Today, the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) issued their decision regarding appeals of the city's Ward Boundary Review. The OMB has approved the new 47 ward boundary structure that City Council endorsed at its November 9, 2017 meeting. Should there be no further legal challenges by the end of the year, the new ward boundaries will be in place for the 2018 municipal election.
The impact of these ward boundary changes are profound on the downtown. Approximately 90,000 residents live in Ward 27 alone, with significant growth approved or proposed that will push that number even higher. Meanwhile, some wards in the city have less than 50,000 residents, and are not in areas that are targeted for significant intensification. This has resulted in democratic unfairness for downtown residents, when the population and municipal vote is not represented proportionally on City Council.
In an effort to improve voter parity, the newly approved ward boundaries rearrange the three existing downtown wards—Ward 20, 27 and 28—into six new wards. This would functionally split Ward 27 into five sections, as follows:
- Summerhill will join with what is currently Ward 22, which includes Deer Park and Midtown;
- North and South Rosedale along with Moore Park will join what is currently Ward 29, which includes portions of Greektown and Broadview North;
- Yorkville and the Church-Wellesley Village, south to College Street will become a new ward;
- The portion of Ward 27 east of Jarvis Street will join St. James Town, Cabbagetown, and Regent Park to become a new ward; and,
- The area south of College Street, west of Jarvis including Ryerson University, the Eaton Centre and City Hall will join south of Queen Street with the Financial District and Entertainment District to become a new ward.
You can view an interactive map of the new ward boundaries by clicking here.
Councillor Wong-Tam is having conversations with supporters and her team, and evaluating where she will run in the 2018 municipal election. She will make her intentions known in the near future.