In this short post, I look at the election results in Ward 37 and Ward 38, Scarborough Centre. Ward 37, west of Brimley Avenue, is represented by Councillor Michael Thompson, while Ward 38, to the east, is represented by Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker. The results of the mayoral race were nearly the same in Ward 37 and Ward 38. Doug Ford came in first place in both wards with about 51% of the vote, and won all but three polls in Scarborough Centre. John Tory came in a distant second place with less than 30% of the vote (and came in first place in the remaining polls), while Olivia Chow took just over 15% of the vote. Both incumbent councillors were easily re-elected.
The only thing that surprised me in this set of maps is how poorly John Tory did. In many other suburban wards in Etobicoke and North York, even those where Doug Ford had a majority of the votes, there were usually some polls in which Tory came in first, such as those located in condominium buildings.
Ward 38 has a very large cluster of condo high-rises near Scarborough Town Centre; every poll in that area voted for Doug Ford. All three polls in Wards 37 and 38 in which Tory came in first place were seniors’ homes. Again, I wonder if Ford’s support for the Scarborough subway extension (and for the even more dubious Sheppard Subway extension) contributed to this result. Of course, Tory was also on record on supporting the Bloor-Danforth subway extension, but the Ford brand was all about “subways, subways, subways.”
In Ward 37, Michael Thompson, a conservative (between 2011 and 2014, Thompson voted with the mayor 71% of the time) , won with 80.7% of the vote, and came in first place in every poll. Only two candidates ran against the three-term incumbent; Niranjan Balachandran (who came in second place with 12.1% of the vote) and Luigi Lisciandro. Despite Thompson’s voting record, I think he’s one of Toronto’s better councillors; I’m happy to see him back for another term.
Three-term incumbent Glenn De Baeremaeker won a fourth term with 69.5% of the vote, in a crowded ballot of eleven contenders. Not one of De Baeremaeker’s opponents got more than 10% of the vote; though second-place David Thomas won one poll, as did third-place candidate Ganga Sasthrigal. It is not uncommon for long-shot candidates to win one or two smaller polls; it is likely because either the candidate lives in or near that poll, or has a business, family or cultural connection to it.
On the whole, Glen De Baeremaeker’s has a record as a left-leaning environmentalist; before running for city council in 2003, he was best known for his work to preserve the Rouge Valley (which was very successful; much of the Rouge Valley’s watershed is protected by acts of the provincial and federal governments); he cycles from Scarborough to City Hall daily. His voting record has mostly in opposition to the Ford Brothers — with one very notable exception. De Baeremaeker has been one of the most vocal supporters of the [sigh] Scarborough Subway extension, which would have two (or three) stops in, or bordering, his ward. He called attempts to go back to the fully funded LRT replacement and extension “a declaration of war on the people of Scarborough.” Of course, the SRT replacement/extension would have seen three stops in his ward (at the existing stops at Scarborough Town Centre and McCowan, as well as a new stop near Markham Road and Progress Avenue, serving Centennial College).
Despite his bonafide environmental credentials, De Baeremaeker’s crass, divisive politics for a (in my opinion) unnecessary and financially irresponsible subway extension has me feeling that while Ward 38 could do much worse, it could probably also do better.
Correction: Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker was first elected in 2003, not in 2006.