The Loyal Orangeman Versus the Mayor of All the People

Originally published as a Historicist column on Torontoist on September 18, 2010.

Toronto Board of Control, 1956. Left to right: Leslie Saunders, Ford Brand, Nathan Phillips, Joseph Cornish, William R. Allen. City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1257, Series 1057, Item 1258.

For the first half of the twentieth century, one prerequisite to be a serious contender for the mayor’s chair in Toronto was membership in good standing with the Orange Order. As 1954 dawned, it didn’t appear that the situation would change much: Orangeman Allan Lamport had won a third term and the challenger most likely to run against or in place of him that December, Leslie Saunders, was a high-ranking official in the Order. Yet 1954 wound up being the beginning of the end of Orange dominance over civic affairs, thanks partly to a series of snafus by Saunders. The municipal election of 1954 not only proved a key element in breaking the Order’s hold, but showed that antagonizing the press wasn’t a good idea and that you didn’t have to be Protestant to take the mayor’s chair, even if it took you three efforts.

Cartoon depicting Allan Lamport, The Telegram, June 24, 1954.

Our story begins at the Toronto Transit Commission, where the combination of an expanded administrative board and the death of Chairman W.C. McBrien left several key vacancies. Sensing the prospects of steadier employment with the TTC than at the whim of voters, Mayor Lamport resigned from office in June to make himself available as a candidate for McBrien’s job (he wound up as Vice-Chairman when William G. Russell won the top spot). On June 29, Saunders, a veteran member of the Board of Control who was serving as president of City Council, assumed the mayoralty amid general respect for his abilities as an administrator.

Saunders’s honeymoon was short-lived. Shortly after assuming office, Saunders was also named Deputy Grand Master of the Orange Lodge, just in time for the annual Orange parade in early July to celebrate William III’s victory at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. Saunders decided the parade would be the perfect opportunity to issue a statement to Torontonians “reminding them of their British heritage” by stressing how important that the battle was as a victory for democratic and religious freedoms for all (even if some of faiths were deemed less worthy than others). Amid its glorification of the Orange Order, the statement requested citizens “to thank God for those whose courage against wrong hastened the dawn of freedom,” and compared the triumph of Protestants over Catholics to more recent victories against “the Hun, the Nazi and the Fascist.” One problem: Saunders issued the statement on official city stationery.

To Catholic councillors and other Orangemen in the city government whose views were less fervent than Saunders, the statement was received like an intolerant slap against citizens who weren’t connected to the Order. Controller David Balfour felt that the mayor should represent all faiths; in response, local Orange Order Secretary B.G. Louden challenged the Catholic Balfour to run for mayor. Saunders did not apologize for issuing the statement. “I’m proud,” he said, “to be able to make a statement of this kind to the people of Toronto on this great day in Orange history.” His statement did not find favour among the press, whose views were best summed by an editorial in the Telegram which noted that “the only rivers that Leslie Saunders is expected to concern himself with as Mayor of Toronto are the Don and the Humber.”

The Telegram, December 4, 1954.

Watching from the sidelines was former city councillor Nathan Phillips, who was taking a rest from elected office after a quarter of a century as an alderman and two unsuccessful mayoral runs against Lamport in 1951 and 1952. As controversy about Saunders’s statement grew, Phillips was contacted by Star reporter Bob McDonald to see if he would consider a third run for the mayor’s chair. Phillips decided he would, but only if his wife supported another run (she did) and if he could secure more newspaper support beyond the Star, which had backed his previous campaigns. He contacted Telegram publisher John Bassett, who indicated that Phillips could soon tell anyone he “damned well pleased” that he had Bassett’s full support. That Phillips was Jewish would make for an interesting angle in editorials in all of the city’s papers criticizing Saunders for trying to provoke religious strife. Upon hearing of Phillips’s entry, Saunders told the press on July 10 that when all the ballots were counted, he would be “be sitting right where I am now.”

Phillips’s entry into the race was timed well, as Saunders bounced from one fiasco to another. The mayor’s relations with the press were frosty at best when he had a confrontation with three reporters who entered a Board of Control meeting on July 14. The meeting was supposed to be held in private out of respect for any candidates named as potential successors for outgoing Parks Commissioner Oscar Pearson. The reporters from the Star and Telegram refused to leave due to their editors ordering them to be there. Much yelling ensued, mostly from Saunders. He was reported to have said “You’ll obey me! The newspapers aren’t going to tell me what to do!” Then Saunders chastised the reporters for not being good gentlemen by ignoring his requests to leave. The Mayor’s tactics appeared to outrage half of the four-person board, as Balfour and fellow Controller Roy Belyea stormed out of the room and accused him of being an autocrat.

