10/24/2014 18:34 EDT | Updated 12/24/2014 05:59 EST

Watch 1-on-1 mayoral candidate interviews

CBC's Dwight Drummond and Anne-Marie Mediwake sat down for one-on-one interviews with each of the top three contenders in Toronto's mayoral race.

- INTERACTIVE | Make My Mayor

Olivia Chow

Olivia Chow defended her mayoral campaign, which some have said has been lack-lustre after she was considered a front-runner when she first announced her candidacy. She says she is the only candidate in the race who is promoting investing in people and building the city up rather than focusing on cuts.

She says her English is not perfect, but people can understand her. However, it’s not easy to compete with one smooth-talker and another very loud opponent.

"Vote not based on fear. Vote based on hope," she says, especially hope for a better future for our children. Chow says she is the candidate who will best invest in Toronto’s children.

John Tory

John Tory defended his motivations for entering the mayoral race and how he hopes to fund his Smart Track transit plan, which has faced major scrutiny from his opponents.

He says "public service" drove him to join the race to be Toronto’s next mayor, and he wants to spend his latter years serving the people of Toronto, a city he loves and has lived in his entire life.

"You do it because you feel you can make a difference," he says, explaining he may have grown up wealthy but has spent lots of time on the ground learning about Toronto’s disadvantaged neighbourhoods.

Doug Ford

Doug Ford explained how he is different from his brother, current Mayor Rob Ford. The elder brother says he has more of a business background and "I don’t have any addiction problems."

He says his role as mayor would make him act in a different way than he did as a councillor because he would be in more of a leadership role, much like running a business.

He defended his position as an everyman by saying that he worked his way from the bottom up. "I’ve built a small family company into an international company," he says. "You don’t do it unless you’re a good leader."

Ford's wife, Karla, also attended the interview and answered some questions about where she shops and her husband's temperament.