TWBR Rejects 25-Wards After Much Consultation
Why did the Toronto Ward Boundary Review reject the 25-Ward Option?
The 25-ward option means Toronto city council wards will coincide with both provincial and federal ridings.
In consultation by the TWRB, this option garnered little public support.
In March 2015, the TWRB's Round One Civic Engagement Report (Page 3) said:
Later that year, the TWRB outlined 5 options for new ward boundaries. In the Options Report (Page 3), the consultants said:
“Since the idea of having 25 very large wards gained virtually no support during
the public process, it has not been pursued as an option."
The TWRB went on to explore the notion of adopting ward boundaries aligning with the federal or provincial ridings, but allowing for two councillors per riding in order to ensure residents receive adequate representation.
With 50 wards, the average ward population would be about 62,000 residents per councillor, equivalent to the pre-existing average in 2018. In the end, this option didn't fly, with city council instead opting for the 47-ward model.
In a presentation to the Toronto Executive Committee on May 24, 2016, the consultants found the provincial and federal boundaries were not acceptable. There was little support on the Executive Committee for 25 wards, which would yield an average 2026 ward population of 123,000.
Over time, the 25-ward option would also have wider population disparities than other options:
For 2026 in the 25-ward option, the number of people per ward would range between range is 98,273 to 153,846, a maximum difference in the number of voters per ward of more than 55,000, a significant variance between wards that exceeds universally-accepted guidelines of +- 15%. The largest ward councillor would represent 56% more voters than the councillor in the smallest ward. (Options Report p. 29)
The Ward Boundary consultants recommended 47 wards (Supplementary Report pp 44-49).
This model would create a population balance in 2026 and following:
The Executive Committee approved the Supplementary Report, Oct. 26, 2016.