1999 Ontario Provincial Election
Riding-by-Riding Prediction
Parkdale-High Park

Current Prediction:
Riding Profile:

Liberal Party:
Gerard Kennedy MPP
Progressive Conservative Party:
Annamarie Castrilli MPP
New Democratic Party:
Irene Atkinson
Green Party:
Frank de Jong
Party Leader
Family Coalition Party:
Stan Grzywna
Natural Law Party:
Lynne Hea
Libertarian Party:
Doug Burn
Jorge Van Schouwen

Incumbent (old riding composition):
High Park-Swansea (87%):
Derwyn Shea
Parkdale (59%):
Tony Ruprecht
York South (19%):
Gerard Kennedy

Member of Parliament:
Sarmite Bulte

Surrounding Ridings:
Etobicoke Centre
York South-Weston

Population: 104 159
Avg Household Income 46 863
Language (Home)
English 71 030
Polish 6 650
Ukrainian 2 620
Chinese 2 385
Submitted Information
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02/15/99 J.S. Email: jsiegel@netcom.ca
Kennedy over Shea in a squeaker He'll win due to media profile and strong team in the field
03/04/99 John Browser Email:
Do not discount Atkinson of the NDP. A split vote can guarantee this popular local activist a seat in Queen's Park.
03/13/99 Email:
I think the bloom is off of Gerard Kennedy's rose. The only reason the NDP hasn't won Parkdale in the past few years is because of the unusually low Tory vote (Tories often lost or came close to losing their deposit) so despite getting over 40% of the vote at times the NDP has lost to the Liberals... combining the riding with High Park changes that equation and could put the NDP over the top. Let's not forget that High Park belonged to the Ziembas for quite some time. Irene Atkinson has been a school trustee in the area for many years and has only recently become involved with the NDP so she brings a lot of non-NDP support with her.
03/14/99 A. Email:
With a very strong candidate in trustee and former school board chair Irene Atkinson (who has support not only among the riding's traditional NDP base but also among Red Tories), the NDP is poised to slay a giant here. The popularity of NDP city councillor David Miller, and his powerful electoral machine, can only help Atkinson's campaign.
03/14/99 rc Email: free@interlog.com
Irene Atkinson has been annointed by two groups doing strategic voting, i.e. OSSTF and C4LD. That was done on the basis of an examination of the historical voting patterns of the combined ridings. Both will be providing additional help to the NDP candidate.
Too Close
03/11-17/99 NOW Email:
Tories creeping closer to big vote by Enzo DiMatteo/Glenn Wheeler
Meanwhile, district 12 members of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation have made their election picks for Toronto ridings where they think the Tories can be beat. NOW scribe John Sewell gets the nod in Toronto Centre-Rosedale, but in Parkdale-High Park they couldn't choose between golden Grit MPP Gerard Kennedy and exTory Irene Atkinson, whose running for the NDP.
03/17/99 National Post Email:
Retiring Conservative MPP seeks a different type of pulpit by John Ibbitson
...The Conservative MPP for High Park_Swansea announced yesterday he would not be a candidate in the provincial election expected this spring. Instead he will devote himself exclusively to his duties as preist and rector in the esat-end Anglican parish. Mr. Shea's departure leaves a hole for the Tories in riding of Parkdale-High Park, one of the most fiercely contested three-way races in the city...The Liberal and NDP are both fielding strong candidates in the riding...The Tories's best hope is that the two strong leftist candidates will split the vote, allowing them to come up the middle...
03/19/99 T.M. Email: trevorob@netmatrix.net
Irene Atkinson is not really well-known around here, so forget any hope of the NDP winning here. If Gerard Kennedy lived in this riding all his life, he probably would win, however, the feeling is that the electorate doesn't like candidates who bounce around ridings. This riding has a sense of community, arguably one of the strongest in all of the Megacity, and for that reason Derwyn Shea will win. By no means will it be a landslide, but it will be a Tory win.
03/23/99 D.Cavaco Email:
