Ward Boundaries: important message for all Leasiders

City Council will shortly be considering major changes to ward boundaries throughout the city, in an effort to equalize ward sizes by population.  These changes would have major implications for the future of Leaside as one community.

LEASIDE COULD BE SPLIT APART: four of the five options would divide Leaside into two parts, separating North from South Leaside along Eglinton Avenue. One of the options also splits the Leaside commercial/industrial area from residential Leaside at Laird Dr.

If Leaside is divided into two separate wards, with separate councillors, it would be much more difficult to protect Leaside from over-development and excessive flow-through traffic. The boundary review could even place each part of Leaside under different community councils.

Let the boundary review consultants know that Leaside shouldn’t be split apart. Go to the http://www.drawthelines.ca web site and register your opinion.

To check out the proposed change options, download a pdf of the boundary proposals from the site; within you will find the five maps of the ward boundary proposals. Zoom in and you will recognize our local streets and see how how the proposals carve up Leaside.

You can register your opinion on the Draw the Lines site through the survey, the options evaluation worksheet and email at: ac.se1701957209nileh1701957209tward1701957209@ofni1701957209.

The public consultation process is open until November 15th.

The LPOA has written to Councillor Burnside with our concerns.  Here’s our letter:

15 September 2015

Dear Councillor Burnside:

I write with reference to the Toronto Ward Boundary Review, and the ward redesigns provided in its report.

The Leaside Property Owners’ Association, Inc. (LPOA) is concerned about the five options provided. Four of the five divide our community in half, with each half reporting to a different Community Council. The fifth option shifts Leaside into a much larger ward quite unlike us in policies and priorities.

This is not “effective representation”, nor does it acknowledge and respect historical geographic and social connections.

“Voter parity” is not the only important consideration, and frankly it is less important than preserving neighbourhood identity. Moreover, dividing a cohesive community between two separate Community Councils creates less good representation, certainly requiring more complicated, work-intensive efforts to retain neighbourhood patterns and identity.

We feel very strongly that Council should choose from a larger number of options than the five in this report, with much greater (per ward?) public notification and consultation.

And while Council considers ward size/population, and other potential proposed designs, it might be worth also considering whether returning to the (post-amalgamation) six Community Councils, one per previous municipality, might reduce the above problems.

We would appreciate your letting your council colleagues at City Hall know of our strongly negative response to the Options Report. I would be surprised if there weren’t other communities who also face division according to the limited choices prescribed in the report.

Thank you for your consideration,

Carol Burtin Fripp
Co-President with Geoff Kettel,