Ward Boundary Review

Consultation has concluded

Update: The Oshawa Ward Boundaries for the 2018 elections have been chosen

At a Special Council Meeting on Thursday, June 15, Council received the final recommendations report concerning the Oshawa Ward Boundary Review from the Consultant Team of Watson and Associates Economists Ltd. and Dr. Robert Williams.

The final report recommended two ward boundary options for consideration, both of which aligned with the guiding principles underlying the review, and received the majority of support from residents who participated in the community consultation process.

Following several delegations from the public and debate amongst members, Council selected the following ward boundary layout as follows:Image of the new City of Oshawa wards that will be used in the 2018 municipal elections.

  • Rural Oshawa, the community of Taunton and emerging urban growth areas in Kedron and Columbus are represented under Proposed Ward 1, which is bound, by Highway 407, Ritson Road and Taunton Road to the south.
  • Ward 2 extends from Highway 407 to Rossland Road west of Ritson Road and includes the communities of Windfields, Northwood, Samac, Northglen and the majority of Centennial.
  • Ward 3 extends from Taunton Road to Olive Avenue east of Ritson Road and Wilson Road and includes the communities of Pinecrest, Eastdale and the northern portion of Donevan.
  • The communities of McLaughlin and O'Neill, northern areas of Vanier and Central as well as Downtown Oshawa are included in Proposed Ward 4, which extends north-south from Rossland Road to Gibb Street/Olive Avenue west of Wilson Road.
  • Ward 5 extends south from Gibb Street and Olive Avenue.

The goal strives to achieve reasonable population equality in 2017, which will encourage a more favourable ward balance by 2026.

Information Icon View the City of Oshawa Oshawa ward boundary review - final recommendations report now.

Further information on the review, including reports, presentations and other important items are available on the City's website at www.oshawa.ca/owbr.

If you have a question about the Oshawa Ward Boundary Review, please submit it below.

Update: The Oshawa Ward Boundaries for the 2018 elections have been chosen

At a Special Council Meeting on Thursday, June 15, Council received the final recommendations report concerning the Oshawa Ward Boundary Review from the Consultant Team of Watson and Associates Economists Ltd. and Dr. Robert Williams.

The final report recommended two ward boundary options for consideration, both of which aligned with the guiding principles underlying the review, and received the majority of support from residents who participated in the community consultation process.

Following several delegations from the public and debate amongst members, Council selected the following ward boundary layout as follows:Image of the new City of Oshawa wards that will be used in the 2018 municipal elections.

  • Rural Oshawa, the community of Taunton and emerging urban growth areas in Kedron and Columbus are represented under Proposed Ward 1, which is bound, by Highway 407, Ritson Road and Taunton Road to the south.
  • Ward 2 extends from Highway 407 to Rossland Road west of Ritson Road and includes the communities of Windfields, Northwood, Samac, Northglen and the majority of Centennial.
  • Ward 3 extends from Taunton Road to Olive Avenue east of Ritson Road and Wilson Road and includes the communities of Pinecrest, Eastdale and the northern portion of Donevan.
  • The communities of McLaughlin and O'Neill, northern areas of Vanier and Central as well as Downtown Oshawa are included in Proposed Ward 4, which extends north-south from Rossland Road to Gibb Street/Olive Avenue west of Wilson Road.
  • Ward 5 extends south from Gibb Street and Olive Avenue.

The goal strives to achieve reasonable population equality in 2017, which will encourage a more favourable ward balance by 2026.

Information Icon View the City of Oshawa Oshawa ward boundary review - final recommendations report now.

Further information on the review, including reports, presentations and other important items are available on the City's website at www.oshawa.ca/owbr.

If you have a question about the Oshawa Ward Boundary Review, please submit it below.

CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.
  • Is this ward review considering things other than electoral representation? This is a great opportunity to help move away from the southend vs northend 'Shwa mentality by replacing ward 7 and the lakefront ward with strip wards.

    Mike A asked over 1 year ago

    The purpose of the ward boundary review is ensure residents and their views are represented effectively on Council.  This will be accomplished by way of electoral boundaries that will be used when electing representatives to Oshawa City Council.  Unfortunately matters beyond the establishment of ward boundaries are out of scope and will not be addressed by the project.

  • i voted for wards. it is much easier to know who to contact on city council when u have wards... i would be in favor of returning to old system and previous wards..

    paula asked almost 2 years ago

    Thank you for your comment. The 2018 Municipal Elections will be conducted using the new boundaries currently being developed as part of the City’s Ward Boundary Review. Preliminary boundary options are anticipated in March. We invite you to stay tuned and encourage you to participate in the 2nd round of community consultation that will start in late March.





  • I live in O'Neil and the boundary goes south of Adelaide but I don't associate the area south of Adelaide as part of my neighborhood because of many fundamental differences. Will the review take into consideration the public's opinion on ward boundary alterations such as this?

    about 2 years ago

    One of the principle challenges associated with crafting boundaries is determining how individual communities  within Oshawa can be combined in ways that ensure effective representation on City Council. The principles contained in the Terms of Reference will serve to guide the drafting of potential boundaries; however consultation and feedback from the public is also an important component of the Ward Boundary Review because no one knows the City’s neighbourhoods better than the individuals who live within them. Your opinion and observations are important and we invite you to share more information on why you feel the area south of Adelaide does not necessarily fit within the broader O’Neill community. Your comments will be shared with the Consultants who will take them into consideration when crafting potential ward boundary options.


