This densely-populated Toronto riding is primarily residential, with
a large number of small businesses.
It extends from Ellesmere Road and Highway 401 in the north to Eglinton
Avenue in the south. In the west, it begins at Victoria Park Avenue
and stretches east to Markham Road.
The region boasts a high ethnic population and has the greatest share
of Tamil speakers in Ontario. It also holds large communities of East
Indian, Italian, Chinese.
Following the 1999 redistribution, the new Scarborough Centre riding
combined 43 per cent of the old Scarborough Centre, 75 per cent of Scarborough-Ellesmere
and 43 per cent of Scarborough West.
In the old riding of Scarborough-Ellesmere, NDP candidate David Warner
won in 1975 and 1977. Tory Alan Robinson defeated Warner in 1981, but
Warner reclaimed the seat in 1985 by a mere 219 votes. In 1987, Liberal
Frank Faubert defeated Warner, who bounced back to reclaim the seat
a second time in 1990. Warner lost for the third and final time to the
current incumbent, Tory Marilyn Mushinski, in 1995.
Other than a single NDP win in 1967, the old riding of Scarborough
Centre was held by Tories from 1963 to 1987, when it fell to Liberal
Cindy Nicholas. The seat went to NDP candidate Steve Owens in 1990,
but returned to the Tories in 1995 when Dan Newman won the riding.
In the old riding of Scarborough West, former NDP leader Stephen Lewis
(1970-78) won elections in 1963, 1967, 1971, 1975 and 1977. NDP candidate
Richard Johnston won the seat in a 1979 by-election, and followed up
with victories in 1985 and 1987. The NDP's Anne Swarbrick secured the
riding in 1990. Tory James Brown won in 1995.