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Toronto Councillor Gloria Lindsay Luby says she is retiring to take on ‘new challenges.’

Deborah Baic/The Globe and Mail

Long-time Etobicoke Councillor Gloria Lindsay Luby will not be running again for her seat.

Ms. Lindsay Luby, who has won 11 elections, made the surprise announcement on Thursday at the last council meeting before the October election – at the same time that many of her colleagues made their farewell speeches.

The Ward 4 councillor, who first served as a school board trustee in 1978, said she is retiring from politics to take on "new challenges."

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"Remember the letter 'I,' " Ms. Lindsay Luby said to her council colleagues. "That does not stand for me. The letter 'I' stands for integrity, and if you do not have integrity, then you shouldn't be here," she said.

Ms. Lindsay Luby will be throwing her support behind Humber Valley Village President Niels Christensen.

Just moments later, Councillor Peter Leon, who was appointed Ward 3 councillor in October after Doug Holyday left for provincial politics, also announced that he would not be running in the election.

Mr. Leon, who was appointed with the promise that he would not run, said it was important to keep his word. "Last October, I promised, as I stood before council, that I would not run in the upcoming election and today, I am confirming that I remain committed to my word," he said.

A number of other departing councillors, including Karen Stintz, Mike Del Grande, and Doug Ford, also gave farewell speeches on Thursday morning.

And Mayor Rob Ford, who is running for re-election in October, also gave an emotional speech – one he vowed would not be his farewell one.

Mr. Ford thanked Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly, who took over the bulk of his mayoral duties in November after the mayor admitted to smoking crack cocaine. "I know I've put this council through some challenges. I know I've embarrassed this council," he said, his voice faltering.

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But Mayor Ford – who on Thursday faced new allegations of abusive behaviour toward his football team and school staff – did not dwell on the point. "The past is the past, and we have to move forward," he said.

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