Toronto Mayor David Miller at Dooney's Cafe. (Photo by HiMY SYeD)

David Raymond Miller is the former Mayor of Toronto, having been elected to lead City Council first in 2003. He was re-elected in 2006.

He was a City Councillor before that.

Miller is the 63rd mayor of Toronto, and the second of the merged Megacity.

He entered politics as a member of the New Democratic Party, currently he has no formal party affiliation.

He was born in San Francisco on December 26, 1958.

Mayor Miller announces he is not running

Mayor Miller announces he is not running. TwitPic by Adam Giambrone.

At a 10 a.m. statement at City Hall on Friday September 25, 2009, two term Toronto Mayor David Miller announced that will not be seeking a third term as Mayor of the City of Toronto.

Transcript of Announcement

Transcribed by Brodie Fenlon

Below are excerpts from David Miller's speech at a Toronto press conference this morning to announce he will not run again for mayor:

"I'm announcing this morning that I will not be seeking a third term as mayor of Toronto in next year's municipal election. While it's been a difficult decision, I feel secure in my priorities, proud of my record and confident in my vision for the city I love. But I want to tell Torontonians whose support I value, the reasons why.

"After my re-election in 2006, I came to a difficult realization. Both of my children were born after I was first elected in 1994. When I was a councillor, the demands on me and my family were significant. After my election as mayor, the pressures on me as a father and a husband became immense.

"And I realized then that were I to be re-elected in 2010 and serve until 2014, my daughter would be in university and my son would be about to graduate from high school.

"This would not allow me ever to have been there for them in the way they deserve. At that time, I made a private decision not to seek a third term. But in recent months, two things caused me to review that decision. The first was recent media speculation and the constant question, "Are you running?" Of course, I could only answer yes.

"The second was the prospect of an intense competitive election in 2010. I'm proud to fight for what I believe in, not just my record as mayor, but for a vision and a set of values that I cherish. It all came to a head last week, when I met with my core campaign team for the 2010 election, many of whom are here today.

"The enthusiasm in the room was incredible. All the key strategists from my 2006 team were there — a unique coalition of Torontonians representing all political stripes who shared a broad and inclusive vision for a better Toronto. They were excited about the campaign, confident about my record and the message we would present to the people of Toronto.

"But after that meeting, I consulted with my family and decided I had to make this announcement today. My reasoning is simple. I have accomplished what I set out to do. So if I ran again, it would be about me and my electoral success and not about the Toronto I love."


"In 2006, I ran with an ambitious agenda to transform Toronto for the 21st century. It was called Toronto 2010. Today, every major policy that was at the foundation of my campaign has been accomplished or is well under way [sustained applause].

"It's very helpful to have your campaign team here when you make this kind of announcement. For example, we have the most ambitious transit expansion strategy in North America, Transit City. It represents 120 kilometres of light rail transit to which more than $10-billion has been committed in just the last few months alone.

"Through partnership with the provincial and federal governments, we've replaced all of the TTC's bus fleet and we're in the midst of replacing the TTC's subway cars and streetcars, thereby creating thousands of well-paying manufacturing jobs in Mississauga, Thunder Bay and all over the GTA.

"Through these initiatives, we've secured the transit future of this city for generations to come. We're the leading environmental city in the world, building on a strong legacy of accomplishments by Torontonians over the past 20 years, including our ambitious plan to divert 70 per cent of our waste from landfill, our efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and our innovative marriage of climate positive policies and economic renewal to create green jobs through policies like Mayor's Tower Renewal.

"Toronto is a safer place than it was six years ago thanks to the city's community safety plan and the hard work of Chief Bill Blair and the Toronto Police Service. Crime is down in almost every category, proving that pro-active community based policing actually works. Even more importantly, investments, particularly in young people from our priority neighbourhoods, are up. This has always been particularly important to me as the only child of a single mother.

"We're creating the kind of hope and opportunity that young people facing barriers need to succeed, although I believe much more still needs to be done to ensure every single Torontonian has real hope and real opportunity and that no one gets left behind. This is a fundamental belief and principle that I cannot and will not abandon ever, either as a public servant or as a private citizen.