Once again, Louden challenged somebody to run for mayor, but this time it was fellow Orangeman Belyea, who Louden warned to watch his tongue if he didn’t want to lose the up to ten thousand potential votes the Order could deliver. Saunders invoked a press ban at City Hall, which was the cue for the media to write editorials echoing the complaints of the controllers. The ban lasted for a day before Saunders reversed himself and declared that he would no longer have any private meetings with city councillors. As revenge, Saunders attempted to blacken Belyea’s reputation by questioning why the controller hadn’t served his country proudly during World War I, after Belyea stated that “dictators are being fought all over the world. Now is the time to fight them at home.” The electoral silly-season had kicked into high gear.

Amid these antics, both the Star and Telegram printed their endorsements of Phillips before the month was over. Both papers praised Phillips for his long public service record and for his dignified bearing,the antithesis of Saunders’ increasing irritability. As the Star noted, Phillips “possesses tact and natural friendliness and by these qualities, as well as by cogent arguments, he will, we think, improve Toronto’s standing in the Metro council, and represent her well in his contacts with municipalities outside this area.” For his part, Phillips vowed to run a campaign based on tolerance for all regardless of their religious affiliation.

The Telegram, December 4, 1954 (left), December 1, 1954 (right).

The question of who the Globe and Mail would support remained in the air for awhile, as neither of their favoured candidates could decide if they would run. Press speculation was that if Belyea didn’t run, former Toronto Board of Education Chairman Arthur Brown, who was defeated by Lamport the year before, would make a second attempt to become mayor. Belyea dithered for several months until he decided in late September that he would run again for the Board of Control. A few weeks later, Brown declared his intentions and the Globe and Mail printed their endorsement (while the paper found Phillips an agreeable person, they felt he never shown any signs of leadership or innovative thought). Saunders responded to the news by saying Brown was “wasting his time. I’ll lick him just as easily as anyone else. He’ll be pie.”
Over in the Phillips camp, the former councillor had an inkling that the campaign might be turning in his favour.

My campaign ran smoothly. I sensed that support was coming to me from every part of the city. I didn’t hear much said either for or against Brown, but there certainly was a rising tide against Saunders. As I look back, I don’t think it was so much a case of the people voting for me as it was of the people voting against Saunders. People do not often vote new governments into office. They vote old governments out.

Globe and Mail, November 26, 1954.

Among the crucial endorsements Phillips received was one from the Sunday Sports Committee headed by former controller Fred Hamilton, an old enemy of Saunders who was certain the incumbent candidate would reopen the issue of allowing sporting activities on Sunday and find a way to ban them again. An ad produced by Hamilton showing a collage of anti-Saunders articles left the Mayor fuming.

But this was only one of the image problems plaguing the Saunders camp. An attempt to ban municipal candidates from appearing before the Board of Control during the campaign, which appeared to be aimed at Phillips, backfired when the majority of the Board of Control opposed it. An ad listing prominent Torontonians who supported Saunders’ campaign was questioned when it appeared that some of those listed were unaware their names would be used in such a way. Three days before the election, Brown condemned the mayor for reportedly allowing a suite in the Royal York Hotel to be used for secret meetings of city council executives and to lavishly entertain visitors. The rumours of a secret clique running were too enticing for newspapers to resist running headlines decrying extravagances. Phillips demanded an investigation into the suite, which ultimately revealed that there wasn’t anything too shameful going on.

Globe and Mail, December 2, 1954.

Saunders felt confident of his chances on election day, believing the righteous citizens of Toronto would see through the “lies” in the press and cast their ballots in their usual fashion. He felt it was impossible that he would be unseated on December 6, especially to previous losers like Brown and Phillips. As the results came in, he maintained a positive face.

