Sunday, February 26, 2012

My riding boundary proposal for Toronto

It's now time for my third installment of my personal federal redistricting proposals following the release of the 2011 Canadian Census earlier this month. So far I have mapped Ottawa and Winnipeg, and now it's time for Toronto, Canada's largest city.

Toronto proper has been growing more slowly than the national average, because most of the city has been urbanized. However, the city is still growing in places like Scarborough where new developments are still being built, and along the waterfront, which is experiencing a large population boom thanks to new condominiums being built.

Toronto presently has 22 and half ridings (one riding extends into neighbouring Pickering). Its growth has entitled the city to 24 ridings, meaning one and a half new ridings within the city.

I have decided in my proposal to keep the former cities of Etobicoke and Scarborough together, and not make any ridings cross into the rest of the city. This is how it's been for quite some time, and I decided there was no reason to change this, although the commission may do so. Etobicoke would get 3 seats, and Scarborough would get 6 (up from the 5.5 ridings it has now). This puts the average Etobicoke riding at 116,000 people while the average riding in Scarborough will be at about 104,000. If this is not desirable, then some boundary crossing would have to occur. The rest of Toronto's average riding size will be between those two numbers, at 109,000.

My proposed ridings:

Trinity—Spadina: At 145,000, Trinity—Spadina is the most populous in the city, thanks to many new condominium developments being built. To cut the riding down to size, I lopped off the northern part of the riding. The northern border I propose follows College to Grace to Harbord. This gives the riding a nice size of 106,000. The rest I transferred to the riding of St. Paul's.

St. Paul's: St. Paul's has 116,000 people, just over the Toronto quotient of 109,000. However, if you add the bits taken from Trinity—Spadina, it becomes much larger. To fix this, I have removed the part of the riding east of Yonge Street as well as a small part west of Oakwood and south of Vaugahn Rd. The latter was transferred to Davenport riding, which is currently under populated. The former will be transferred to the new riding of Don Valley South. These changes have resulted in the riding being at a population of 111,000.

Don Valley South: This is a new riding I am proposing to be cut out of present day Don Valley West, Toronto Centre, and St. Paul's. The riding consists mostly of Toronto's older affluent neighbourhoods, such as Rosedale, Leaside, Moore Park and Davisville. I thought it would be a good idea to put these areas in one riding because they are a community of interest. The riding would also include the more eclectic neighbourhoods of Thorncliffe Park and The Annex. It would have a population of 108,000. I have named it Don Valley South, because my plan calls for three Don Valley ridings, and this is the most southerly of the three. Plus, its entire eastern boundary is the Don River.

Davenport: At 102,000 people, Davenport is the least populous in the city, and is the only riding in the city to have experienced a loss in population between 2006 and 2011. As mentioned earlier, I have transferred the Oakwood-Vaughan neighbourhood (south of Vaughan Rd and west of Oakwood) to Danveport. This gives the riding a population of 107,000.

Toronto Centre: Toronto Centre is also over populated, with a population of 130,000 people. It needs to be cut down to size. My recommendation is to lop off everything north of Bloor in the riding. This is the riding's cultural dividing line, so it makes for a good border. The south part of the riding is more working class compared to the more affluent north. The north would go to the new riding of Don Valley South. This gives the riding a population of 106,000.

Don Valley Centre: Carved mostly from Don Valley West is my proposed riding of Don Valley Centre. The riding would be centred on the Don Mills area, and would be bounded on the north by the 401, on the west by Yonge St, on the south by Eglinton, and on the east by the Don Valley Parkway. The riding would also include Victoria Park Village, east of the DVP to ensure the population is even. The population would be 108,000. I called it “Don Valley Centre” as it's in the middle of the three porposed Don Valley riding, and it straddles the Don River. Another possible name for the riding would be “Don Mills”.

Parkdale—High Park: At 105,000, Parkdale—High Park is slightly smaller than ideal, and with neighbouring York South—Weston larger than ideal, I shifted the northern boundary of Parkdale—High Park north to the green space area north of St. Clair, east of Jane. This unites Runnymede Park with the neighbourhood of Runnymede. This boosts the riding's population to 110,000.

York South—Weston: The only change to York South—Weston is the aforementioned alteration with Parkdale—High Park. This brings the population down from about 117,000 to 111,000.

Eglinton—Lawrence: At 113,000 Eglinton—Lawrence is only slightly bigger than the Toronto average, so I opted to make no changes.

York West: I have only proposed a small change in York West's boundary. I have moved its Sheppard Ave boundary down to the Downsview Dells. This is a more natural boundary, as that area was previously isolated from the rest of York Centre, where it is currently. This brings the population up from 108,000 to 113,000. This may seem unnecessary, but it was also needed to reduce the population of York Centre, without altering too many ridings.

York Centre: With 118,000, York Centre needs to lose population. I have decided to just make a small change in its border with York West, which I just mentioned. This brings the population down to about 111,000.

Willowdale: At present, Willowdale is over populated with a population of 140,000. It needs to lose a lot of people. I have moved the eastern boundary of the riding back to Bayview Ave to Finch Ave to the Don River. The riding loses Hillcrest Village and Bayview Woods to my proposed riding of DonValley North. This brings the population down to 111,000 people.

