Hamilton's federal ridings have been redrawn, following months of consultation and debate over where the new boundaries should lie.

The changes were put into place by the Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for Ontario.

Hamilton was one of 11 communities in the province to see changes in an effort to rebalance electoral ridings as populations have changed. The new ridings in Hamilton all sit at around 100,000 people.

The new boundaries split Ancaster off from the former Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale riding, which is now called Flamborough-Glanbrook and stretches west towards Grimsby.

The ridings of Hamilton Centre and Hamilton East-Stoney Creek remain mostly the same, with a few small adjustments. The area of Hamilton Centre south of the Niagara Escarpment is now part of the Ancaster riding. The area in Hamilton-East Stoney Creek west of Kenilworth Avenue and south of Burlington Street East is now part of Hamilton Centre.

Hamilton Mountain's boundaries have been chopped down slightly. The area west of Garth Street and north of Rymal Road West is now part of the new Ancaster district, while the area south of Rymal Road will become part of Flamborough-Glanbrook.

Months of discourse

The process of redrawing the ridings began late last summer. The first proposal was similar to the final outcome, but originally faced some criticism.

For one, residents south of Rymal Road who had always been a part of the Hamilton Mountain riding, didn't like the idea of being lumped in with a larger, rural riding.

As well, many in the new Flamborough-Glanbrook (originally named Waterdown-Glanbrook) riding balked at the new borders, according to a release from FEBCO.

"The commission was told that residents of the parts of the electoral districts of Hamilton Centre and Hamilton Mountain assigned to the proposed electoral district have no community of interest or identity with the communities of Ancaster, Dundas and Westdale."

The commission accepted the criticism and went back to the drawing board, but their second proposal faced even harsher criticism from residents and local politicians such as Hamilton Centre MP David Christopherson. It included a riding that spanned from downtown Hamilton to Dundas, something Christopherson said would be harmful to residents.

"Given the challenges that exist in the downtown of Hamilton, someone gets the short end of the stick," Christopherson said at the time.

Eventually, the commission decided that going back to the first option — with a few minor adjustments — would make most residents happy, with the exception of those south of Rymnal Road who wished to be lumped into the Hamilton Mountain riding.

"However, they do constitute a significant community in the rural electoral district to which they have been assigned," the commission stated.