This Toronto riding is home to a large working-class population and
has one of the lowest average family incomes in the province.
It runs from Highway 401 in the north to the CP Rail line in the south.
In the west, it starts at the Humber River and stretches east to the
CN Rail lines.
This are is very multicultural riding, with an immigrant population
of more than 51 per cent. It includes people of Italian, Chinese, Vietnamese,
East Indian, Caribbean and African backgrounds.
In the 1999 redistribution, the new riding of York South-Weston combined
in a fragment of High Park-Swansea with 48 per cent of Lawrence and
79 per cent of York South.
In the old riding of York South, Donald C. MacDonald won for the CCF
in 1955 and 1959, then as a New Democrat in 1963, 1967, 1971, 1975 and
1977. MacDonald became leader of the CCF in 1953, and was elected the
first leader of the renamed NDP in October 1961. He was leader until
MacDonald resigned his seat in July 1982 to create a vacancy for Bob
Rae, who had become the NDP's new leader. Rae won the byelection and
was reelected in 1985, 1987 and 1990, when he was sworn in as premier.
In 1995, Rae won the seat again, but his party lost the election, and
he resigned in January 1996. Liberal Gerard Kennedy won the seat in
the byelection that followed.