  • Are strip wards really being considered in this ward boundary review?

    helloandymac asked about 2 years ago

    No particular layout is being recommended or ruled out at this point in time.  Potential ward boundaries will only be drafted after consulting with the community and will be subject to another round of public consultation.  The preliminary boundaries will seek to balance the competing principles identified within the Terms of Reference while respecting the feedback provided by the public.  It may or may not be possible for strip wards to establish a system that effectively represents the City’s residents; however rejecting any potential layout from the outset would be inappropriate and lack respect for the process and any input the City’s residents may have to offer.

  • As the individual ratepayer chiefly responsible for petitioning for ward elections, first winning them in a 21 day hearing i presented to the OMB and opposed by the city in the mid 80's and having to duplicate my efforts to return them to the city concluding with this current fight, which included appeals to the ontario election commissioner for a fairer question to counter city wide advertising to every household explaining to voters that they got 11 votes for city council under the general vote and only 3 votes in a ward election system including publicly expressed support for strip wards by the mayor and other council members. Please note i will appeal any such non-acceptible ward definitions to the OMB. I would be pleased to meet with the ward system consultants upon request. Please provide me with dates, times, and locations of all public consultation meetings regarding this issue. Please confirm this request has been received. Bill Longworth 905 579 3971

    bill longworth asked about 2 years ago

    Thank you for your question. The public consultation sessions have not yet been scheduled; however the City’s Ward Boundary Review webpage is updated regularly and will include information on the proposed dates, times and locations for the sessions once they have been established.





  • What is a ward?

    about 2 years ago

    A ward is a defined area established within the City and is used to elect representatives to City Council.

  • Why are the boundaries changing?

    about 2 years ago

    The City does not currently have any ward boundaries. The 2010 and 2014 elections were conducted using an at-large voting system where all electors had an opportunity to vote for every candidate seeking an office on City Council. In 2018 Oshawa will return to ward elections which requires the establishment of new boundaries. The ward boundary review will account for significant population growth and development that has occurred since the last ward boundary review was conducted in 2005 and ensure that each individual resident is effectively represented on City Council.

  • How often do ward boundary reviews take place?

    about 2 years ago

    Ward boundary reviews are not mandatory in Ontario. They occur when there are planned changes to the way Councillors are elected (such as in 2016 in Oshawa) or where significant growth has occurred in the municipality.  The current ward boundary review is expected to establish boundaries that will be used until the next review is conducted, expected after the 2022 municipal election.

  • The next election is less than two years away. Why was the ward boundary review not started sooner?

    about 2 years ago

    The Region of Durham committed to a review of the composition of Regional Council during this term.  The outcome of this review was unknown, but it was clear that it could have an impact on the number of representatives from Oshawa on Regional Council and potentially the number of wards established for use in Oshawa's elections.  For this reason it made sense to wait until the Region's review was complete.  We are now reasonably confident that the number of Oshawa representatives will be reduced from eight to six and have now started the process to establish the new boundaries to be used in the 2018 elections.

  • Why is Oshawa moving back to a ward system?

    about 2 years ago

    Following a question on the 2014 municipal election ballot, 72 per cent of those who voted requested a switch back to a ward system. Oshawa has been using an at-large system since a 2006 question saw more than 60 per cent of those who voted request a move away from the ward system, which had been in place since 1985.

    City Council was not bound to move back to the ward system because less than 50 per cent of eligible voters turned out for the 2014 referendum. However, Council made it clear they were listening to those who did show up, and passed a motion in December 2014 to initiate the switch back to wards.

  • Will the new wards be in effect for the 2018 municipal elections?

    about 2 years ago

    According to the Municipal Act, the City must establish new ward boundaries and resolve any appeals before the end of 2017 for the boundaries to be effective for the 2018 election. The proposed timetable for the ward boundary review will ensure that the new ward system is in place ahead of that deadline.

  • How much will the ward boundary review cost?

    about 2 years ago

    The process has an estimated budget of $75,000 and has been included in the 2016 operating budget. The City has hired the partnership of Watson and Associates Economists and Dr. Robert Williams to complete the review. The consultants will operate independently from Council and City staff as they work with residents and other stakeholders to develop new ward boundaries.

  • What are the criteria used to create boundaries?

    about 2 years ago

    The Terms of Reference (see Report CORP-16-14) contain five principles intended to guide the ward boundary review and the development of Oshawa's future ward boundaries. These principles draw on the Supreme Court's Carter decision, decisions from the Ontario Municipal Board as they concern ward boundaries, as well as lessons learned from ward boundary reviews conducted by other municipalities in Ontario. The five principles are:

    • Effective representation
    • Protection of communities of interest and neighbourhoods
    • Representation by population
    • Current and future population trends
    • Physical features as natural boundaries

  • What are the responsibilities of the consultants?

    about 2 years ago

    Watson & Associates Economists Ltd. (Watson & Associates) and Dr. Robert J. Williams bring together extensive experience related to population forecasting, growth modelling, electoral system evaluations and ward boundary designs from across the Province and beyond. The consultants are responsible for:

    • Research

    • Public consultation

    • Formulation of options

    • Final report and recommendations


    Watson & Associates Economists Ltd.

    Watson & Associates is one of Canada's leading land economics firms, known for their quality of analysis and insightful interpretation of the issues at hand.  Watson & Associates has served municipalities, school boards, Provincial Ministries/agencies throughout Ontario for more than 30 years.  Over this time period, the firm has undertaken numerous studies related to housing and population forecasting, growth management studies and ward boundary reviews. 


    Dr. Robert Williams 

    Dr. Williams is an independent consultant who had been a faculty member in the Department of Political Science, University of Waterloo until his early retirement at the end of 2006. He has extensive research and teaching experience in the fields of municipal government and Ontario politics, and has participated in ward boundary reviews in about twenty Ontario municipalities, most recently working with Watson and Associates in the City of Hamilton, the Town of Milton, the Town of Georgina and the Township of Severn.