The variance in ward populations in 2018; new ward boundaries will address the population inequities shown above.
Back in March, I wrote about the City’s plans for new ward boundaries, outlining the history of Toronto’s post-amalgamation council and the need for fairer representation. While Toronto’s population continues to increase, most of the growth is concentrated in northeast Scarborough, central North York and Etobicoke, and especially Downtown, where new condo towers are going up by the dozen.
Yesterday, on August 11, the Toronto Ward Boundary Options Report was released, setting the stage for further public consultations. With the report, we now have tangible details of what the new wards might look like, and how many politicians the new council, to be elected in 2018, will be comprised of.
I wrote more about the report in Torontoist, with a discussion on the process, criteria, and the various options presented.
While the mayor may disagre (“I think the last thing we need is more politicians,” he was quoted as saying), I personally prefer the options that add a few more councillors than the existing 44. Back in 1997, the newly amalgamated City of Toronto had 57 city councillors, and with a growing population, a small increase in the size of council is more than appropriate. “Option 1 – Minimal Change” adds three new councillors; two downtown and one in North York; it is not a bad option, though I think fifty is a workable number.
There are plenty of opportunities for feedback, including a survey and a new round of public consultations in the Fall; I recommend taking part and sharing your own views.