toronto secession

Toronto might secede from Ontario and become its own province

Toronto's ex-chief planner is the newest candidate to enter the mayoral race, and she's proposing something far bolder than more bike lanes for the city. 

Jennifer Keesmaat, an outspoken and active social media user, filed her papers to run in the election just a day after tweeting out the basis of her platform: secession. 

In Quebecois-fashion, Keesmaat is proposing that Toronto break off from the rest of Ontario, which would consequently make it the fifth largest province or territory in the country. 

Her tweets come in the wake of Premier Doug Ford's decision to slash the size of city council by half and an ensuing protest, for which she is proposing term limits for city councillors instead.

According to Keesmaat, who also hosts the urban planning podcast Invisible City, secession would result in better self governance for Torontonians, and the Twitterverse if trying to figure out the best hashtag for it. #TorExit? #TREX? #SixCede? 

As expected, the idea of Toronto's secession has heavily divided the Twittersphere between supporters and nay-sayers. 

Keesmaat is best known for her tenure as chief planner and executive director of the city planning division from 2012 to 2017, where she championed for bike lanes and tearing down the east end of the aging Gardiner Expressway.

Currently she is the CEO of Creative Housing Society, a non-profit working on affordable housing projects. 

Keesmaat's entry into the mayoral race marks the most exciting contender against incumbent mayor John Tory, who is running for his second term. 

Lead photo by

Empty Quarter


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in City

Toronto's famous yellow bridge could soon be moved because of condo developers

Toronto wants to tear up rail tracks abandoned for years but people are fighting back

Everything you need to know about Ontario's New Blue Party

Toronto woman's tick horror story will make you think twice about your spring walks

What's open and closed on Victoria Day 2022 in Toronto

People in Ontario are obsessing over Doug Ford's binder

Toronto is fuming over construction and this map shows how bad it is right now

People in Toronto are purposely blocking bike lanes and cyclists are upset