In 2014 on a YouTube show he bade with his late brother, ex-Toronto mayor Rob Ford, the new Ontario premier described Pride Toronto as an event where "middle-aged men with pot bellies" run around "buck naked". A frequently-referenced example of a major Canadian political party losing official party status is the governing Progressive Conservatives dropping to just two seats from 154 with Kim Campbell during the 1993 federal election.
The Liberal party, meanwhile, said in a statement Friday that its focus is on its renewal following its defeat and Kathleen Wynne's resignation as leader. The contest in Canada's industrial and manufacturing heartland became a fight between Ford and the left-leaning New Democratic Party (NDP) after Liberal leader Kathleen Wynne, premier since 2013, dropped to a distant third in opinion polls.
In Guelph, Mike Schreiner made history becoming the first Green Party candidate to win a seat in an Ontario election. A few months ago, Ford seemed to have it wrapped up.
"We have delivered a government that is for the people", he said. "We united our party and united our province and this is your victory".
But Ford's campaign certainly wasn't immune to controversy.
Horwath, 55, cast herself as the only way to stop Ford, warning voters that the bogeyman was determined to "make the rich even richer" and slash and burn any progress that's been made by finding his mythical $6 billion in government "inefficiencies".
New Democrats were granted some accommodations at the time, including some funding, and earned party status the following year when leader Andrea Horwath won a byelection.
Mayor Jim Watson says he's committed to building a "productive working relationship" with Premier Designate Doug Ford and the Progressive Conservatives. She said she had detected "anxiety" among voters.
There were many close races across the province, with eight determined by 25 votes or less: Ajax, Spadina-Fort York, Sault Ste.
He pointed as examples to Scarborough Guildwood, where Liberal Mitzie Hunter squeaked by PC Party candidate Roshan Nallaratnam by a mere 81 votes, as well as Wynne's narrow victory over PC Party candidate John Kieran.
Ford, who has positioned himself as a champion of "the little guy" and has been compared to U.S. President Donald Trump, is wealthy businessman. He has spoken about his family on the campaign trail and launched his bid for the Tory leadership from his mother's basement in west Toronto.
He has always been a controversial figure in Canada; during his one term as a Toronto city councillor he refused to attend the city's Pride parade - describing it as "middle-aged men, with pot bellies, running down the street buck naked" - and lashed out at a home for developmentally disabled youth, labelling it a "nightmare" that had "ruined the community".
Wynne congratulated Doug Ford on his win, noting, "I've committed to making the transition as smooth as possible".
"I know... I know that tonight is not the result we were looking for and no one feels that more sharply than I do".
Doug Ford was widely criticized for a failed campaign to scrap a long-planned redevelopment on the city's waterfront, proposing a huge ferris wheel, a new mall and a monorail. He had won the mayoral election with a core of support in suburban Toronto, called "Ford Nation".