WATCH ABOVE: Naheed Nenshi drew not only current candidates, but two former mayors to his speech to the board of trade, where he was treated as a rock star. Sean Mallen reports.

TORONTO – Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi spoke to the Toronto Region Board of Trade Friday and had some advice for those seeking the top job as mayor of Toronto.

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“If you went out onto Bay Street today and asked 100 people are you left wing or right wing, I guarantee you 85 of them would have no idea what you were talking about; 11 would answer incorrectly; and the rest would be John Tory,” Nenshi joked in front of a crowd of Hogtown politicians.

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Mayoral candidates John Tory, and David Socknacki were in attendance to see the chief magistrate of Cowtown speak, as were two former Toronto mayors Barbara Hall and Art Eggleton.

Nenshi, who led his city through the Alberta flooding over the past summer, was recently re-elected with 73 per cent of the vote. He advised those seeking political office at the municipal level to leave partisan politics behind.

“Forget the shadow parties that you have in Toronto political life, which i find very strange. Just tell us what you’re going to do. Tell us why you love this city,” Nenshi said.

John Tory, who on Monday through declared his mayoral candidacy, said he admired Nenshi’s focus on city-building.

“He’s an inspiration to me in many respects in talking about building one strong, vibrant, fair city here in Toronto. Getting people to work together,” said Tory.

READ MORE: There’s no bias in asking a tough question

Nenshi also talked about transit in Toronto, saying he doesn’t understand why Scarborough is getting a subway instead of light-rail transit (LRT).

“Maybe I missed something. I don’t understand why you don’t spend less to serve more people,” Nenshi said during his talk.

Mayoral candidate David Socknacki agreed with the Calgary mayor’s opinion on LRT transit.

“Well I certainly was paying attention to hear his endorsement for light rail transit. He can’t understand why Toronto wants to pay more,” said Socknacki.

During his talk, Nenshi touched on current beleaguered Mayor Rob Ford, whose string of scandals and recent battle with Police Chief Bill Blair have been an ongoing distraction at City Hall.

“I think the media are thoughtful enough to focus on the real issues that this city faces and like me, hopefully not too distracted by the sideshows,” Nenshi said.

*With files from Sean Mallen

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