Sylvia Watson

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Sylvia Watson
Toronto City Councillor for (Ward 14) Parkdale–High Park
In office
December 1, 2003 – November 30, 2006
Preceded by Chris Korwin-Kuczynski
Succeeded by Gord Perks
Personal details
Born Austria
Nationality Canadian
Occupation Lawyer

Sylvia Watson is a former Canadian politician. She was a Toronto City Councillor for ward 14, part of the riding of Parkdale-High Park from 2003 to 2006 and the candidate for the Ontario Liberal Party in the 2006 by-election and in the 2007 general election.


Watson and her family immigrated to Canada when she was a child as displaced person from Austria following World War II. The family settled in Toronto.

She studied at York University and Osgoode Law School and was called to the bar in 1981. She became corporate counsel for Wellesley Hospital in 1986. In 1991 she was hired by the City of Toronto where she performed a number of roles including director of litigation and city solicitor.[1]

Municipal politics[edit]

In 2003, Watson ran for city council in (Ward 14), Parkdale–High Park to replace retiring councillor Chris Korwin-Kuczynski.[2] Even though she didn't live in the ward, She was known for participating in an affordable housing initiative called the Parkdale Pilot Project. She beat her nearest rival, Ed Zielinski (who was endorsed by Korwin-Kuczynski) by 3,988 votes.[3]

During her three years as councillor, she chaired the Administration Committee, and served as vice-chair of the Budget Advisory Committee.[4]

Provincial politics[edit]

By-election, 2006[edit]

On June 27, 2006, Watson announced that she would run in a provincial by-election to replace Gerrard Kennedy who was moving on to federal politics.[5] Watson based her campaign on the Liberal government's record of investing in education and health care but acknowledged that she was in a tight race considering that the provincial riding encompassed only half her former city riding.[6]

The campaign became contentious when the Liberals issued a press release claiming that NDP rival, United Church minister Cheri DiNovo had compared the media treatment of Karla Homolka as "comparable to the persecution of Jesus Christ."[7]

DiNovo won the election by 2,288 votes.

Provincial general election, 2007[edit]

On May 11, 2007, the Liberals nominated Watson to stand again as their candidate in Parkdale—High Park for the 2007 Ontario election.[8] She was again defeated by DiNovo, this time by an increased margin.[9]

After politics[edit]

As of 2011, Watson is employed as an adjudicator for the provincial Landlord and Tenant Board.[1]

Electoral record[edit]

Ontario general election, 2007
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
New Democratic Cheri DiNovo 18,136 44.6 +3.6
Liberal Sylvia Watson 11,900 29.3 -3.7
Progressive Conservative David Hutcheon 6,013 14.8 -2.5
Green Bruce Hearns 3,937 9.7 +3.5
Libertarian Zork Hun 327 0.8 +0.2
Family Coalition Marilee Kidd 322 0.8 -0.5
Total valid votes 40,635 100.0
Ontario provincial by-election, September 14, 2006
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
New Democratic Cheri DiNovo 11,675 41.0 +25.2
Liberal Sylvia Watson 9,387 33.0 -24.8
Progressive Conservative David Hutcheon 4,921 17.3 +1.1
Green Frank De Jong 1,758 6.2 -0.7
Family Coalition Stan Grzywna 366 1.3 -0.25
Libertarian Jim McIntosh 162 0.6
Freedom Silvio Ursomarzo 111 0.4 0.0
Independent John Turmel 77 0.3
Total valid votes 28,457 100.0

2003 Toronto Election, Ward 14,

Candidate Votes %
Sylvia Watson 7,441 52.51%
Ed Zielinski 3,453 24.37%
Walter Jarsky 847 5.97%
Neil Webster 782 5.51%
Steven Aspiotis 705 4.97%
David Smaller 635 4.48%
Mark Chmielewski 210 1.48%
Ed Veri 95 0.67%


  1. ^ a b Sylvia Watson: Member, Landlord and Tenant Board, biography, last accessed September 24, 2011.
  2. ^ Byers, Jim (2003-11-04). "Diverse ward a tale of two parks; From High Park homes to Parkdale rooming houses Voter concerns include crime, lack of services". The Toronto Star. p. B2. 
  3. ^ "Miller's city council boosted by fresh faces, ambitious ideas". The Toronto Star. 2003-11-11. pp. B12. 
  4. ^ "Former City Councillor Sylvia Watson". City of Toronto. Archived from the original on June 7, 2011. Retrieved September 24, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Councillor Watson to seek Liberal nod". The Toronto Star. 2006-06-27. pp. B4. 
  6. ^ "Where compassion hides its face". The Toronto Star. 2006-09-01. pp. A20. 
  7. ^ "By-election gets down and dirty". The Toronto Star. 2006-09-13. pp. A17. 
  8. ^ "Parkdale-High Park: Sylvia Watson". Candidate Details. Liberal Party of Ontario. 2007-05-11. Retrieved 2007-08-12. [permanent dead link]
  9. ^ "Parkdale-High Park: Election 2007". Results. CTV. 2007-10-11. Archived from the original on 2007-10-12. Retrieved 2007-10-11. 

External links[edit]