Toronto City Council must adopt new Community Council boundaries now that the City’s ward boundaries are changing.

The City’s period for collecting public feedback on potential Community Council boundaries is closed. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the City’s potential new Community Council boundaries.

City staff are now in the process of reviewing the input shared by residents, which will contribute to the findings of a report on new Community Council boundaries that will be submitted to City Council’s Executive Committee. When the report is published, members of the public can sign up to speak at Executive Committee by contacting the clerk at exc@toronto.ca or registering online at www.toronto.ca/council.

A summary of the public input will be posted online with the report to City Council.

Why do we need new Community Council boundaries?

Community Councils are made up of groupings of City wards and their membership comprises the City Councillors of those wards. Each Community Council represents a geographic area of the city.

Toronto City Council must adopt new Community Council boundaries because the City’s ward boundaries will change December 1, 2018. Currently, each of the four Community Councils have 10 to 12 wards, however the total number of wards is increasing from 44 to 47. The old Community Council boundaries won’t line up with the new ward boundaries and adjustments are needed to accommodate the three new wards.

Population forecasts and inequitable distribution of agenda items also support the consideration of new Community Council boundaries.

Confirming new boundaries before the end of the current term supports a smooth transition to the new Council term and the municipal election in October 2018.

If a decision about the Community Council boundaries is postponed, it would delay the organization of the new City Council and consideration of any Community Council agendas until new boundaries are adopted. During the first week of a new Council term, each Community Council meets twice. First, to elect a Chair and a Vice Chair and second, to consider urgent business, such as planning matters. The first regular meeting of City Council is typically reserved for urgent Executive, Community Council, and New Business from City staff only.

What do community councils do?

Community Council responsibilities include making recommendations and decisions on local planning and development, as well as neighbourhood matters including traffic plans and parking regulations. Community Councils report to City Council but they also have final decision-making power on certain items, such as traffic and parking, fence by-law exemptions and appointments to local boards and Business Improvement Areas.

The City’s first Community Councils were established in 1998 with boundaries closely matching the six former municipalities that were amalgamated that same year.

  • The original six Community Councils established in 1998 were quite different from each other. East York Community Council, for example, had 3 members while Toronto Community Council had 16.
  • In 2000 the City’s ward boundaries changed. During a review, 49 models were developed and Council voted to establish 6 Community Councils with a similar number of wards.
  • In 2003, Council reduced the number of Community Councils to 4 to align the boundaries with the 4 service districts used by City divisions and to improve the efficiency of meetings.
  • In April 2004, Council adopted minor changes and established the current Community Council boundaries. These boundaries have now been in place for 14 years.

 

Figure 1a – Community Council boundaries, 1998 – 2018
“Original Six”
January 1997 – December 2000

A map showing the Original Six Community Councils of the City of Toronto, Etobicoke, North York, Scarborough, Toronto, York, and East York.
A map illustrating the City of Toronto’s “Original Six” Community Council boundaries, used between January 1997 and December 2000.

 

Figure 1b – Community Council boundaries, 1998 – 2018
“Modified Six”
December 2000 – November 2003

Modified Six Community Councils of the City of Toronto, used between December 2000 and November 2003
Map illustrating the City of Toronto’s “Modified Six” Community Council boundaries, used between December 2000 and November 2003

 

Figure 1c – Community Council boundaries, 1998 – 2018
“Interim Four”
December 2003 – April 2004

Interim Four Community Councils of the City of Toronto, used between December 2003 and April 2004
Map illustrating the City of Toronto’s “Interim Four” Community Council boundaries, used between December 2003 and April 2004.

 

Figure 1d – Community Council boundaries, 1998 – 2018
“Current Four”
April 2004 – November 2018

Current Four Community Councils of the City of Toronto, used between April 2004 and November 2018.
Map illustrating the City of Toronto’s “Current Four” Community Council boundaries, used between April 2004 and November 2018.

The population of Toronto has grown since the current Community Council boundaries were established, resulting in significant population differences between them (Figure 2).

The number of agenda items, like population, is not evenly distributed between the current Community Councils (Figure 3). The Toronto and East York Community Council has larger agendas, longer meetings, and more resident speakers (Figure 4).

