The mayoral election saw progressive North Toronto councillor Anne Johnston challenge incumbent Art Eggleton. Eggleton won reelection by a significant margin, with Johnston not even winning her former ward.
The election system was changed in Toronto for the 1985 election. Previously two councillors had been elected from each ward, with the one who received the most votes also getting a spot on Metro Toronto council in addition to their city council seat. Under the new system, one person would be directly elected as a Metro councillor while the other would be elected as a city alderman. Although the Metro councillor would still sit on the city council, the change was accompanied with other structural changes to boost the power of the city aldermen, who had often seen their power and authority diminished by the perception that they were "junior" to the Metro councillors.
Most pairs of incumbent councillors reached tacit agreements with one running for city council and the other for Metro. The one battle between two incumbents was in Ward 5 where in a surprise upset junior councillor Ron Kanter defeated the long serving Ying Hope. Two other long serving councillors were defeated. Joe Piccininni who had represent the Corso d'Italia for 25 years lost to 28-year-old Betty Disero. In the east end NDPers Dorothy Thomas lost in a surprise upset to conservative Paul Christie.
Results are taken from the November 13, 1985 Toronto Star and might not exactly match final tallies.
Ward 7 Metro Councillor Joanne Campbell resigned on September 8, 1987 to accept an appointment to chair the provincial Social Assistance Review Board. Ward 5 Metro Councillor Ron Kanter also resigned when he won a seat in the 1987 Provincial Election. By-elections were held in both wards on October 29, 1987.