02/05/2014 11:15 EST | Updated 04/07/2014 05:59 EDT

Rob Ford, other mayoral candidates meet for 1st debate

Toronto's mayoral candidates faced off in the first debate of the campaign tonight at the University of Toronto Scarborough campus.

Mayor Rob Ford and his fellow candidates — David Soknacki, Richard Underhill, Robb Johannes and Al Gore — took questions about bike lanes, advice for future politicians and whether they would attend this year's Pride parade.

Ford told the crowd he will not attend Pride. "I've never gone to a Pride Parade so I'm not going to change the way I am," he said. 

The event drew mixed reactions from attendees. 

"It was hard to focus on what people were talking about because they were bashing Rob Ford," said Jonathan Delgado, "and I feel if you have to bash someone to make your point you're not really confident in your own campaign." 

"As a student I felt they were not taking us seriously," he added. 

The debate was organized by the campus student union and moderated by its vice president.

The municipal election is set for Oct. 27.