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How Toronto voted

In 2010, Toronto voted for its new mayor, Rob Ford, like so:

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It was basically the core of the city (old Toronto) versus all of the boroughs. And it was perfect ammunition for anyone who believed that Toronto’s amalgamation was a mistake. (I personally don’t think it was.)

Yesterday, Toronto did better.

While we’re still a divided city — with Etobicoke and Scarborough largely remaining loyal to Ford Nation — we’re not quite as divided as we were 4 years ago:

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However, there is one thing that Torontonians did largely agree on last night: the next mayor should be white and male. And this got the Guardian Cities out of the UK asking why one of the most multicultural cities on the planet (apparently we’re third behind Luxembourg City and Dubai), continues to elect middle-aged white guys.

Now, I’m not a fan of the article. And I take offence to the way Toronto is portrayed. But it did get me thinking. And I thought it would be interesting to see how some of Toronto’s demographic data overlays on top of these election maps.

Looking at 2006 census data (2011 isn’t available in map form yet), here is a map showing the total number of visible minorities broken down by census tract. The darker the red the more visible minorities.

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And here is a map showing immigrants as a percentage of the population. Again, the darker the red, the higher the percentage.

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What should be apparent from these maps is that Ford Nation is actually, in some ways, immigrant and visible minority nation. In the above map, the darkest red areas indicate that immigrants represent anywhere from 65-80% of the population. That’s a significant number.

So why didn’t this group vote for the Hong Kong-born Olivia Chow? It’s because she wasn’t telling them the right story. Rob and Doug Ford, on the other hand, were.

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