"We have placed more than 2,000 people who were homeless in permanent homes through our innovative housing strategy, Streets To Homes. It is a UN-award winning program that is a model for other cities around the world.

"We have improved the environment for business in Toronto by lowering business tax rates every year since I became mayor and by addressing the imbalance in commercial taxes between Toronto and the rest of the GTA. We created Build Toronto and Invest Toronto to capitalize on the city's real estate assets and attract new investment and create jobs for Torontonians.

"By freezing development charges and providing strategic tax relief, we've sparked a renaissance of investment in our city unseen in decades, in spite of uncertain economic times worldwide, more tall buildings are under construction today in Toronto than all other major Canadian cities combined, and I'm very proud of that record and this council in supporting those measures.

"I was elected in 2003 to clean up a city government marked by scandal and to make it open to the people of Toronto. We are now the first municipal government in Canada to have a lobbyist registrar, the first municipal government in Canada to have an integrity commissioner, and only the second to have an ombudsman. And just yesterday, we launched 311, the most significant change in accessing public services in a generation.

"Perhaps most importantly, together, we have changed the face of Toronto's agencies, boards and commissions, and are starting to change the face of our civil service to represent Toronto's diversity. I'm proud that over the past six years, we have been graduating police officers who look more and more like the Torontonians they serve. Since I became mayor, we have proudly introduced each new class to the people of Toronto in ceremonies right here at Nathan Phillips Square. We now have, for the first time, two black deputy police chiefs, Keith Ford and Peter Sloly, and the chair of the Toronto Police Services Board, Dr. Alok Mukherjee, is an immigrant from India. The chair of the Toronto Community Housing Corporation is David Mitchell, an African-Canadian man who grew up in Toronto community housing and became the first tenant ever to hold the position of TCHC chair.

"I want to thank my colleagues on council, especially the members of the executive committee and others who have stood with me through difficult decisions — decisions that had to be made and will stand the test of time. A combination of uploading and successful intergovernmental advocacy has resulted in billions of dollars being invested in the future of this great city. By making the difficult political decision to introduce two new municipal taxes, we are closer to solving the city's structural financial problems. Progress has been slowed by the unexpected global recession, but we're moving in the right direction. And the work continues. There is much more to do in the next 14 months.

"I'll let others campaign, but for me, there's governing to do, decisions to be made, causes to champion and a great City of Toronto to build together.

"This isn't a valedictorian address. There will be time enough for that, again and again, and for me to give thanks to my incredible staff, to Toronto's public service, to my colleagues on council and to of course, the people of Toronto who have given me the greatest privilege in Canada and the greatest honour of my life.

"Today however, I do want to thank my family: Jill, Julia and Simon. They've shown incredible patience, love and understanding throughout my political career, although the prospects of having me at home more often is making them very nervous.

"Let me close with some final thoughts about the next campaign and the year ahead. My vision of Toronto has always been simple: It's about liveability, prosperity and opportunity for all. That vision has never been more alive. It's never been more relevant and it's never been more widely shared. Toronto is a progressive city with progressive values. We see this in our growing global reputation as a city that's safe, strong, clean and green. We see this every day on the streets of the city, in the creativity of our arts community, in our vibrant small businesses, in those who provide public services and those who help the needy and the vulnerable. Most of all, we see it in Torontonians' passion for our city and their compassion and believe in one another.

"The next election will be hard-fought. But if those with progressive values come together behind a new champion, work hard and fight hard, you can elect that champion. Yes, there will be other candidates. There will be candidates who say that you can have a great city for free, that you can have a great city while freezing taxes and cutting services, but Torontonians have seen through those falsehoods before and they will see through them again. My message to those who share our vision is this. Have faith in the people of Toronto, they will never let you down, they have never let me down.

"And for the remainder of my time in office, as I continue to implement the vision and mandate Torontonians voted for so overwhelmingly in 2006, I will not let Torontonians down. I will continue to work each and every day to keep building a city that is prosperous, livable and brims with opportunity for all.

"I'd like to conclude today by asking for some courtesy. This is a day for me and my family. I very much appreciate everyone's attendance and your work in the media every day in helping to tell Toronto's stories. However, I believe I've said what needs to be said and I will not be taking questions today.

