Toronto mayor congratulates U.S. President-Elect Joe Biden on victory

·4 min read

Toronto Mayor John Tory has congratulated U.S. President-Elect Joe Biden on his victory on Saturday, saying the city will work with the U.S. to strengthen their respective economies.

Democratic candidate Biden has won the U.S. presidential election after he secured enough electoral college votes on Saturday, according to U.S. networks. President Donald Trump is contesting results from some states.

In a tweet shortly after the U.S. media called the election, Tory said the U.S. is Canada's "closest friend and biggest customer" and Toronto and the U.S. will "build back better together" for all of their people.

Tory, in an interview later, said he is confident that Biden will bring "calm, resolute leadership" to the U.S. and will bring people together.

"It is in our interest that they should be the beacon of democracy they are. I'm sure, that going forward, we will continue to have great relations with them, both the city of Toronto and Canada, with the U.S., and I'm sure President-Elect Biden will be part of that," Tory said.

Biden defeated his Republican rival to become the 46th president of the U.S., positioning himself to lead a nation gripped by the historic pandemic and a confluence of economic and social turmoil.

His victory came after more than three days of uncertainty as election officials sorted through a surge of mail-in votes that delayed the processing of some ballots. Biden crossed 270 electoral college votes with a win in Pennsylvania.

Downtown residents make noise when election called

Some Toronto residents downtown banged pots and pans to celebrate Biden's victory. Keith Lam, a resident of Toronto's Gay Village, filmed a video from his condo balcony that captured the celebratory noise.

Councillors say hard work begins now, history made

A handful of Toronto politicians tweeted their thoughts as well.

Coun. Joe Cressy, who represents Ward 10, Spadina-Fort York, and Coun. Josh Matlow, who represents Ward 12, Toronto-St. Paul's, summed up the reaction of many people in Toronto.

Meanwhile, Coun. Michael Ford, who represent Ward 1, Etobicoke North, included a tweet by Biden that contained a music video of "America the Beautiful." Ford noted that the victory is historic.

Olivia Chow, a Ryerson University professor and former city councillor, included a tweet from NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh. Chow underlined the importance of hope in electoral outcomes.

U.S. citizens in Toronto feel relief, fatigue

Americans living in Toronto say they feel relief and fatigue now that Biden has been declared the winner. Earlier this week, they had said the days of uncertainty were tiring and causing much anxiety.

Dianna English, communications officer for Democrats Abroad Canada, said the American people have clearly made their decision about who they want for president.

"I think it's going to take a little while for everyone to internalize, but I think the biggest feeling that I had this morning was just relief. It's been a long couple of days waiting for results. It's also been a long couple of years of desiring leadership that was steady and compassionate and kind and all of the things that I think we know we're going to get from Joe Biden while living through an administration that was cruel, that was chaotic, that hurt the American people," English said.

"I think there's a real sense of relief that Joe Biden has officially been declared as the elected president of the United States. It's probably still a little ways to go. We expect that there will be probably some litigation and some continued challenging of the results. But I think at this point, the popular vote was very clear."

Angelina King/CBC
Angelina King/CBC

English said voter engagement increased in this election because people believed "democracy was on the ballot." She said Democrats Abroad Canada have a website, VotefromAbroad.org, that helps Americans to vote from outside the U.S. by providing them with necessary forms. Americans could register their vote through the site.

Traffic to the website tripled from the last U.S. election in 2016.

English said that many Americans living in Canada believe the pandemic wasn't taken seriously under Donald Trump and the national response to COVID-19 will be different under Biden.

"I think Americans living everywhere can breathe a sigh of relief and know that our families are going to be safer," she said.

'We'll see what happens from here,' Trump supporter says

Mark Feigenbaum, chairman of Republicans Overseas Canada and a cross-border tax lawyer, said the process has been exhausting. He said the election shows every vote does count.

"We'll see what happens from here," Feigenbaum said.

"It's been a long week and it finally came to a resolution. It's such a close race. Half of the country feels one way and half the other. It's incredibly close. Whoever was going to win is going to have to deal with the fact that the country is very divided."