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Development News

The city is looking to redraw its ward boundaries

Ward 18, otherwise known as Davenport, presided over by Councillor Ana Bailao, has 44,280 residents as of last year. Up at the top of the city, Willowdale, ward 23, under Councillor John Fillion, has 93,784 people living in it.

The city figures these ward swells may be a problem, and is looking into redrawing the lines that have defined their boundaries for the last 15 years.

Toronto has experienced an unprecedented growth spurt over the past decade or so, and the demographic map of the city has changed radically, with towers and other developments responsible for massive shifts of people from one part of the city to another and from outside the city into its most built-up sectors.

There are four wards with populations more than 25 per cent higher than the average of 61,000, and 11 with populations more than 25 per cent lower. And since both the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) and the courts have decided, according to the team in charge of the boundary review, that effective representation relies on similarity in population, the city’s hired the Canadian Urban Institute, Beate Bowron Etcetera Inc., the Davidson Group and Thomas Ostler to team up and look into how to fix the problem.

Their first of six public meetings this month is being held this evening.

According to Beate Bowron, the group is taking geographic issues, history as well as “communities of interest” — groups with overarching similarities — into account in their considerations and presentations. Bowron says there have been no restrictions placed on the redistricting meaning, among other things, that the current number of 44 could rise.

Tonight’s meeting is being held at S. Walter Stewart Library, 170 Memorial Park Ave., Thursday's at Parkdale Library, 1303 Queen St. W., both between 6pm and 9pm, and Saturday's at Trinity St. Paul's Church, 427 Bloor St. W. between 9am and noon.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Beate Bowron
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