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Contenders for council: Five wards to watch

When Adam Giambrone officially registered on Monday, he become the third councillor to join the race to replace Mayor David Miller - and to leave a ward up for grabs. Add two confirmed retirements and a few wards where incumbents face a genuine threat, and you've got the beginnings of a turnover at city council. Here are five races to watch.

Ward 15 (Eglinton-Lawrence)

The contest here is shaping up to be a scrappy two-way race, assuming council's wiliest veteran sticks it out until election day. Howard Moscoe, above left, has already registered, and says he has no plans to retire. But Rob Davis, above right, wants to force his retirement. The Catholic School Board trustee was the first black councillor elected in the former city of York; his old ward overlaps part of the modern Ward 15. So far, others are steering clear.

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Ward 27 (Toronto Centre-Rosedale)

Veteran Councillor Kyle Rae's decision not to seek re-election has blown the race for this diverse ward wide open. Six candidates have registered, more than in any riding but Ward 7 York West, held by mayoralty candidate Giorgio Mammoliti.

Registered contenders in Ward 27 - which stretches from the mansions of Rosedale to the gay village - include Enza (Supermodel) Anderson and Simon Wookey. The most intriguing player has yet to formally enter the race: Ken Chan, a former police officer and Queen's Park aide to George Smitherman, is quitting his job in England as policing adviser to London Mayor Boris Johnson to run for council here.

Ward 19 (Trinity-Spadina)

This was Joe Pantalone country. But with the deputy mayor promising he won't eject himself from the mayor's race and parachute back into his ward, it's now competitive turf. Three have already registered, including Karen Sun, executive director of the Toronto chapter of the Chinese Canadian National Council, Himy Syed, executive director of the Canadian Muslim Civil Liberties Association, and a third candidate, Jim Likourezos. Michael Layton, the environmental activist son of federal NDP Leader Jack Layton, is also considering a run.

Ward 18 (Davenport)

A heavily Portuguese area immediately west of Mr. Pantalone's turf, Ward 18 is fertile territory this year. Mayoral candidate Adam Giambrone has no intention of trying to re-take the ward he held for two terms. Three are already vying to take his place: Ana Bailao, Nha Le and Ken Wood.

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Ward 22 (St. Paul's)

The race for this wealthy midtown ward will be a hard-fought battle or a cakewalk. It all depends on Michael Walker. The long-serving councillor hasn't registered or retired. If he does the latter, public school board trustee Josh Matlow should waltz to victory. Mr. Matlow is the only candidate to register so far. Kelly Grant

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