Figure 2 – Population difference between Community Councils, 2001 – 2018

Population Difference between community councils
Chart showing the population difference between Community Councils, 2001-2018

 

Figure 3 – Place-based Community Council agenda items, 2014 to 2018 term

Place-based Community Council agenda items, 2014 to 2018 term
The maps shows the geographic distribution of community council agenda items as a heat map. Concentrations are visible Downtown, at Yonge and Eglinton, in North York Centre, at Don Mills, and in the neighbourhoods to the west and east of downtown.

 

Figure 4 – Distribution of items, speakers, and length of meetings from 2014 to 2018 term 

Community Council Percent of all agenda items Average number of public speakers Percent of meetings longer than 7 hours
Etobicoke York 23% 24 3%
North York 20% 20 0%
Scarborough 11% 7 0%
Toronto and East York 46% 32 19%

 

Community Council boundaries have to meet and balance several different features at the same time. These include historic municipalities and communities, geographic landmarks, the size and number of wards, population, and the distribution of agenda items.

The options listed on this web page were developed by reviewing information such as population forecasts, past Community Council activities, previous Community Council boundary reviews and reports, and recommendations in recent reports such as the City’s Ward Boundary Review.

Several models with four Community Councils were considered. The “minimal change option” in this paper meets most considerations effectively, but doesn’t address the fact that the population differences between the Community Councils will continue to grow.

Models with five Community Councils are better at accommodating future growth, allowing the populations of the Community Councils to grow more similar over time. Options B and C in this paper attempt to keep historic and geographic communities together, but result in changes to three of the four existing Community Councils.

Models with six Community Councils help address population differences and distribute agendas more equitably, but result in significant changes to historic and geographic communities. If geographic communities are preserved, it becomes difficult to balance population growth and agenda distribution between six Community Councils.

Models with more than six Community Councils would likely result in significant changes and broader implications for Council governance and administration, and the administration of City services, beyond a decision on Community Council boundaries.

You can view a summary of additional Community Council boundary models that were reviewed by selecting the option on this web page below – Summary of Community Council Boundary Options: A, B and C and Other Models Reviewed”.  


Considerations used to develop the options

The options in this paper were created using the list of features below identified through research on other jurisdictions and previous Toronto boundary reviews.

  • Populations represented by each Community Council should be distributed.
  • The final model should last several terms.
  • Community Councils should have a similar number of agenda items.
  • Historic and geographic communities should be maintained.
  • Community Councils should be made up of wards that are next to each other.
  • Community Councils should be large enough to support effective debate and scope of decision-making.

This minimal change option makes minor adjustments to the current Community Council boundaries to accommodate the three additional wards in the new 47 ward model.

 

Option A - Minimal Change, Four Community Councils model
Map illustrating Option A, Minimal Change, Four Community Councils model available for consideration as a potential option for the City of Toronto’s new Community Councils boundaries.

 

Changes include:

  • Boundaries similar to existing Community Council boundaries.
  • Border changes would be between the current Etobicoke York and Toronto and East York Community Councils in the new Ward 16, and between the current North York and Toronto and East York Community Councils along Eglinton Avenue West and Eglinton Avenue East.
  • The new Toronto and East York Community Council would have 14 wards compared to the current 12.
  • The new North York Community Council would have 12 wards compared to the current 11.
  • The new Etobicoke York Community Council would have 11 wards and the new Scarborough Community Council would have 10, maintaining the same number of wards.

Considerations include:

  • The population of the new Toronto and East York Community Council will grow faster than the other Community Councils. By 2030, its population is forecast to be 17 percent greater than the average of all the Community Councils.
  • The new Toronto and East York Community Council would be responsible for 49 percent of all Community Council agenda items.

 

Option A – Population, agenda item distribution and number of wards

Proposed Community Councils

Population current and forecast
(rounded to the nearest thousand)

Percent of Agenda Items

Number of Wards

2018

2022

2030

Etobicoke York

Wards: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 11, 12, 16, 17

669,000

681,000 718,000 23%

11

North York

Wards: 8, 9, 10, 13, 14, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33

702,000

714,000 747,000 21%

12

Scarborough

Wards: 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47

630,000

637,000 664,000 7%

10

Toronto and East York

Wards: 15, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 34, 35, 36, 37

766,000

813,000 877,000 49%

14

 

To redistribute agenda items equitably, the current Toronto and East York Community Council would be divided into two distinct Community Councils along a north-south line.

