Jonathan Hughes

Toronto Ward Boundary Review - Released


The Toronto Ward Boundary Review final report has been released. you can find it here.

A ward boundary review seeks to achieve effective representation throughout the municipality. Factors such as the number of people in each ward, geographic communities of interest, future growth, coherent boundaries, the capacity of councillors to represent their constituents and ward history need to be balanced. Any new ward structure can be implemented in the next municipal election.

The executive summary states:

The report presents a recommendation for new wards for Toronto that achieves the principle of effective representation, can be implemented for the 2018 municipal election and will last until the 2030 municipal election.

Toronto’s current ward structure, developed approximately 15 years ago, has become unbalanced. This impacts voter parity (similar but not identical population numbers among wards) not just at election time, but every time City Council votes. 

The recommended ward structure is based on Option 1: Minimal Change1. This option emerged as the preferred option based on feedback received from Members of Council and the public during the project’s civic engagement and public consultation process. Many of the responses also suggested refinements to the Option 1 ward boundaries. The TWBR has examined these refinements, as well as suggested refinements to other options and to existing wards, if they were relevant to Option 1.

The recommended ward structure has attempted to incorporate as many of those refinements as possible. Refinements that upset voter parity or negatively affect any other component of effective representation were not incorporated. 

The recommended ward structure:

  • Minimally increases the number of wards given the need to accommodate the projected rapid growth of the city to 3.2 million people in 2030. The recommended ward structure results in 47 wards - an increase of 3 wards from the current 44 (see APPENDIX A for a map of the current City of Toronto wards).

  • Retains the current average ward size of 61,000 people.
  • Achieves effective representation in all wards by 2026. The population variance is limited to plus or minus 15% of the average ward population of 61,000 for 44 of the 47 wards. Two wards are minimally above 15% (RW15 & RW41) and one ward is slightly below 15% (RW20). To review the detailed projected populations and variances of the 47 recommended wards from 2018 (the first election the new wards will be used), to 2030, please see TABLE 1: Recommended Wards - Projected Population and Variance 2018 - 2030.

  • Is designed to last for four municipal elections. The recommended ward structure can be implemented for the 2018 election and can be used for the elections of 2022, 2026 and 2030. 

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