Leaside takes lead role in ward boundary review

Leasiders will be sticking together when Toronto’s new ward boundaries come into effect in 2018 or 2022.

And they’ll have themselves to thank for that, Beate Bowron, lead planner for the city’s boundary review project, told Streeter.

“Early in the public process, the residents of Leaside expressed concern that some of the options were dividing Leaside,” she said. The importance of keeping Leaside and other communities united was a key reason the boundary review team recommended dividing the city into 47 wards instead of Mayor John Tory’s — and Ward 26 Councillor Jon Burnside’s — preferred 44.

“We always knew that the 47-ward option was better in terms of the number of communities that it kept together,” Beate said.

Leaside Property Owners’ Association co-president Geoff Kettel was among residents who contacted eview team when Leaside was at risk of being divided. He said the LPOA was pleased once it was made clear Leaside would remain whole.

“Our key goal was that Leaside not be divided, and that was achieved,” he said.

For his part, Burnside emphasized he supported the 47-ward option that city council favoured 28-13 in a Nov. 8 vote.

“I took my cue from the community,” he said. “In an ideal world there would have been fewer councillors, not more, but any workable configuration would have split Leaside in two.”

Lots of neighbourhoods in Toronto claim community status “but Leaside was one of the few that was actually its own town,” he added.

The new version of Ward 26 will incorporate Leaside, Thorncliffe Park, and Flemingdon Park.

Wynford Heights will likely become part of the new Ward 34, currently represented by Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong, Burnside said.