Finally, the new proposed boundaries for Ontario are out, and this commission has changed so much, yet so little at the same time. But here they are now, and first up that I'll be looking at will be the City of Toronto proper, which has gone from 23 ridings (22 if you don't include Pickering-Scarborough East), to 25 ridings, adding two new ones.
Seeing the full resolution is best, as you can see every line clearly. But from a cursory glance, you may notice that there are quite a few ridings that haven't changed, or haven't changed all that much, I'll go over these quickly:
Etobicoke North, Etobicoke Centre, Etobicoke-Lakeshore: All three Etobicoke rides stick to the old boundaries of the city, that is the western border to the Humber River. Little has changed except that Etobicoke North gains a small slice of Etobicoke Centre, and Etobicoke Centre gains a small slice of Etobicoke-Lakeshore. Nothing groundbreaking enough to switch incumbencies, however, and in fact it probably strengthens both North and Centre's repsective incumbents (Liberal Kirsty Duncan and Con Ted Optiz).
York West, York Centre, York South-Weston: The three "Yorks" more or less retain their shape, and York West quite literally does, saving Liberal Judy Sgro any headaches. York Centre loses a northern community called Bayview Woods to the redesigned Willowdale riding, but retains its shape everywhere else, though its more Liberal by virtue of losing more Conservative polls, just not enough for any dramatic change. York South-Weston has the eastern edge of the riding chopped of, moving the border from the rail line to Keele St, and in the process losing Liberal areas. NDPer Mike Sullivan would be safe here.
Parkdale-High Park, Davenport, Trinity-Spadina: These three core ridings are all NDP strongholds now, and will remain as such. Parkdale-High Park doesn't change at all, while Davenport gains some new areas that are a little more Liberal/Conservative friendly, and loses some more NDP friendly areas. I just don't think MP Andrew Cash will have an issue, given the pounding he gave us in 2011. Trinity-Spadina sees its northern half cut off and given to St. Paul's, but it remains an NDP riding all the same, so there's no concern over it, or for Olivia Chow.
Toronto-Danforth, Beaches-East York: Neither of these ridings change, ensuring Craig Scott and whoever the no-name NDP MP occupying Maria Minna's old seat probably can expect familiar fights.
Scarborough-Agincourt, Scarborough Centre, Scarborough Southwest, Scarborough-Guildwood: While these ridings see a lot of shifting borders, none of the shifts are so major as to make the game any different from 2011. Agincourt is still a strong Liberal hold, Southwest retains all of its NDP strongholds, while Centre and Guildwood, three-way fights to begin with, will remain as such.
Now lets get down to some of the changes, starting with the core ridings.
St. Paul's: Carolyn Bennett's riding has changed, and not in her favour. The riding, which is a Liberal stronghold, got a significant remodeling after cropping out all of the riding east of Avenue Rd - which the strongest Liberal area of the riding, leaving it with starkly-divided western half of the riding, split between the Conservative Forest Hill area and, well, the rest. Then the commission took away the northern part of Trinity-Spadina, namely The Annex, and added in this huge area that has voted NDP for a very long time, plus some other NDP polls from Davenport.
What St. Paul's has been left with is a three-way race where each party has strongholds. There is also the possibility that Bennett could get the support of the NDP in The Annex, who no longer have Olivia Chow to vote for; but if the NDP had the right candidate, it would no be an easy fight for Carolyn.
Mount Pleasant: But then there's Mount Pleasant, which combines the best areas for Liberals from St. Paul's with some of the best areas for Liberals from Toronto Centre, into a nice fairly-sure-to-go-Liberal riding, the first of our two new ridings we'll be dicussing. While the Conservatives are going to have a strong presence - they dogged Bob Rae and his predecessors in Rosedale, an affluent community in the north of Toronto Centre - its probably not to counteract the good Liberal lean to this riding. Its a question of who would run here though - Carolyn Bennett, who could claim legitimately that part of her riding is here, or Bob Rae, who could claim the same thing. That is, if Rae runs again; if he doesn't, I'd actually suggest that Bennett set up shop in this riding, its more of a sure bet.
Toronto Centre: This is essentially the southern half of the current riding, and its a lot more NDP than the northern part. While the Liberals had a strong presence here in 2011, its make-up is more like Trinity-Spadina's than Mount Pleasant's. It could be a tossup, though I suspect any transposition of the votes would show an NDP win.
Let's move up north to Don Valley and area.
Toronto North: This is essentially Don Valley West with a new shine, and shifted over slightly. Gone are the Liberal polls that were east of Wilket Creek and Leslie St, essentially the Don Mills and East York portions of the riding. Added in is the Conservative-leaning community of Bedford Park from Eglinton-Lawrence. Its still a Conservative riding, and it's still probably close - but not as close as it was. Still a winnable riding for the Liberals, though, but it'll take more work.
Don Valley East: DVE has gone through some changes, seeing its northern area, north of the 401, cut off, and the addition of all the areas that DVW lost.Thus the riding has gotten slightly more Liberal than it was before, meaning that Yasmin Ratansi, if she runs again, would probably have an easier time of it if she ran. The NDP presence is also cut down slightly with the loss of the northern polls.
Don Valley North: Speaking of northern polls, we come to our second new riding. DVN is a very square riding; its borders are Steeles in the north, Hwy 401 in the south, Bayview to the west, and Victoria Park to the east. It's also hard to say what way this riding will go; it has a large Liberal area in both sections, though the Conservatives are pretty standard throughout, and the NDP have a somewhat bigger presence too. I'm hesitant to say it, but I think it'd end up as a barely-Liberal riding once the transposition is done. Either way, its a good target for us.
Willowdale: Willowdale has been shunted over to the west and taken in part of York Centre, a small mostly-Conservative community called Bayview Woods. However there are quite a few Liberal polls in the newly defined riding, and I'd say its profile as a strict Liberal-Con fight is retained, very similar to the old Willowdale.
Eglinton-Lawrence: Natural Resource Minister Joe Oliver's riding
has changed slightly, gaining Liberal areas from York South-Weston on
its western half, and losing Conservative polls on its eastern flank.
While this may make the riding a little more competitive, Oliver had a
hefty lead in 2011 and I doubt it'll change much for him.
Scarborough North: This is the successor riding, sort of, to Scarborough-Rouge Park, though it no longer contains the Park, but I believe it retains most of its population. However, for once its the NDP at a loss here; quite a few polls that went NDP in big ways east of Neilson are now gone, leaving Scarborough North shrunken, and now more Conservative and Liberal than it was before. The addition of a few Scarborough-Agincourt polls that tilted heavily towards these parties as well doesn't help the situation for the NDP, and I have to wonder whether or not Rathika Sitsabaesian will still run here, when she can run in our final riding.
Scarborough East: Finally, Scarborough East isn't sharing itself with Pickering! This area, which voted mostly for Liberal Dan McTeague in 2011, though it has some strong Conservative areas, plus additional Conservative polls from Scarborough-Guildwood, will be an interesting counterweight to its new northern companion area. The communities just to the west of Rouge Park voted NDP, or at least voted for Rathika Sitsabaesian, heavily in 2011. Its not out of line to say that Sitsabaesian could run in this riding, facing off against what would be strong challenges from either the Liberals or Conservatives (I have a feeling that Pickering-Scarborough East's current MP, Corneliu Chisu, probably won't run here if he has a choice). Then again, she faced the same thing in 2011 and won handily....
And thats my round-up, I'll be taking a look at Halton/Peel next, where the real fun beings.