Toby Heaps and his dog Molly have entered the Mayoral race in Toronto in hopes of making the city more dog friendly and tackling some of the big environmental issues facing the city.
Toby is an entrepreneur and journalist who co-founded Corporate Knights, a Toronto-based media and research company. Corporate Knights Inc. is a leading sustainable-economy media and research B Corp. Founded in 2002 by Toby A. Heaps, Paul Fengler and Peter Diplaros, Corporate Knights is committed to advancing an economic system in which both people and the planet can thrive.
Molly is a 6 year old wolf-husky mix rescued from Sochi, Russia and originally belonged to Toby’s mother who passed away from Cancer in 2021.
The Toronto Mayoral race
The 2023 Toronto mayoral by-election will be held on Monday, June 26, 2023, to elect the mayor of Toronto to serve the remainder of the 2022–2026 city council term following the resignation of Mayor John Tory. Tory announced his intention to resign the post on Febrary 10, 2023 after an admission of an improper relationship with a staffer and left on February 17, 2023.
As of 12 May 2023, 102 candidates have an active candidacy for mayor, the entire list can be seen here.
Toby and Molly have a platform laid out(as of May 29th) and hope to create a future Torontonians want to live in – a kinder place and a thriving city where the streets are safe for humans and dogs. More information can be found here: https://www.tobymolly4mayor.ca/
5 point plan for a Dog Friendly city
- Parks: Make Toronto home to the most and best off-leash dog parks in Canada
- Paws: Stop the salt assault on our paws and pocketbooks in favour of equally effective but safer alternatives
- Patios: Help Toronto become the #1 place in the world for pet-friendly patios
- Public Transit: Expand public transit hours for safely riding with your pet
- Personal IDs: Replace inefficient annual dog [and cat] licenses with a simple one-time ID card, that renews automatically each year.
Stop the assault
Typical road salt is toxic and damaging to our furry best friends, giving dog owners more things to worry about than just staying warm. Molly is taking this issue head on outlining the incremental costs associated with using it around the city.
- The cost of protective booties alone for all 300,000+ dog denizens of Toronto is at least $6 million per year (at $21.99 each), not to mention the vet bills to treat the sick and injured victims of the salt-covered sidewalks and laneways.
- For anyone trudging about Toronto’s winter streets, the corrosive effect salt has on our footwear can sting the pocketbook. An average family spends around $624 on shoes each year; assuming that salt shortens a shoe’s life by 20%, that tallies to $145 per year for all, or $168 million for all of Toronto’s 1,160,895 households.
- The numbers get a lot larger when you consider that excessive use of salt can cut the average lifespan of a car from 12 to 10 years, effectively raising the cost of owning a $45,000 car by $750 per year, or $825 million per year in total for Toronto’s 1.1 million cars.
This dog owner doesn’t live in Toronto so my vote is irrelevant but I personally with Toby and Molly the best of luck.