Don Valley North: Don Valley North would mostly be created from the existing Don Valley East riding, except I have shifted in northwards to the point that retaining its name “Don Valley East” would seem odd. Its southern boundary has been shifted to Lawrence Ave to the Don Valley Parkway to the 401., while I have extended the riding north to the northern boundary of the city, taking up the aforementioned parts of Willodale. The riding would have a population of 111,000 people.

This leaves us with Toronto—Danforth and Beaches—East York. These two ridings together have natural boundaries in the Don River to the north and west, the lakefront to the south, and Scarborough to the east. I didn't want to change this, so I kept both ridings they way they are, even though Toronto—Danforth is slightly underpopulated with 104,000 as is Beaches—East York with 107,000. Coxwell Ave makes a good boundary between the two ridings, so I wont change that. 


As mentioned, I will keep Etobicoke at three ridings. However, because their average size would be 116,000, I wanted to make all three ridings nearly identical in population so none would be too much more than the city average.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore: This riding is the only one in Etobicoke to have more than 116,000. At 123,000 it needs to be shrunk. To do this, I moved the Burnhamthorpe Rd border down to Bloor St. This brings the riding down to 115,000 people.

Etobicoke Centre: Etobicoke Centre presently has 114,000 people, but adding parts of Etobicoke—Lakeshore means it grows much larger. To cut it back down. To do this, I have removed the Willowridge-Martin Grove and “The Westway” neighbourhoods out of the riding and given it to Etobicoke North. It's not ideal, but critical for evening out the population. These changes put Etobicoke Centre at 116,000 people.

Etobicoke North: At 111,000, Etobicoke North needed a few more people to get to the Etobicoke average. Gaining Willowridge-Martin Grove and The Westway does this, giving the would-be population of the riding at 116,000.


Under my proposal, the former city of Scarborough will get six seats. This puts the average Scarborough riding at 104,000, which is below the provincial average. This means, keeping all six ridings as close to that number as possible, to avoid being too far below the provincial quotient.

Presently, Scarborough has five and a half ridings. Therefore, my proposal means moving the one half riding entirely into the city, and moving all the other ridings around to accommodate this.

Scarborough—Rouge River: At 135,000 people, Scarborough—Rouge River is the largest riding in Scarborough. To get it down to size, I had to lop off a lot of area. I decided to take from the west part of the riding, which is heavily East Asian, to make the riding more South Asian. This East Asian community will be more at home in neighbouring Scarborough—Agincourt which is pretty close to being a majority East Asian. I have moved the northwestern boundary from Midland Ave east to McCowan Rd, keeping the southwestern boundary at Brimley Rd. This gives the riding a population of 103,000, slightly underpopulated, but given room for growth.

Scarborough—Agincourt: Now that this riding has moved eastward, the southern boundary of the riding must move northward to compensate. I have moved the boundary from the 401 to travel along a line that follows Huntingwood Dr to Kennedy Rd to Sheppard Ave. This basically puts the neighboruhood of Tam O'Shanter into the neighbouring riding of Scarborough Centre. These changes give the riding a population of 106,000.

Scarborough Centre: Adding Tam O'Shanter means that Scarborough Centre's southerly boundary must also move north. I have moved the boundary north to Lawrence Ave, a nice straight line compared to the jagged boundary that currently exists. These changes give the riding a population of 102,000.

Scarborough Southwest: Scarborough west must move northward to add the areas lost by Scarborough Centre. The northern boundary would now be Lawrence Ave. This means the eastern boundary of the riding must move westward to compensate. My proposal would be to give the riding two straight line boundaries. The northern boundary would be Lawrence Ave, and the eastern boundary would be Midland Ave. This turns the riding into an elongated rectangle, much like the other Toronto lake shore ridings. The new boundaries of Scarborough Southwest would give the riding a population of 104,000.

Scarborough Bluffs—Woburn: With Scarborough—Guildwood moving westward to Midland Avenue, its eastern boundary would have to move west as well, and it would have to move past the area of the city known as Guildwood. That's why I would create the new riding of “Scarborough Bluffs—Woburn”. The riding would lose the Guildwood, Morningside and West Hill neighbourhoods, and would gain Englinton East, Brimley, Cliffcrest and the Scarborough Bluffs. In fact, only Scarborough Village and Woburn would remain in both ridings. The resulting population of the riding is 104,000. I have named the riding for the Scarborough Bluffs that I have transferred into the riding from Scarborough Southwest. I have also added the name “Woburn” to the riding for the neighbourhood of that name, as due to the shape of the proposed riding, the Woburn becomes an appendage that is the furthest part of the riding from the actual Scarborough Bluffs.

Scarborough East: Finally, the remaining part of Scarborough I have made into the new riding of Scarborough East. This new riding would come from parts of Scarborough—Guildwood and Pickering—Scarborough East. We would no longer have a riding straddling the Toronto-Pickering border. This new riding would have a population of 103,000. I have named it Scarborough East, because it is the furthest east of Scarborough's proposed ridings. And, because the name is used in the present riding of Picerking—Scarborough East. However, this proposed riding extends much further west. Calling it Scarborough—Guildwood I think would be inappropriate, even though the Guildwood area is in the riding. This is because the Guildwood area is close to the proposed boundary with Scarborough Bluffs—Woburn. Plus, the riding is too far removed from the current Scarborough—Guildwood riding.


  1. This is a great map. If it were up to me I would end the border integrity of Etobicoke and Scarborough. I don't like the imbalances, even though there is a good reason for them.