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8 wards that will decide the 2014 Toronto election

Posted by Chris Bateman / May 5, 2014

toronto election results 2010It's barely three months old, but so far the 2014 Toronto mayoral campaign has already seen plenty of twists and turns. Olivia Chow, long-time favourite of the left, quit federal politics to seek the city's top job while Rob Ford, still a contender despite months of drug-related scandal, suddenly split for rehab in the States, taking a sizeable hit in the polls.

The most recent projections put Ford in third place (22% down from 27%) behind John Tory (27%) and Olivia Chow (33%,) the lowest he's been since winning election in 2010. The Forum Research poll, which was conducted Thursday evening in the aftermath of the latest video scandal, reflected the opinions of 888 Toronto residents reached by phone and is considered accurate considered accurate within 3 percentage points.

Though it might be something of a crap shoot (with Ford expected to return, who knows what's going to happen in this election) here are five wards that will likely play a pivotal role in deciding who becomes the next mayor.

toronto election results 2003WARDS 1 AND 42 - 2010: FORD, 2006: MILLER, 2003: MILLER

Tucked up in the city's northern corners, wards 1 and 42 are bellwethers of Toronto elections. The results of the mayoral votes in Etobicoke North and Scarborough-Rouge River have matched the overall winner in all of the last four elections (though the ward boundaries were different in 1997.) Ford scored strong victories in 2010, but in 2006 and 2003, both constituencies went to Miller. Mel Lastman took the wards that included these neighbourhoods in 1997. History says that wins here are essential to taking the election.

WARD 16 - 2010: SMITHERMAN, 2006: MILLER, 2003: TORY

Eglinton-Lawrence was a close win for George Smitherman in 2010; Ford lost by just 9.8%, or 1,431 votes. One ward over, the incumbent won convincingly by 27.5%, suggesting this is constituency could swing. John Tory was victorious here in 2003 during his first stab at Toronto politics. Three years later, Ward 16 was taken by David Miller. Ward 16 could go to Olivia Chow or a strong conservative candidate, most likely John Tory, as he has a history of winning in this part of the city.

toronto election results 2006WARDS 25 AND 26 - 2010: FORD, 2006: PITFIELD, 2003: TORY

The two Don Valley West wards, currently represented by councillors Jaye Robinson and John Parker respectively, went to Rob Ford by a hair in 2010 (727 votes in Ward 25 and just 50 in Ward 26.) In 2006, these were the lone wards scored by Jane Pitfield during Miller's landslide victory. In 2003 they were won by John Tory. It looks like these conservative-leaning wards, like Ward 16, could go either way in 2014.

WARD 31 - 2010: FORD, 2006: MILLER, 2003: MILLER

In 2010, the northernmost of the two Beaches-East York wards went to Rob Ford by about 8.2%. Typically, downtown (in voting terms, a rough upside down T shape from the Humber River to Victoria Park Ave. and north up the Spadina line to about the 401) is the exclusive domain of the strongest liberal candidate, but this was one area Ford managed to steal. If he, Tory, or Stintz, can do it again, it would likely be part of an election victory.

WARDS 35 AND 36 - 2010: FORD, 2006: MILLER, 2003: MILLER

The pair of Scarborough Southwest wards went to Rob Ford in 2010 but, in the three elections before that, both were won by David Miller or (under different ward boundaries) Barbara Hall. Liberal candidates will see these as areas where Ford's grip can be easily weakened, especially in light of recent events. They are currently represented by councillors Michelle Berardinetti and Gary Crawford respectively.

Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.



Tuxedo Court / May 5, 2014 at 12:31 pm
Ford is just a human being. Leave him alone. He likes to drink beer on a weeknight like the average folks do and so what if he likes a toke of something once in a while? So does half of Scarboro and Etobicoke. He saved a billion dollars by cutting back road maintenance and will bring Scarboro a subway subway subway he always welcome at Tuxedo Court and has my vote lol!
Tuxedo Court / May 5, 2014 at 12:39 pm
LOL, just kidding! I like posting things on blogto to piss people off because I'm a troll. I apologize for saying dumb things. Ignore me everyone!
CW replying to a comment from Tuxedo Court / May 5, 2014 at 01:27 pm
When you only work 11-2 its hard to find time to drink at work. That's why he had city employees get the liquor so he would be ready for the drive home.
Tuxedo Junction / May 5, 2014 at 01:27 pm
Yeah!!!! I don't have to vote! I don't live in one of the highlighted wards!

Randy Hopeful / May 5, 2014 at 01:33 pm
What I'd like to see is the Chow, Stintz, Tory and Siknacki use this 30 day quiet time away from the Ford madness to launch many policy announcements maybe a debate or two with him.

This way we can see what they really want for our city without always having to debate with Ford and/or so they don't have to justify their policies as being best only because Ford is unfit to be mayor.
Roy A Smith / May 5, 2014 at 01:51 pm
yes, since Ford suddenly split for "rehab" in the States. in the same city his family has a spiffy mansion. i wonder if he'll be rehabbing at the family cottage during pride week again this year?!
Randy Hopeful replying to a comment from Roy A Smith / May 5, 2014 at 01:54 pm
I wonder if we'll hear anything from the other candidates, the days and hours are ticking until his return and we've heard no new announcements made from any of them....Shame
Rob Ford (Bozo the Clown) / May 5, 2014 at 02:18 pm
Everyone likes Bozo! Everyone votes Bozo! BOZO MORE YEARS! CLOWNCARS!CLOWNCARS!CLOWNCARS! No subways
Candidates are making it happen! replying to a comment from Randy Hopeful / May 5, 2014 at 02:25 pm
Sarah Thomson's Latest Video is out!

