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


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