Press Release:

Olivia Chow launches mayoral campaign

TORONTO – Olivia Chow is running for mayor to build an affordable, safe and caring city, where everyone belongs.

“People in Toronto are feeling stuck. They’re stuck waiting for the bus, stuck in traffic or stuck on lists for housing, childcare and recreation programs. After a decade of conservative mayors, the city has become more expensive and less liveable for people,” said Chow.

“We can give in to fear and pessimism, or we can choose to channel our frustration into hope. We can open up city hall and work together to build a more caring, affordable and safer city.”

Olivia is a strong, proven, leader who will fight for our city and who knows how to get things done. As a former school board trustee, Toronto city councillor, and member of parliament, Chow has decades of experience taking on our city’s biggest challenges and delivering solutions that make people’s lives better – even when people said it couldn’t be done.

“We need to create a city that’s affordable, especially when it comes to housing, so that people don’t leave because they can’t afford to live here. We need to make sure people feel safe in our neighborhoods, on our streets and on the subway. And we need to invest in fixing our transit system so people can afford it and rely on it,” said Chow. “I’ve spent years working with people of all political stripes to get things done for Toronto. I’m planning to bring people together to get things done as mayor.”

Olivia is no stranger to overcoming big obstacles and delivering for everyday Torontonians. In her announcement speech, Olivia shared more about her own story in our city.

At the age of 13, Olivia and her family immigrated to Toronto. She grew up in a rental apartment building in St James Town. Life wasn’t easy, but her family got by on her mother’s income as a maid. Olivia says that her family would never have survived today’s affordability crisis.

“This campaign, we’re going to propose bold ideas and get them done. We’re going to fight back against feeling stuck and powerless, and we’re going to give people hope that our city can work for them,” said Chow.



  • Chow immigrated to Toronto with her family at 13 and grew up in St James Town.
  • Before entering politics, she held many jobs. She worked as a seamstress, cashier, hostess and server, and a sculptor with her own studio. She also volunteered as a crisis intervention worker at a Toronto hospital.
  • Chow has served Toronto residents as a school board trustee (1985-1991), city councillor (1991-2005) and member of parliament. (2006-2014). Chow served on Toronto’s Budget Committee for ten years.
  • Chow has a record of working across political lines to get things done. That includes her work with Mayor Mel Lastman, who appointed her Toronto’s Child and Youth Advocate.
  • As councillor, Chow introduced the student nutrition program which today feeds hundreds of thousands of students across the city, and free dental care for children in poverty.
  • Chow is also responsible for 911 services being available in 200+ languages.
  • As a founder of the Institute for Change Leaders, Chow and her team have trained thousands to organize and advocate for progressive change at the local and national level.

Share this page

Take action

Become a Volunteer
Get a Sign
Pledge to Vote
Make a Donation

Connect with Olivia