Toronto’s easternmost ward includes a great deal of green space in addition to its residential neighbourhoods and educational centres (it’s the home of the U of T’s Scarborough campus and a Centennial College campus). The ward is more heavily English-speaking and more affluent than Toronto as a whole: 64% of homes are single-detached houses (compared to 27% in the city at large) and 85% of homes are owned (while the Toronto-wide average is 54%). Ward 44 is also relatively family-oriented, with a higher than average proportion of families with children.
Development is highest on the list of local concerns. Though some projects are generally welcome, such as the expansion of U of T—including facility upgrades sparked by Toronto’s winning bid for the Pan American Games—others are causing some anxiety. Residents are somewhat worried about intensification and the loss of green space, and managing growth has been and will almost certainly continue to be the biggest ballot issue.
This year’s council race is in many ways a rematch of 2006, with current councillor Ron Moeser running against primary challenger Diana Hall once again. Moeser defeated Hall by just sixty-one votes last time around; Hall registered to run back in January, the very day nominations opened, and is expected to mount a strong challenge again this year.