I had no idea that I could be defeated. We carried on an active campaign over radio, press and an 110,000 distribution of election literature through an agency. A victory party was arranged in Victoria Hall. As I listened, on my radio in my car, I was well down. My driver encouraged me, remarking that there were several polls to hear from, but I knew that I could not gain sufficiently. I listened until I had passed Arthur Brown, whose purpose in the running could only have been to split the Church and Gentile vote…Then I went up to our headquarters knowing I was defeated. At least I could walk with my head up, despite the unprecedented campaign waged by the three papers, Hamilton, et al.

Ett Phillips relaxing at home. “Did you ever see a dame like that?” her husband observed when this photo was taken in November 1962. Photo by Reg Innell. Toronto Star Photograph Archive, Toronto Public Library, TSPA_0073605F.

Phillips had greater worries during election day than the results. The night before, his wife Esther (“Ett”) began preparations for the post-results party. On her way down to the basement to retrieve a turkey, her foot caught on a metal strip and she fell down the staircase. Mrs. Phillips was rushed to the hospital and underwent brain surgery. The candidate got little sleep that night and stayed in constant contact with the hospital during what Phillips later called “the longest day” of his life. He barely thought about what he would say after the votes were tallied until an editor from the Telegram called him around 10 p.m. to indicate that he had likely won in a very tight race (less than four thousand votes separated Phillips from Saunders, with Brown just over a hundred votes behind the incumbent). Phillips took fifteen minutes to draft a speech, in which he thanked the voters and discussed what really mattered to him at that moment.

As I speak to you, my heart is filled with sadness because my wife suffered a serious accident last night as a result of which she is in the hospital. She is still not out of danger and I appear before you now to express our thanks and gratitude because I know she would want me to. I have been deeply touched by the many inquiries during the day and the prayers offered for my wife’s recovery. I believe in prayers, and I ask you to continue to pray for her, because if I ever needed her, I need her more than ever now. Mrs. Phillips has in her the inspiration a husband needs to help him carry on.

Mrs. Phillips went on to make a full recovery, though her memories of the accident and the following days never returned.

Phillips then touched on the general nastiness of the campaign and expressed his pride at Toronto voters for rejecting the tactics from the Saunders camp.

Every person should be proud of his ancestry, and I am proud of the blood that flows in my veins. I am sure that every other citizen is proud of the blood that flows in his veins. I shall represent all the people, and I mean all the people in the broadest sense, fairly and without discrimination. I shall cut intolerance, I will try and be you, all the people of Toronto, and reflect your aims, ideals, aspirations and ambitions.

The Telegram, December 7, 1954.

The speech earned Phillips the nickname “Mayor of All the People,” a title he tried to live up to during his tenure. Third-place finisher Brown offered his congratulations and seemed at ease despite his loss…which was something that could not be said for Saunders. He refused to offer a formal concession to Phillips and never stopped blaming the press and non-Orangemen for engineering his defeat. His statements after the election lacked even traces of graciousness amidst his utter disbelief that the voters didn’t rally for him (“This is hardly the reward a person should receive for that type of service. No man has served Toronto better than I.”), and he never got over how the press turned against him, having had praise heaped on him before becoming mayor.

Having lived in East York for several years, Saunders eventually turned his political attentions to that municipality. As in Toronto, Saunders would serve as interim Mayor of East York in 1976, but with far less controversy. He never apologized for his fervent Orange beliefs or any actions he took during the 1954 election campaign. Yet the zealousness of his actions and his apparent ability to think only in terms of black and white, in contrast with the growing multicultural makeup of the city, helped spark the demise of the Orange Order’s hold on power in Toronto. The parades no longer draw the crowds they once did, and no mayor since the retirement of William Dennison in 1972 has been a member.

Sources: Mayor of All the People by Nathan Phillips (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1967), An Orangeman in Public Life: The Memoirs of Leslie Howard Saunders by Leslie Saunders (Toronto: Britannia Printers, 1980), and the following newspapers: the July 10, 1954, July 15, 1954,and November 18, 1954 editions of the Globe and Mail; the July 29, 1954, and October 5, 1954 editions of the Toronto Star; and the July 10, 1954, July 13, 1954, July 14, 1954, July 16, 1954, July 21, 1954, and December 7, 1954 editions of the Telegram.


Globe and Mail, June 29, 1954.

Globe and Mail, July 12, 1954.

Toronto Star, July 15, 1954.

The Telegram, July 15, 1954.

The Telegram, October 6, 1954.

The Telegram, November 17, 1954.

Globe and Mail, November 22, 1954.

