Don Valley East councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong says he won't seek re-election this fall

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Deputy Mayor Denzil Minnan-Wong announced in a community newsletter Wednesday he won't seek re-election this fall. He's served on Toronto council since 1994. (Mike Smee/CBC - image credit)
Deputy Mayor Denzil Minnan-Wong announced in a community newsletter Wednesday he won't seek re-election this fall. He's served on Toronto council since 1994. (Mike Smee/CBC - image credit)

Denzil Minnan-Wong, a longtime city councillor and one of Toronto's deputy mayors, won't be running in October's municipal election, he announced Wednesday.

Minnan-Wong has been a councillor since 1994, representing Ward 16, Don Valley East.

"While a difficult decision in many ways, I believe it is time for me to move on to the next stage of my life, he said in an email to constituents.

A number of current Toronto councillors have now said they won't run in the upcoming election, which could make for a more interesting campaign. Incumbent councillors almost always win in municipal elections, where name recognition is a huge factor.

Minnan-Wong, Ana Bailão, Joe Cressy and John Filion are all not planning to run again, while Michael Ford and Kristyn Wong-Tam made the jump to provincial politics in June.

The deadline to sign up as a candidate in Toronto's election is Aug. 19.

Councillor says he focused on keeping taxes down

The councillor said his main focus at city hall has been keeping taxes down, noting his role in privatizing waste collection west of Yonge Street and the creation of the city's auditor general's office.

"While we have to adjust to changing times and needs, we must choose our priorities responsibly so that Toronto citizens aren't burdened by ever higher taxes," he said in his farewell message.

Minnan-Wong has been a close ally to Mayor John Tory, who is seeking a third term in office, and hasn't shied away from speaking his mind during controversial debates.

At a 2021 council debate on legalizing rooming houses, for example, Minnan-Wong was blunt in his remarks: "The suburbs don't want this — maybe we should just accept that and move on," he said in opposing the city's plans last July. The city still hasn't approved a framework to legalize rooming houses.

He has also been critical of expanding bike lanes, even using his resignation letter to tell his council colleagues: "Good luck….and go easy on the bike lanes."

Minnan-Wong didn't say what he would do next.

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