Candidates look to new issues for condo dwellers in popular ridings

Condo-heavy downtown ridings can be quite a challenge as candidates battle for a stronghold in new, ever-changing or hard-to-reach neighbourhoods.
Candidates face challenges in trying to make contact with voters living in towering condos. 2:32

Condo-heavy downtown ridings can be quite a challenge as candidates battle for a stronghold in new, ever-changing or hard-to-reach neighbourhoods. 

Trinity-Spadina is considered an important riding that the New Democrats have held onto, but one that the Liberals have their eye on.

NDP incumbent Rosario Marchese knows that the riding is filled with condos where new owners and renters have often lived for less than a year, so canvassing can be harder than in other neighbourhoods.

"You apply a variety of strategies to meet renters and condo owners," he said from a farmer’s market near the condos at Fort York.

The turnover in condo buildings can be quite high, but there's another issue for canvassers.

"There is constant movement of people which makes it difficult for us and secondly, it's hard to get in," he said.

Progressive Conservative candidate Roberta Scott said that she's been in most of the buildings in the last three decades, but as a paramedic.

"I know there's a lot of cynicism about politics, but I'm not a career politician, I'm just a paramedic, I'm a mother, I'm someone who really cares and wants to make a difference," she said.

Scott added that the issues for condo residents are the same as everyone else's: jobs, health care, education and getting to work — the latter issue often seen as a particular challenge in that riding.

"It's by far the most popular topic I hear at the door, transit, an express bus and also bike lanes."

Han Dong, the Liberal candidate, said while knocking on many doors at houses and condos, he's heard a lot of the same major concerns for the area.

"Transit and the infrastructure problems that we have down here, there's so much traffic," Dong said. "This is killing our neighbourhood — transit and making sure there are enough amenities for everyone's needs."

Marchese has held this seat since 1999. However, in the last election, he won by a margin of about 1,000 votes. 

With a report from the CBC's Stephanie Matteis