The first of several editorials in the G&M backing Arthur Brown. While Phillips, Saunders, and Brown had a tight race, the only other mayoral candidate finished far behind, with just under 5,000 votes: former Bellwoods MPP A.A. MacLeod, a member of the Communis…erm…Labor Progressive Party and the uncle of Warren Beatty and Shirley MacLaine.

Globe and Mail, November 27, 1954.

Globe and Mail, November 29, 1954.

Globe and Mail, November 29, 1954.

Toronto Star, November 29, 1954.

The Star’s endorsement of Phillips.

Toronto Star, December 3, 1954.

The Telegram, December 3, 1954.

The Telegram, December 4, 1954.

The Telegram, December 4, 1954.

Toronto Star, December 7, 1954.

The Telegram, December 7, 1954.

The Telegram, December 9, 1954.

Voting Rights in Toronto: Who Has (and Hasn’t) Been Allowed to Cast a Ballot in Our Elections

Originally published on Torontoist on September 15, 2014.

Ballot box preparation, Township of North York office at 5000 Yonge Street, 1964. City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 217, Series 249, File 261, Item 1.

For most of Toronto’s history, the privilege of voting in municipal elections belonged to an elite group. If you were male, 21 or older, and owned a certain amount of property, you automatically gained membership. If you were a male tenant, or a woman in general, the road to getting the municipal franchise was long and frustrating, often pitting the city against the reluctance of Queen’s Park.

The limitations on who could vote were enshrined in the document that created the City of Toronto, the York Incorporation Act of 1834, and written in convoluted legalese:

That the Aldermen and Common Councilmen of the said City shall be elected respectively by the majority of votes of such persons being male Inhabitant Householders within the Ward for which the Election shall be holden, or the Liberties attached thereto, as shall be possessed at the time of the Election, either in freehold or as tenants for term of years, or from year to year, of a Town Lot of Dwelling-house within the said Ward or Liberties: Provided always, that a portion of a House in which any Inhabitant shall reside as a Householder, and not as a Boarder or Lodger, and having a distinct communication with a street by an outer door, shall be considered a Dwelling-house within the meaning of this Clause: And provided also, that no person shall vote at any such Election, who has not been a resident Inhabitant with the said City or Liberties thereof, for the period of twelve calendar months, and who had not resided within the Ward for which the Election shall be holden, or the Liberties attached thereto for the period of three calendar months next before the Election.

The minimum monetary property value set by the province varied over time. Amendments under the Municipal Corporations Act of 1849 set the minimum at 50 pounds (pre-decimalization); by the time a revised Municipal Act passed in 1866, the minimum was $600, later reduced to $400. The ownership restrictions effectively shut out the city’s growing working class, despite calls as early as the mid-1860s to extend voting rights to all male taxpayers aged 21 and older.

Although women chose educational trustees as early as 1850 (since schooling was seen as a domestic concern), getting the municipal vote took nearly half a century. The fight for women’s suffrage gained traction after women’s property rights were officially recognized in the early 1870s. Organizations such as the Toronto Women’s Literary and Social Progress Club (TWLSPC, founded by pioneer suffragette Dr. Emily Stowe) urged city council to petition the province to extend the vote. Defenders of the status quo made ridiculous arguments against doing so: women lacked the mental capacity to comprehend politics, extending the vote to women would destroy marital bliss, the whole political process was too degrading, and virtually every other misogynistic complaint you could think of.

There were even fears that allowing women to cast ballots would disrupt child-rearing. “Some people think it will take women from the fireside, and cause them to neglect the babies and spoil the dinners,” observed a TWLSPC member during a meeting held in the city council chamber in March 1883, “but there need not be much fear that our absence will greatly affect our domestic concerns.” The TWLSPC soon renamed itself the Canadian Women’s Suffrage Association, and fought for the vote at all levels of government.

1914 calendar advertising Belle Ewart Ice Co. with reference to women’s suffrage. Toronto Public Library.

In March 1884, Queen’s Park passed legislation that allowed women to vote municipally, though the franchise was restricted to spinsters and widows, and only those who met the same property ownership qualifications as men. It was believed married women, even if property was held in their name, would be represented by their husbands at the ballot box.

