Here are 11 ridings in Ontario to watch on election day

Much of the Ontario election campaign period has been spent talking about what the party leaders are saying and where they have been travelling—but there are also some local races that are heating up.

Here are 11 ridings to watch on election day:

Vaughan-Woodridge

Where is this riding?

This riding is found in York Region and encompasses a large section of Vaughan west of Highway 400 and south of Major Mackenzie Drive.

Why is it notable?

Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca is hoping to reclaim the seat in his home riding after losing it to the Progressive Conservatives in 2018. Del Duca is the only party leader who has not had a seat in the legislature this past term and the polls have indicated it will be a close call with PC incumbent Michael Tibollo.

Parry-Sound Muskoka

Where is this riding?

The riding is in the heart of cottage country and encompasses much of Parry Sound and Muskoka, including Huntsville, Bracebridge and Gravenhurst.

Why is it notable?

Parry-Sound Muskoka is the only riding other than Guelph where a Green Party candidate is picking up ground. The sitting MPP for this riding, PC Norm Miller, is not running as an incumbent and the Liberals dropped their candidate after learning of a book he published with scientifically baseless views on homosexuality.

Don Valley West

Where is this riding?

Don Valley West is an expansive riding that starts at Highway 401 and continues south until the Don River, flanked by Yonge and Leslie streets. It’s considered one of the wealthiest areas in the province and encompasses York University’s Glendon Campus and Sunnybrook Health Centre.

Why is it notable?

Former Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne has held the riding since 2003, including in 2018 when she was ousted as premier. She is not running in this year’s election, paving the way for some new blood. Running in her place for the Liberals is Stephanie Bowman, who used to serve on the board for the Bank of Canada. She will be running against former Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders, who threw his hat into the ring under the PC banner.

Hamilton Stoney Creek

Where is this riding?

This Hamilton riding consists primarily of the Stoney Creek neighbourhood, north of the Niagara escarpment. It’s an economically diverse riding with agriculture, industry and tourism.

Why is it notable?

Incumbent Paul Miller has held the seat since 2007 for the NDP, but was ousted from the party in March and is now running as an independent. The NDP said Miller was thrown out of the party because, in the vetting process, it was discovered he was a member of an alleged Islamophobic Facebook group. Miller has said the allegations are false and that he is not responsible for that social media platform. The PCs are running football star Neil Lumsden in the riding while 12-year city councillor Jason Farr is hoping to win for the Liberals.

York South-Weston

Where is this riding?

This riding is located in Toronto’s west end bordered by Highway 401, Humber River, Connie Street and the Canadian Pacific Railway. It was a diverse population with a mix of middle-income and low-income housing.

Why is it notable?

Toronto city councillor Michael Ford, who is also the nephew of Doug Ford, is running as a PC candidate in this riding. He is facing off against NDP incumbent Faislal Hassan, who won in 2018 with 36.1 per cent of the votes compared to the PC’s 33 per cent.

Brampton North

Where is this riding?

This Peel Region riding encompasses Brampton and a bit of Dufferin-Caledon and is comprised of primarily middle and upper-middle income populations in residential neighbourhoods.

Why is it notable?

Just before the writ was issued the NDP incumbent for this riding lost his party’s nomination bid to Sandeep Singh, a marketing director with little experience in politics. He will be running against Harinder Malhi, who was the Liberal MPP for Brampton–Springdale between 2014 and 2018, and PC Graham McGregor. The NDP narrowly beat out the PCs in 2018 in Brampton North by a mere 1.2 percentage points.

Eglinton Lawrence

Where is this riding?

Eglinton Lawrence is bordered by Highway 401, Yonge Street, Eglinton Avenue and the Canadian National Railway.

Why is it notable?

The riding of Eglinton Lawrence was a Liberal stronghold until the 2018 general election. Liberal Mike Colle had served as MPP from 1999 to 2018 when he was ousted by the PC candidate in a very close race. Incumbent Robin Martin won with 40.4 per cent of the votes in the last election compared to Colle’s 38.4 per cent.

Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte

Where is this riding?

The riding is in Simcoe County and encompasses parts of Barrie, Springwater and Oro Medonte.

Why is it notable?

Long-time Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman is running as a Liberal candidate against PC incumbent and Attorney General Doug Downey. While Downey won handily in 2018, Lehman is rather popular in the region, having won three terms in a row. The riding has often flip flopped between Liberals and Progressive Conservative representation.

Ottawa West—Nepean

Where is this riding?

The riding encompasses much of western Ottawa and Nepean, bordered by the Ottawa River. A number of tech giants are located in this riding and the population primarily has an above average family income.

Why is it notable?

The PCs won this riding over the NDP by a mere 175 votes in 2018 and are hoping to maintain the seat. Incumbent Jeremy Roberts will once again face off with NDP Chandra Pasma this year in a riding that has historically oscillated between the PCs and the Liberals.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell

Where is this riding?

This riding is in the northwest corner of Ottawa beneath the Quebec border. More than half of the population is French speaking.

Why is it notable?

The incumbent, Amanda Simard, is running as a Liberal candidate but was previously voted into office under the PC banner in 2018. She left the PC caucus later in that same year after her party made cuts to French-language services and sat as an independent until 2020, when she joined the Liberal Party. The Mayor of the Township of Alfred and Plantagene is running against Simard as the PC candidate.

Thunder Bay–Atikokan

Where is this riding?

This northern Ontario riding encompasses most of the district of Thunder Bay and Rainy River and has an airport, government offices, Lakehead University and Confederation College. It also includes Ontario’s fifth largest reserve, Fort William Reserve

Why is it notable?

The race in Thunder Bay-Atikokan was one of the closest of the 2018 election, with the NDP beating the Liberals by only 81 votes. Incumbent Judith Monteith-Farrel will be running yet again but this time with a whole new slate of candidates. The Liberals had held the riding since 1990 prior to the last general election.

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