This riding, located just north of Toronto, encompasses both vast stretches
of farmland and more populated, industrial areas.
The riding extends from Steeles Avenue in the south to King Township
in the north. It stretches from the town of Aurora in the northeast
to the city of Vaughan in south.
This riding is as diverse as it is large, including bungalows in the
northeast section to the multi-million dollar estates of King Township
in the west.
At 87 per cent, this riding has the second highest level of home ownership
in Ontario. It also has 44 per cent of residents identifying themselves
as Italian, the highest number in the province.
In the 1999 redistribution, the new riding Vaughan-King-Aurora combined
more than one third of York Centre with 44 per cent of York-Mackenzie.
In the former riding of York Centre, the reign of Liberals Donald Deacon
(1967-75) and Alf Stong (1975-81) was ended when Tory Don Cousens beat
Stong in 1981; Cousens was was re-elected in 1985. In 1987, Liberal
Greg Sorbara (the incumbent from York North) won the seat in a landslide
over Tory Doug Mason. Sorbara was reelected in 1990, but left politics
for the private sector in 1995. Tory Al Palladini won in 1995 and 1999,
but died shortly after shedding his cabinet post in 2001. In the resulting
by-election, Sorbara returned to reclaim the riding for the Liberals.
Conservatives have long held sway in the old riding of York-Mackenzie,
stretching back to Alex Mackenzie, who won in 1945, 1948, 1951, 1955,
1959 and 1963. Fellow Tory Bill Hodgson won in 1967, 1971, 1975, 1977
and 1981. Liberal Greg Sorbara won in 1985, but moved on to run in York
Centre in 1987. Liberal Charles Beer won the riding in 1987 and was
re-elected in 1990. Beer lost to Tory Frank Klees in 1995; Klees was
re-elected in the new riding of Oak Ridges in 1999.