Former city councillor Ana Bailão is tossing her hat in the ring to become Toronto's next mayor.
Bailão, a long-time affordable housing advocate, confirmed the news on Friday, tweeting "I'm in. I'm running with a plan to fix our city's services, build housing, and make life more affordable."
Bailão previously announced her resignation from public office in May 2022, and in January of this year, she joined private developer Dream Unlimited as the Head of Affordable Housing and Public Affairs. Bailão has now resigned from her position at Dream to pursue the mayoral seat, she confirmed to the Toronto Star.
Dream Unlimited did not respond to a request for comment by the time of publication.
During her 12 years on council, Bailão served as deputy mayor, as well as the chair of the Affordable Housing Committee. She was linked to the launch of initiatives like the HousingTO 2020-2030 Housing Action Plan and Housing Now, and was vocal in her support of flexible inclusionary zoning regulations and the adoption of the Garden Suites Bylaw.
Just last year, she introduced an amendment that would provide exemptions for multiplexes with four or fewer units, in response to a decision by City Council that saw development charges spike by nearly 50%.
As mayor, Bailão says she will focus on improving Toronto transit by reversing TTC cuts, which she tells the Toronto Star will be achieved by pressing the Ontario government to take over Toronto's municipally owned highways, the Gardiner and the Don Valley Parkway. Toronto taxpayers foot the bill for these roadways, but roughly 40% of drivers who use them live elsewhere, Bailão notes.
With the mayoral by-election date set for Monday, June 26, the roster of candidates is already growing. Bailão joins fellow former councillor Giorgio Mammoliti, as well as last year's runner up Gil Penalosa, who lost to John Tory by a sizable margin. Last year's third-place finisher, Chloe Brown, has also announced her intention to run.
City Councillors Josh Matlow and Brad Bradford, although not having formally announced their candidacy, are exploring the possibility, as is former police chief Mark Saunders.
Nominations for the by-election officially open April 3.