Toronto could be getting three more councillors in the next election if the city goes through with a proposal to redraw its ward boundaries. A consulting group looking at new ward boundaries is recommending changes that would increase the number of councilors from 44 to 47, meaning each councillor would represent about 61,000 people on average.
The proposal would see three new downtown wards with another in the former North York. The High Park and Davenport boundaries would also be redrawn to turn three wards into two.
“Based on the volume of calls I get in my ward and the number of community meeting I have to get to, people might want better representation,” Parkdale-High Park Coun.
“But I want to take a good look at it.”
There’s been a growing disparity in the population rates across the city’s 44 wards in recent years. Heavy condominium development downtown and in Willowdale, near Yonge and Finch, is pushing population rates close to 90,000 in some wards.
Robin Buxton Potts, who lives in Ward 29 Toronto-Danforth — one of the smallest wards in the city with about 50 thousand constituents, said she supports the idea of redrawing boundaries.
“It gives everyone a bit more of a voice,” Potts said.
Sue Dexter, who lives in Ward 20 Trinity-Spadina, says councillors in areas like hers that have upwards of 85,000 constituents have the tricky job of trying to represent a much larger population than those in other wards. Reducing her councillor’s workload would means better representation for the ward, she said.
“They’ve been forced by the pressures of intensification and development to really struggle to represents us,” Dexter said.
She said she wouldn’t mind some other councillors being squeezed out.
“What you’re after is a fair system and sometimes to ge there, people have to sacrifice a bit,” Dexter said.
City council is expected to make a decision on the boundary changes by the end of the year.