Toronto Mayor John Tory has stepped down after acknowledging an inappropriate relationship with someone who worked in his office.
Addressing the media at a hastily called news conference Friday night, Tory said he made a serious error in judgement and apologized to the city and to his wife of more than 40 years.
“During the pandemic I developed a relationship with an employee in my office in a way that did not meet the standards to which I hold myself as mayor and as a family man,” he said. “As a result, I have decided that I will step down as mayor so that I can take the time to reflect on my mistakes and to do the work of rebuilding the trust of my family.”
Tory said the staff member left his office and sought other employment during the relationship, which has since ended.
Tory, who was re-elected to a third term by a strong majority of voters in October, said he regretted leaving a job and city he loves but he did not want to see it go through a prolonged period of controversy.
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He expressed his contrition to his staff, council colleagues and the public service.
“Most of all I apologize to my wife Barb and to my family who I’ve let down more than anyone else,” he said.
Tory said that despite his longstanding stint in public life, he was at private person and he asked that his family’s privacy be respected.
Tory said he has asked the city’s Integrity Commissioner to review the matter.
The sudden departure of Tory comes just days before city council was to consider the operating and capital budgets that he put forward under his new strong mayor powers.
Tory plans to work with Deputy Mayor Jennifer McKelvie and senior staff on a “orderly transition.”
While some criticized Tory’s behaviour, others praised his willingness to take responsibility and resign.