Transit Parody of Timber
Toucan Sam / May 5, 2014 at 02:27 pm
ABC - Anyone But Chow!
Toucan Sam is a Fruit Loop / May 5, 2014 at 03:32 pm
So sugary sweet!
Toucan Sam / May 5, 2014 at 03:52 pm
Chow = Follow your nose to higher taxes and more wasted money. Don't worry, Chow isn't totally wasting everyone's time. She's going to study the DRL until 2031 and spend $15M on extra bus service in the meantime.
kn / May 5, 2014 at 03:55 pm
Rob Ford's bid is dead. If I was John Tory's advisor I'd be pushing Tory to steal the conservative voters who were duped by the clown Ford. RE: Olivia Chow...please no.
steve replying to a comment from Toucan Sam / May 5, 2014 at 05:31 pm
That is what we got from Rob Ford.
ABTS & ABKN / May 5, 2014 at 05:59 pm
Anybody but toucan Sam and kn
Safe Hands / May 5, 2014 at 06:06 pm
Don' t worry y'all this is Ontario and we're all in the safe hands of Kathleen Wynne, nothing to worry about. Just Chill
toronto proper / May 5, 2014 at 06:55 pm
olivia chow is the only choice for torontonians who want to keep toronto green and livable and reverse the damage that ford has done. tory doesnt support bike lanes, wants to cut endless services and favours privatization of services in most cases: he is the same big business corruption as ford just without the crack smoke!

toronto needs to unite and rally around the only candidate who will respect and nurture our strengths and our diversity - olivia chow!
DarkLordOfEtobicoke / May 5, 2014 at 07:10 pm
I live in Ward 6... I think it will be a John Tory riding like it was back in 2003. But my support goes for Olivia Chow.
chowhound / May 5, 2014 at 07:29 pm
Subways suck a$$ and should not be built in a world class city like Toronto. We need buses, buses, buses, so Olivia Chow has my vote.
OneOfTheseWards / May 5, 2014 at 07:41 pm
I'm in one of these wards.
What can I do to help sway the votes in my ward away from Ford? Are there posters I can download and print from somewhere? Thanks!
Joe Q. / May 5, 2014 at 08:17 pm
Makes no sense to talk about a ward "going to" one candidate or another. Toronto doesn't decide mayoral elections by a Westminster system. The candidate with the most votes becomes the mayor, no matter where those votes are cast -- wards do not matter.
Angie / May 5, 2014 at 08:19 pm
10% more buses for everyone!!!!! Yeah Chow!!! Some routes have less than 10 buses running on them at a time, how you gonna increase the service 10%, make the buses 10% longer??? Increase the speed limit???? Sounds good on paper but if your increasing 10% for everyone I expect that on all routes not just adding an extra two street cars to the king and queen st lines...
kadnil replying to a comment from Tuxedo Court / May 5, 2014 at 08:20 pm
Interesting thought. The only reason I respond is that you don't seem to understand that we have a group of people that vote for what happens in our city. Ford did nothing alone....he had to have a majority to have it pass.
Green Toronto replying to a comment from toronto proper / May 5, 2014 at 09:48 pm
Bike lanes don't keep Toronto green!!!! Cars spewing exhaust longer because they're stuck in traffic on a road that has been reduced to ONE lane (to let the one cyclist an hour go by more safely) is only polluting the city more. Olivia Chow is part of the old rhetoric of selling ignorant ideas that people don't actually bother to research. Subways and LRT's help keep Toronto green. And on what planet has Chow been living on if her fix is to put more buses - the city has never been more congested, how could this serve as an adequate solution! Be smart, Toronto, don't just buy green because someone called it so!
Dumbitchsaywha / May 5, 2014 at 10:02 pm
Toronto was once known as "the good". Now....?
Islington Steeles replying to a comment from Dumbitchsaywha / May 5, 2014 at 10:23 pm
'da hood.
steve replying to a comment from Green Toronto / May 6, 2014 at 06:59 am
As I recall Ford wanted just buses to run on our streets. He cut service and raised fares. How is that a better plan?
kn replying to a comment from Green Toronto / May 6, 2014 at 07:06 am
Agreed. Olivia Chow is the other side of the Adam Vaughan coin. Poorly thought out old guard ideals. Yes we need more public transit but streetcars are not a substitute for subways. (and we need a subway south of Bloor! Oh too late!! They just built all of those pesky condos west of the Rogers centre.) Yes we need a sustainable solution for affordable housing, no rebuilding public ghettos is not one of them!! Why does Adam Vaughan and Olivia Chow think that it will work this time around??
Alex replying to a comment from chowhound / May 6, 2014 at 08:42 am
You're kidding right? How does zipping across the city in minutes underground suck ass?
Mouse replying to a comment from Tuxedo Court / May 7, 2014 at 10:56 am
Except he didn't, he SAID he did, but it has been proven he has saved very little money, and in fact spent more than he said, and sucked out the funds from social services to make it look better.

He doesn't 'like a beer', the guy can't stay sober for a week, and breaks the law repeatedly with his drug use, which wouldn't be nearly as bad if part of his running platform was CRACK DOWN ON DRUG USERS.
scottd replying to a comment from Tuxedo Court / October 15, 2014 at 11:02 pm
Feeling kinda stupid these days?
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