahmed 609 1.93%
Alain DAmours 378 1.20%
Rob Wolvin 351 1.11%
Total 31,495 100%
2010 Toronto election, Ward 27[23][24]
Candidate Votes %
Kristyn Wong-Tam (X) 7,527 28.277%
Ken Chan 7,065 26.541%
Chris Tindal 3,447 12.949%
Simon Wookey 2,128 7.994%
Joel Dick 1,667 6.262%
Robert Meynell 1,223 4.594%
Enza Anderson 1,127 4.234%
Ella Rebanks 838 3.148%
Ben Bergen 380 1.428%
Susan Gapka 367 1.379%
Gary Leroux 283 1.063%
Paul Spence 243 0.913%
Jonas Jemstone 142 0.533%
Ram Narula 108 0.406%
Perry Missal 74 0.278%
Total 26,619 100%

(*) indicates incumbent candidate

(X) indicates elected


  1. ^ "Kristyn Wong-Tam (@kristynwongtam) | Twitter".
  2. ^ "Kristyn Wong-Tam replaces Kyle Rae in diverse downtown riding". Toronto Star, October 25, 2010.
  3. ^ a b "Inside City Hall:The Arrival of Kristyn Wong-Tam". Toronto Standard, July 25, 2010.
  4. ^ a b "Toronto through the eyes of Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam" Archived 2011-10-13 at the Wayback Machine.BlogTO,February 7, 2011.
  5. ^ Demara, Bruce (27 October 2014). "Kristyn Wong-Tam easily wins Ward 27, Toronto Centre-Rosedale". Toronto Star. Retrieved 26 April 2015.
  6. ^ "Wong-Tam replaces Kyle Rae in Ward 27". Toronto Sun, October 25, 2010.
  7. ^ "City hall rookies 2010: Kristyn Wong-Tam" Toronto Star, November 24, 2010.
  8. ^ RUtv News (2012-02-10), RUtv News Feature Report: Kristyn Wong-Tam, retrieved 2016-09-22
  9. ^ a b c "Blend of business & activism marks Ward 27 candidate Kristyn Wong-Tam". Xtra!, October 7, 2010.
  10. ^ "Kristyn Wong-Tam: Juggling city hall and an art gallery". The Globe and Mail, February 11, 2011.
  11. ^ "Parental Guidance: Pride 2007 honoured groups/PFLAG Toronto sticks up for queer kids. Xtra!, June 21, 2007.
  12. ^ "City Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam". City Councillors. City of Toronto. Retrieved September 21, 2011.
  13. ^ (2010). "The Spirit of Will Munro Award Archived July 14, 2010, at the Wayback Machine", Retrieved February 1, 2011.
  14. ^ "The other face of the Ward 27 frontrunner", Toronto Sun Newspaper, September 23, 2010
  15. ^ "Ward 27 candidate owned Queers Against Israeli Apartheid website", National Post Newspaper, September 24, 2010
  16. ^ "Reading the Labour Council tea leaves". The Globe and Mail, July 15, 2010.
  17. ^ "Rating the races", Now Magazine, September 2–9
  18. ^ Toronto Sun, Dec. 3, 2010, p. 6 "Kristyn Wong Tam" by Don Peat
  19. ^ "Three seats being added to Toronto council for the 2018 election | The Star". Retrieved 2019-01-03.
  20. ^ Jul 26, CBC News · Posted; July 27, 2018 10:09 PM ET | Last Updated; 2018. "Ontario will introduce legislation to slash Toronto city council — a move not welcomed by some | CBC News". CBC. Retrieved 2019-01-03.
  21. ^ Watkiss, Ulli S. "Clerk's Official Declaration of Results for the 2018 Municipal Election" (PDF). City Clerk's Office, City of Toronto.
  22. ^ Ulli S. Watkiss (October 30, 2014). "Declaration of Results" (PDF). Toronto City Council. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 5, 2016. Retrieved November 6, 2017.
  23. ^ City of Toronto elections page Archived October 26, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  24. ^ Watkiss, Ulli S. "2010 Clerk's Official Declaration of Election Results" (PDF). City Clerk's Office, City of Toronto.

External links[edit]