"I'd once again like to express my deepest appreciation to the people of Toronto for the tremendous confidence they've shown in me and in our city. Toronto has never been greater and our best days are yet to come. Thank you very much."

Reacting to Mayor Miller

Posted on: 25 September 2009 by Daniel Kitts

Today, David Miller, mayor of Ontario's largest city for nearly six years, announced he will not be seeking a third term in 2010.

Miller had recently been criticized heavily for his handling of this summer's strike of municipal workers and had his share of detractors. But judging from the comments I've been reading on Twitter today, he also had his share of fans.

I asked some prominent Toronto residents, all of them past guests on The Agenda, to send me a few thoughts on Miller's announcement. Here's what they had to say:

John Sewell, Mayor of Toronto from 1978 to 1980

David Miller’s announcement not to seek a third term shows how much job actions can change the picture in unexpected ways. Before the city workers’ strike this summer Miller seemed secure in his position. He had been judged to be a good manager both of the city and the political process, and he didn’t seem to get too ruffled by the world-wide financial meltdown which made some other political leaders look weak.

But strikes always bring uncertainties, and this one brought him extraordinary levels of criticism from those who thought he had not negotiated well, that he had been too soft, or too hard. It’s unfortunate and unfair that the strike seemed to be leveled at him on a personal level, but that’s one of the great difficulties of public life – leaders get blamed for things, however unfairly.

Glen Murray, President and CEO of The Canadian Urban Institute

As I watched David at his press conference I felt an enormous amount of empathy for him, knowing what a difficult decision it is to leave a very public job that you love doing. Retiring Mayors know the price they have paid to be a public servant and a leader. That is because they see it in the eyes of their loved ones who have carried a huge load to allow dad or mom to be a community leader. Today I would just like to thank David and his family for their sacrifices and their years of service to the people of Toronto. This is their day and we should all take a moment to reflect on what we demand of our leaders and be thankful for the people who step forward to take on this difficult challenges. Let’s all wish him and his family well.

Franz Hartmann, Executive Director of the Toronto Environmental Alliance

The new Mayor will have huge green shoes to fill. Under Mayor Miller’s leadership, Toronto Council has become the greenest Council ever (see our Midterm Enviro Report Card).

Mayor Miller’s dedication to a greener Toronto led to Toronto Council to adopting major environmental initiatives, including:

—building Transit City, the largest transit expansion program ever in Canada —passing the Pesticides Bylaw, which bans the cosmetic use of pesticides in Toronto —developing an aggressive waste diversion strategy —passing the precedent-setting Community Right to Know Bylaw that will help Torontonians —know who is polluting their neighbourhoods —helping Torontonians install renewable power —moving forward on the Mayor’s Tower Renewal Strategy to retrofit highrise apartment buildings across the City

What defined Mayor Miller’s approach was his ability to come up with a green vision and then working to implement it. Torontonians are now used to a Mayor who leads an environmental agenda. They will be expecting the next Mayor to take that agenda to the next level by:

—increasing green mobility —making Toronto a leader in energy conservation and renewable power —building a green economy

Jeb Brugmann, author of Welcome to the Urban Revolution

Toronto is an unfinished city, from its waterfront to the vast 1950-60s suburbs that were planned to evolve into real urban spaces. Instead, over the decades, investment and renewal across the majority of Toronto’s geography, required to make it a thriving 21st century city, has atrophied. Toronto suffers from a lack of capacity to mobilize capital for essential city-building projects and concentrated political power to actually implement bold policies, rather than just passing them in city council.

David Miller is the first mayor to embrace the challenges of the new city of Toronto with a real strategic sophistication. His advancement of a strong mayor system, the Transit City plan, and the establishment of Build Toronto to develop city-owned property are all critical measures to source capital and create the ‘clout’ needed to mobilize renewal in contemporary cities.

The next mayor needs to continue Miller’s legacy of creating institutions and aligning investments behind ‘think big’ efforts. But this effort cannot just stop at the big, centralized level. We need a whole new generation of neighbourhood, business district, and transportation corridor institutions to engage and empower a growing and often newcomer population in renewing the city’s parks, neighbourhoods, and avenues at the citizen scale.