City council votes to increase number of wards to 47

City council voted Wednesday to increase the number of wards in Toronto by three, taking the total number to 47.

Motion approved with vote of 28-13; mayor votes against increase

Toronto Mayor John Tory voted against a plan to increase the number of wards from 44 to 47. "I don't think we need more politicians at city hall," he said Wednesday. City council voted 28-13 to approve the plan. (CBC News)

City council voted Wednesday to increase the number of wards in Toronto by three, taking the total number to 47.

Councillors approved the motion by a margin of 28-13, with Mayor John Tory voting against the increase.

"I don't think we need more politicians at city hall," Tory told reporters ahead of the vote. "I think that there's a way in which you can deal with some of the wards that have grown a great deal and provide good service to people and good representation without increasing the number of politicians."

The move would add three new wards in the downtown area, along with one in North York and remove the existing Ward 18, currently represented by Coun. Ana Bailão.

It's a recommendation that came from a consulting group in May that proposed each councilor represent about 61,000 people on average. 

The increase follows growing disparity in the growth rates across the city's 44 existing wards in recent years. Heavy condominium development downtown and in Willowdale, near Yonge and Finch, has pushed the populations of some wards close to 90,000.