This downtown Toronto riding is one of extremes, with a wealthy enclave
situated in its centre and densely populated apartments, public housing
projects and gentrified older neighbourhoods to the north and south.
According to the 1996 census, it also boasts Ontario's highest average
The riding extends from Mount Pleasant Cemetery in the north to the
Toronto Harbour in the south. In the west, it begins at University Avenue/Avenue
Road, and stretches east to the Don River.
The riding includes Canada's first public housing project, Regent Park,
and is home to one of the largest gay and lesbian communities in Canada.
With 31 per cent of its population having university degrees, it ranks
as the second highest in the province for education.
In the 1999 redistribution, the new Toronto Centre-Rosedale combined
33 per cent of the old Fort York riding with 16 per cent of St. Andrew-St.
Patrick and most of St. George-St. David.
With nine candidates running in the last election, the competitive
nature of this riding is borne out in the region's history, where close
elections have been the norm.
Tory Margaret Scrivener won the riding of St. David in 1971, 1975,
1977 and 1981. In 1985, Liberal Ian Scott defeated Tory Julian Porter.
In the old riding of St. George-St. David, Liberal Ian Scott (the incumbent
from St. George) defeated Tory Susan Fish (the incumbent from St. David)
in 1987. Scott was re-elected in 1990 by just 72 votes. He resigned
in 1993, forcing a byelection that was won by Liberal Tim Murphy. In
1995 Murphy lost the seat to Tory Al Leach by just 337 votes.
In the old riding of Fort York, Liberal Bob Wong defeated NDP candidate
Joe Pantalone in 1987 by 137 votes. The NDP's Rosario Marchese defeated
Wong in 1990 and 1995.