Thanks to implementation delays, it wasn’t until January 4, 1886 that women in Toronto cast their first municipal ballots. Reform candidates such as mayoral contender William Holmes Howland counted on the 2,000 eligible female voters to support their stands on middle class concerns like the temperance movement. The Globe predicted that the injection of female virtue would cause inebriated, rowdy behaviour on election day to vanish: “No woman need fear having to endure any insult or having in the slightest degree to part with her womanliness in consequence of exercising her privilege of voting.”

Nearly 40 years passed before married women were allowed to vote, over which time countless attempts by city council and opposition parties in the Ontario legislature to change the rules failed. But the will was there, as shown by council’s actions when its Civic Legislation and Reception Committee heard from a delegation of 30 local suffragettes on January 11, 1912. Constance Boulton noted how the “public spirited ladies of Toronto” influenced council to back major infrastructure projects like the Ashbridges Bay water treatment plant. Dr. Margaret Gordon, president of the Toronto Suffrage Association, observed, “We are allowed to vote only when our husbands die. They do not die until we are well up in years.” The councillors in attendance (apart from George McMurrich, who believed that giving women the franchise would discourage their husbands from voting) praised the suffragettes. “There are hundreds and thousands of women in this city who pay taxes yet are without a voice in municipal affairs,” reflected controller J.O. McCarthy. “It is not square. The individual who pays taxes has some right to a voice in the government that spends them.”

Two weeks later, council voted unanimously to apply to the province to extend the franchise to married women. Mayor George Reginald Geary originally insisted on a rider that recommended that if a couple was jointly assessed for taxes, only the husband would vote. Sensing the mood, he consented to dropping it. Fifty women were on hand for the vote, but only after councillors gave up their seats to allow more to enter a council chamber packed that day for a separate debate on legalizing Sunday tobogganing.

James Pliny Whitney. Wikimedia Commons.

But the province didn’t feel like rocking the boat. When three proposed bills allowing women’s suffrage were defeated in the legislature on April Fools’ Day 1913, Premier Sir James Whitney noted that they were contrary to British precedent. “The restriction of the franchise to men is a good custom that is quietly helping to corrupt the world,” an editorial in the World noted, “and it will have to change.” Married women were granted the right to vote in provincial elections in February 1917, but they had to wait until the passage of the Municipal Franchise Act in 1922 to vote in municipal elections.

The next great battle was extending the franchise to anyone 21 or older, regardless of their property holdings. While some community leaders, like Mayor Jimmie Simpson, supported the idea during the 1930s, others not only opposed it, but also wanted to reduce the number of eligible voters. At a provincial hearing on reforming municipal taxes in April 1938, Property Owners’ Association of Toronto president H.E. Manning argued that the administration of social services and assistance to the poor should be eliminated from municipal budgets. “With the removal of the above services from the municipal field any sentimental reasons for preserving an unrestricted municipal franchise disappear,” Manning stated. “The temptation to win elections by promises of spending the taxpayers’ money on airports, uneconomically cheap housing projects, harbour improvements and other enterprises not particularly the concern of either local government or property ownership will persist as long as non-taxpayers control the election.” In a piece published by the Globe and Mail a few months later Dr. Charles Sheard wrote, “to have members of Council representing tenants is like being asked to contribute to a charity by a canvasser when she herself contributes nothing, but merely seeks to point out to others wherein their duty lies.”

Globe and Mail, November 9, 1956.

Throughout the 1940s and 1950s, calls to update voting qualifications grew louder. The existing laws allowed tenants to vote only if they met absurdly convoluted qualifications. In 1949, for example, the Municipal Act stipulated that tenants had to rent two or more rooms that could be assessed for at least $400 worth of taxes, and in which they regularly cooked and slept. If an adult lived in their parents’ home, they were disqualified from voting if they ate meals in the parent’s portion of the residence. Extending the franchise to tenants was seen by some as a blow to the ego of taxpayers.

In a referendum during the 1956 municipal election, Torontonians were asked if they would allow city council to request the province extend the franchise to all people 21 or older who had resided in the city for at least a year and were British subjects. The ballot question exempted public votes on money matters, which would continue to require proof of property ownership. By a two-to-one margin, voters approved of the idea.

