Uncertainty Regarding Ward Boundaries

Right now, the TDSB ward boundaries that will be used for the purposes of the upcoming election are up in the air. The current version of Ward 22 could become obsolete if the Provincial government gets its way.  The Toronto school boards, including the TDSB, had very little time in which to draw up a proposed ward map that aligns with the city wards put forth by Doug Ford. If the schools boards failed to meet the deadline, new ward boundaries would be imposed on them.

The timeline was such that public consultation was not possible. This made the job of the current trustees extremely challenging, but in the end they came up with a proposal that more or less balances the number of schools in each ward.

And so, as of now, it is likely that Ward 22 will look like one of two things.

Version 1: current

Ward 22 is currently enclosed by Markham Road on the west, Highway 401 to the north, the Rouge River on the east, and Lake Ontario/the CN Railway to the south. In the map above, elementary schools are marked with yellow pins, and high schools are marked with purple pins.

Version 2: proposed

If Ford’s city council plan goes ahead, TDSB Ward 22 will be geographically identical to the provincial riding of Scarborough-Rouge Park. The boundary goes as follows, starting from the south-west: start from Lake Ontario and travel north up Morningside to Highway 401. Go west on the highway, and then go north on Neilson until it joins Morningside. Continue north until just past Polarlights Way, and then follow a transmission line east to the Rouge River. Follow the river north until you get to Steeles. Go east on Steeles until Scarborough/Pickering Townline Road, go south until just past Twyn Rivers Drive, then follow the Rouge River south to Lake Ontario, and follow the lakeshore west until you get to Morningside.

In the map above, elementary schools are marked with purple pins, and the sole high school is marked with a yellow pin.

My biggest concern regarding this ward change is the fact that the new western boundary separates residential areas from the schools that they feed into. In other words, many parents will have to vote for their trustee in one TDSB ward while their children attend school in a different ward. What this means is that parents will have less say in the education of their children.

Until candidates are advised by the Toronto City Clerk to use the new wards, I am assuming that the current wards will stay in place. However, I am prepared to serve schools and the community in either version. Watch this space, because I will post updates as and when they become available.

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