 

Option B - Five Community Councils, Distribution of Agenda Items model
Map illustrating Option B, Five Community Councils, Distribution of Agenda Items model available for consideration as a potential option for the City of Toronto’s new Community Councils boundaries.

 

Considerations include:

  • The number of wards in each Community Council would range from 8 to 11.
  • Population differences would be similar to the Minimal Change option (Option A, above) by 2022 but would grow more equal over time.
  • Agenda distribution would be more balanced. CC4 would have 32 percent, and CC3 would have 24 percent of the total agenda items.

 

Option B – Population, agenda item distribution and number of wards

Proposed Community Councils

Population current and forecast
(rounded to the nearest thousand)
Percent of Agenda Items Number of Wards

2018

2022

2030

CC1

Wards: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 11, 12

539,000

549,000 584,000 16%

9

CC2

Wards: 8, 9, 10, 14, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33

644,000

655,000 682,000 20%

11

CC3

Wards: 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 24

467,000

482,000 513,000 24%

8

CC

Wards: 21, 22, 23, 25, 26, 34, 35, 36, 37

488,000

522,000 564,000 32%

9

CC5

Wards: 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47

630,000

637,000 664,000 7%

10

 

This option would introduce a fifth Community Council to balance the populations across the Community Councils. The new Community Council would be created in the centre of the city between the current North York and the current Toronto and East York Community Councils.

 

Option C - Five Community Councils, Population Balance model
Map illustrating Option C, Five Community Councils, Distribution of Population model available for consideration as a potential option for the City of Toronto’s new Community Councils boundaries.

 

Considerations include:

  • Population distribution would be more balanced and the difference between the largest and smallest Community Council would stabilize in 2022.
  • The number of wards in each Community Council will be more balanced than other options. Community Councils 1, 2, and 3 would have 9 wards, and Community Councils 4 and 5 would have 10 wards.
  • One Community Council (CC4) would still be responsible for the greatest share of agenda items (39 percent) in this model.

 

Option C – Population, agenda item distribution and number of wards

Proposed Community Councils

Population current and forecast
(rounded to the nearest thousand)
Percent of Agenda Items Number of Wards
2018 2022

2030

CC1

Wards: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 11, 17

551,000

562,000 596,000 18%

9

CC2

Wards: 8, 9, 10, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32

530,000

539,000 564,000 14%

9

CC3

Wards: 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 26, 33, 34, 35

535,000

542,000 560,000 22%

9

CC4

Wards: 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 36, 37

522,000

565,000 623,000 39%

10

CC5

Wards: 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47

630,000

637,000 664,000 7%

10

 

In addition to the three options proposed in this paper for discussion, five other models were considered. No option or model will fully satisfy all the features for a balanced, lasting and effective Community Council, however, Options A, B, and C satisfy the features better than the other five models outlined below.

Option A – Maintains four Community Councils, with minimal changes to the boundaries of the current Community Councils.

Option B – Establishes five Community Councils and balances agenda distribution by dividing the Toronto and East York Community Council into two separate areas on a north/south line.

Option C – Establishes five Community Councils and balances population distribution by introducing a new Community Council between the current North York and the Toronto and East York Community Councils.

 

Alternative Model 1 – Four Community Councils with Distribution of Population

Alternate Model 1 - Four Community Councils with Distribution of Population
Map illustrating Alternate Model 1 – Four Community Councils with Distribution of Population model reviewed as a potential option for the City of Toronto’s new Community Councils boundaries.