Yet the province stalled. When the matter finally arose in March 1958, proposed legislation required Ontario municipalities to hold a referendum before extending the vote, with the exception of the three cities (London, Port Arthur, and Toronto) that had already done so. The province’s municipal law committee unanimously approved the proposal on March 24, but overnight dictates from Premier Leslie Frost and his cabinet provoked backtracking. The next day, the committee announced the three exempted cities had to hold fresh referendums. The move was defended by Renfrew South MPP James Maloney, who believed the bill should be reconsidered because “there are certain matters in it which trouble my people down at Renfrew”—namely, the notion Toronto was receiving preferential treatment. Bewildered opposition officials, including Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (the forerunner of the NDP) leader Donald MacDonald, wondered why on earth anyone in Renfrew cared. He chalked up the mood shift to “railroading tactics.”

Globe and Mail, November 21, 1958.

City council reacted swiftly. Another referendum question was placed on the 1958 municipal ballot; it passed by an even larger margin than the last one. In response, Queen’s Park allowed an extended franchise (with some lingering restrictions) to be implemented in 1960, on condition that a pricy separate voters list prepared by a separate enumeration team was maintained for newly eligible electors. The move reeked of spite.

Over the course of the 1960s, city council worked on proposals to base voter qualification on residency instead of the few remaining property ownership restrictions, most of which were abolished years earlier for federal or provincial contests. These efforts caused at least one right-wing councillor to cry “Communism!” Loosening the franchise occurred gradually in the suburbs within Metro Toronto, though communities like Scarborough resisted as long as possible.

Toronto Star, October 26, 1972.

The piecemeal process of reform ended in June 1972, when the province passed the Municipal Elections Act. The new legislation lowered the voting age to 18 and removed the last property value qualifications—the main requirement was Canadian citizenship or being a British subject (the latter a right Toronto retained into the 1980s). The city’s current voter qualifications reflect these changes; they also allow non-residents who own or rent property within the city’s borders to vote, which some observers say is a means of padding the electoral rolls.

Current efforts to extend the vote to non-citizens are not without historical precedent. In 1971, councillor Joe Piccininni proposed allowing non-citizens who owned property in the city to cast ballots. The idea was attacked in letters to the editor by those who argued that the right to vote is one of the few incentives to become a Canadian citizen. Yet, as Ryerson University political science professor Myer Siemiatycki pointed out in a 2006 report on voting and social inclusion, nearly 16 per cent of Toronto’s population was ineligible to vote due to lack of citizenship. Will this group bring about the next stage in the evolution of our municipal franchise?

Sources: Mayor Howland: The Citizens’ Candidate by Desmond Morton (Toronto: Hakkert, 1973); Statutes of His Majesty’s province of Upper Canada, passed in the fourth session of the eleventh provincial Parliament of Upper Canada (Toronto: Robert Stanton, 1834); The Muncipal Franchise and Social Inclusion in Toronto: Policy and Practice by Myer Siemiatycki (Toronto: Community Social Planning Council of Toronto, 2006); the August 30, 1866, March 7, 1883, January 12, 1912, and January 23, 1912 editions of the Globe; the April 29, 1938, July 27, 1938, December 1, 1949, June 9, 1961, May 10, 1962, and April 21, 1972 editions of the Globe and Mail; the March 25, 1958, December 16, 1958, April 12, 1960, December 9, 1971, and December 13, 1971 editions of the Toronto Star; and the April 2, 1913 edition of the Toronto World.


According to the City of Toronto’s website, the following can vote in the 2022 municipal election:

  • Canadian citizen
  • 18 years old and older
    • Either a resident in the city of Toronto, or a non-resident who owns/rents property in the city or has a spouse who owns/rents property in the city
  • Not prohibited from voting under any law

Four bullets points list who officially cannot vote: prisoners currently serving sentences, corporations, an executor or trustee who isn’t serving as a voting proxy, and anyone who has been “convicted of a corrupt practice” under section 90(3) in the Municipal Elections Act, 1996.


Globe and Mail, July 27, 1938.

An opinion piece arguing why those who didn’t own property did not deserve to vote in Toronto municipal elections. Later that year, mayor Ralph Day opposed suggestions that eligible voters needed to show their tax receipts before they could cast their ballot.

Globe and Mail, January 31, 1945.

One example of an unsuccessful attempt at municipal franchise reform from the mid-1940s, proposed by controller Stewart Smith, who belonged to the Communi…err…Labor Progressive Party. I would have words with Mr. Walton about renters not having a stake in the city.

Editorial, Toronto Star, February 1, 1945.