A comparison of Toronto vote maps from 1997 to 2014
Toronto vote maps over the last 17 years tell a more complicated story than the oft-cited post-amalgamation divide between the former boroughs. While the results from the the 2003 and 2010 elections do reveal an obvious split between downtown voters and those in the former suburbs, David Miller's reelection bid in 2006 witnessed the incumbent win 42 of 44 wards in the city.
This year's ward-by-ward breakdown doesn't show anywhere near as strong a mandate for John Tory, but the mayor-elect did make crucial inroads in North York, south Etobicoke and south Scarborough. The post-amalgamation hangover, such as it exists, is also about far more than just geography. How Toronto votes is very much a matter of economics. This should be surprising to no one, but it does serve as a crucial reminder that it's reductive to think solely in terms of an urban/suburban split in this city.
Compare the vote map above with the citywide income breakdown from 2005, and you see why David Hulchanski theorizes that this is a place defined by income polarization, a trend that threatens to create a socio-economic divide between those in high income brackets and those in low income brackets.
A new mayor can't snap his fingers and close this gap, as there are a wide array of variables that contribute to this class division in Toronto, but building transit that serves the entire city is crucial, as is ensuring that social programs and affordable housing remain robust. Whether John Tory will be willing and able to do these things is very much up in the air. How the vote map in four years from now looks will depend in no small part on the degree to which the mayor-elect can make good on his promise to unite the city.
Toronto vote maps 2010-1997
For a detailed look at the numbers of each ward, check out our Toronto election results post.
Lead map image courtesy of CTV News
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