This riding, located north of Toronto, has seen a growth period in recent
years and now stands as the province's second most populous riding.
Its borders run from the town of Whitchurch-Stouffville in the north,
to the part of Markham (north of 16th Avenue) in the south, with Richmond
Hill forming the southwest corner. Italian and Chinese make up the largest
ethnic communities and manufacturing and retail trade are the main employers.
As a result of the 1999 redistribution, Oak Ridges combined 20 per
cent of Durham York, 40 per cent of York Centre and a small portion
After serving in surrounding ridings since 1959, PC Bill Newman was
elected in Durham North in 1975 and Durham-York in 1977. Tory Ross Stevenson
won Durham-York in 1981 and 1985, losing the seat to Liberal Bill Balinger
in 1987. NDP candidate Larry O'Connor won here in 1990, only to lose
the seat in 1995 to Tory Julia Munro by a margin of 16,970 votes.
In the old York Centre riding, Liberal Donald Deacon won in 1967 and
1971, followed by Liberal Alf Stong in 1975 and 1977. Tory Don Cousens
defeated Stong in 1981 and won re-election in 1985. Greg Sorbara reclaimed
the seat for the Liberals in 1987 and held on to it in 1990. Al Palladini
won the riding for the Tories in 1995.