A single polling station gave Ward 5 incumbent Peter Milczyn the boost he needed to hold on to his seat in the Etobicoke-Lakeshore riding Monday night. Yet while Mr. Milczyn's team celebrated the win, his chief opponent planned to challenge the results.
Initial reports named newcomer Justin Di Ciano the winner by about 60 votes. But that one polling station, with roughly 1,000 votes, was not included, and when it was, Mr. Milczyn was returned to office by 109 votes.
According to Toronto Elections, one reason the tally was delayed was because 84 ballots could not be fed through the tabulating machine at that polling station. Those ballots were taken to the election office and run through another tabulator. Out of those 84 cards, 12 couldn't be counted properly and replacement ballots had to be made up.
Both candidates said the process was finished well after 1 a.m. on Tuesday.
Monday night marked the end of a brutal municipal campaign, with allegations of corruption and dirty tactics being hurled from both sides.
Mr. Milczyn said he was "cautiously optimistic" about winning because the polling station in question had historically given him a lot of support.
"I believe I have a good record," Mr. Milczyn said. "Both in the community and … at city hall, and a lot of my constituents appreciated that."
Mr. Di Ciano said he plans to meet with his team to discuss his next steps.
"We'll certainly request a recount in the next couple days," he said. Mr. Di Ciano also said one of his scrutineers discovered that a voter had been given a filled-in ballot at one of the polling stations. He said he plans to look into that as well.
Even if he emerges as the defeated party, Mr. Di Ciano was pleased with the response he received from the area.
"Residents I don't even know are calling and crying," he said. "It's certainly heart-warming and we enjoyed the process all the way through."
The battle for Ward 5 wasn't the only hot race in the city council elections.
Though it looked like she had been ousted, Maria Augimeri managed to hold on to Ward 9 (York Centre), with 89 more votes than Gus Cusimano. In Ward 44 (Scarborough East), Ron Moeser also managed to stay in office, although initial results had Diana Hall pegged as the winner.