Part of the provincial electoral district since 1999, York South-Weston has for the most part remained a Liberal riding.
Comprised of working-class residents and newcomers, it encompasses the southwestern portion of the former City of North York, and a part of the old City of Toronto, just north of High Park.
Born in Taranto, Italy, Liberal incumbent Laura Albanese was a broadcast journalist for more than two decades before entering politics. Albanese was first elected in 2007 and has been in office ever since. She garnered more than 47 per cent of the vote with almost 15,770 votes — compared to the NDP’s Paul Ferreira’s 12,200 during the last election in 2014.
PC candidate Mark DeMontis, a broadcaster and entrepreneur, was diagnosed with Leber’s hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON) resulting in vision loss, but it inspired his advocacy work. He is the president of the LHON research foundation.
NDP candidate Hassan is also a former broadcaster. The local resident is a published author who serves on the board of the Weston King Neighbourhood Centre.
During an all-candidates meeting hosted by several community groups, residents’ questions focused on what candidates — Albanese, Hassan, Green candidate Grad Murray, and Libertarian Bonnie Hu — would do, if elected, for constituents of York South-Weston. The issues that were top of mind included child care, health care, housing, jobs and immigration — the same issues that presented themselves while candidates were canvassing, they pointed out.
Bounded by the Humber River east to Hwy. 401 south along the Canadian National Railway, the riding includes the area west of Caledonia Rd., west along Rogers Rd., southeast on Old Weston Rd., west along Lavender Rd., south to Keele St. and southeast along the CNR/CPR railway.
Prior to the redistribution that created York South-Weston, the old York South riding was held by former premier Bob Rae from 1982 to 1996. Liberal Gerard Kennedy won the byelection that followed Rae’s resignation that January.