Map illustrating Alternate Model 1 – Four Community Councils with Balanced Population model reviewed as a potential option for the City of Toronto’s new Community Councils boundaries.Statistics:

CC1 – Population (2018-2030) 735,000–786,000, Percent of Agenda Items 25%, Number of Wards 12

CC2 – Population (2018-2030) 706,000–749,000, Percent of Agenda Items 22%, Number of Wards 12

CC3 – Population (2018-2030) 638,000–745,000, Percent of Agenda Items 44%, Number of Wards 12

CC4 – Population (2018-2030) 690,000–726,000, Percent of Agenda Items 9%, Number of Wards 11

 

Alternate Model 2 – Four Community Councils with Distribution of Agenda Items

Alternate Model 2 - Four Community Councils with Distribution of Agenda Items
Map illustrating Alternate Model 2 – Four Community Councils with Distribution of Agenda Items model reviewed as a potential option for the City of Toronto’s new Community Councils boundaries.

Statistics:

CC1 – Population (2018-2030) 735,000–786,000, Percent of Agenda Items 25%, Number of Wards 12

CC2 – Population (2018-2030) 754,000–803,000, Percent of Agenda Items 28%, Number of Wards 13

CC3 – Population (2018-2030) 403,000–500,000, Percent of Agenda Items 33%, Number of Wards 8

CC4 – Population (2018-2030) 876,000–917,000, Percent of Agenda Items 14%, Number of Wards 14

 

Alternate Model 3 – Six Community Councils with Distribution of Population

Alternate Model 3 - ix Community Councils with Distribution of Population
Map illustrating Alternate Model 3 – ix Community Councils with Distribution of Population model reviewed as a potential option for the City of Toronto’s new Community Councils boundaries.

Statistics: 

CC1 – Population (2018-2030) 450,000–481,000, Percent of Agenda Items 11%, Number of Wards 8

CC2 – Population (2018-2030) 446,000–484,000, Percent of Agenda Items 17%, Number of Wards 7

CC3 – Population (2018-2030) 408,000–506,000, Percent of Agenda Items 31%, Number of Wards 8

CC4 – Population (2018-2030) 486,000–511,000, Percent of Agenda Items 17%, Number of Wards 8

CC5 – Population (2018-2030) 473,000–498,000, Percent of Agenda Items 19%, Number of Wards 8

CC6 Population (2018-2030) 505,000–527,000, Percent of Agenda Items 5%, Number of Wards 8

 

Alternate Model 4 – Six Community Councils, Distributed Agenda Items / Balanced Wards

Alternate Model 4 - Six Community Councils, Distributed Agenda Items / Balanced Wards
Map illustrating Alternate Model 4 – Six Community Councils, Distributed Agenda Items / Balanced Wards model reviewed as a potential option for the City of Toronto’s new Community Councils boundaries.

Statistics: 

CC1 – Population (2018-2030) 486,000–529,000, Percent of Agenda Items 14%, Number of Wards 8

CC2 – Population (2018-2030) 453,000–488,000, Percent of Agenda Items 14%, Number of Wards 8

CC3 – Population (2018-2030) 468,000–514,000, Percent of Agenda Items 27%, Number of Wards 8

CC4 – Population (2018-2030) 499,000–521,000, Percent of Agenda Items 11%, Number of Wards 8

CC5 – Population (2018-2030) 428,000–497,000, Percent of Agenda Items 28%, Number of Wards 8

CC6 – Population (2018-2030) 433,000–457,000, Percent of Agenda Items 6%, Number of Wards 7

 

Alternate Model 5 – Six Community Councils Aligned to Historic/Geographic Communities

Alternate Model 5 - Six Community Councils Aligned to Historic/Geographic Communities
Map illustrating Alternate Model 5 – Six Community Councils Aligned to Historic/Geographic Communities model reviewed as a potential option for the City of Toronto’s new Community Councils boundaries.

Statistics: 

CC1 – Population (2018-2030) 369,000–403,000, Percent of Agenda Items 10%, Number of Wards 6

CC2 – Population (2018-2030) 451,000–485,000, Percent of Agenda Items 11%, Number of Wards 8

CC3 – Population (2018-2030) 360,000–379,000, Percent of Agenda Items 15%, Number of Wards 6

CC4 – Population (2018-2030) 587,000–691,000, Percent of Agenda Items 43%, Number of Wards 11

CC5 – Population (2018-2030) 369,000–385,000, Percent of Agenda Items 14%, Number of Wards 6

CC6 – Population (2018-2030) 630,000–664,000, Percent of Agenda Items 7%, Number of Wards 10

Additional Background Documents

Additional Resources