This is a swing riding,electing candidates from all three parties in the last three provincial elections. Out of the three present candidates, Gerard Kennedy MPP is the best known and respected, especially on his opposition to the government's health care policies. His background in the foodbank and his youthfulness will appeal to many former NDP supporters in High Park to prevent any vote-splitting, which might allow David Hutcheon of the PC's to run up the middle. Kennedy's support for tenant rights will also carry him in the Parkdale area of the ward at Queen/King/Lansdowne, whose many apartment buildings have supported Tony Ruprecht MPP since 1981. The area where Kennedy and McGuinty have to tread carefully is that many residents are of Eastern European origin and tend to be somewhat conservative, so the Liberal message cannot appear to radical or some might veer off to the Tories. Hutcheon will do well in the wealthy Swansea area who have formed a bedrock of support for the Tories. This is the area where Derwyn Shea obtained many of his votes. As a former City of Toronto Councillor, Hutcheon will be able to count on pockets of support from his old Ward backers. Irene Atkinson of the NDP will also get her fair share of votes. Look for Gerard Kennedy to come out on top with the PC's and NDP fighting for a close second place.
03/24/99 A.S. Email: adma@interlog.com
At this point, with Shea's departure, I'd say the Tories have basically conceded the riding--and Hutcheon's still haunted by the smear campaign that led to his council defeat in '97. And for all her merits, at the moment I still see Atkinson as a sleeper rather than as a victor. The problem is...Gerard Kennedy. The early euphoria over his entry into politics may have ebbed, his leadership hopes thwarted, but he remains perhaps the truest *star* in the provincial Liberal roster; moreover, his new domain, with oft-beleaguered neighbourhoods like Parkdale and the Junction, seems even more poetically suited to the myth of the "Daily Bread Food Bank guy". If Kennedy successfully sets aside suspicions of his being a flash in the pan, we could have a modern equivalent of Tony Ruprecht's electoral steamroller at its 80s peak. But that can't be guaranteed; Kennedy's in a trickier situation than Toronto's other great Liberal headline-grabber, Mike Colle. Indeed, we could easily see another "1995" situation where at least two recent Liberal leadership candidates wind up losing their seats...but this time to the NDP, rather than the Tories. With the NDP polls momentarily low, Kennedy's not in that danger zone yet--a lot will depend on which way the spectrum of anti-Tory endorsements fall, and general New Democrat momentum goes. But as his failed leadership bid and sluggish byelection win (where he nearly blew his star-candidate cachet, only to snatch victory out of certain defeat) proves, he should take nothing for granted.
03/26/99 Email:
Irene Atkinson was one of the school trustees who voted to kill adult education rights in Toronto. Any teacher with the right mind will not support her. However, Irene's friend in the teacher unions obviously did not present that to their member!
04/08/99 NOW Email:
Cooking up a Tory defeat By Enzo di Matteo
Tory MPP Derwyn Shea is returning to preaching the Bible at the Anglican parish he left in the east end to run in 95.
About the only Tory who stands a chance here is a former one who's since turned NDP candidate -- school trustee Irene Atkinson, who enjoys a strong local following and community credentials.
This highly ethnic, working-class enclave -- it ranks 92nd of 103 ridings money-wise, with a median household income of $35,328 -- has shown a propensity for volatility, going from NDP to PC to Liberal and back to NDP again since 1975, before Shea arrived on the scene.
Whoever replaces Shea will also have a hard time selling Tory rental policy and health-care policy in this riding, where 64 per cent are tenants, 13 per cent seniors.
Throw in Grit golden boy Gerard Kennedy, whose food-bank credentials run very deep, and you've got a Tory barbecue. Well done, please.
04/28/99 Brad Mason Email:
Gerard Kennedy was a STAR candidate who through hard work has become a STAR member in the provincial legislature. Kennedy was able to turn the York South into a Liberal riding in the bye-election of 1996. Without him the Grits would have finished third there. Since that time Kennedy has done a great deal of work in his old riding and the new one, Parkdale-HighPark. All of this will be rewarded when the voters of this riding elect him this June. This riding belongs to Kennedy and you can take that one to the bank.
04/29/99 Neil Tucker Email:
The people of Parkdale-High Park are smart enough to know that if the Liberals win the election then Gerard Kennedy will be the minister of health. This will make him a very powerful member of cabinet and will allow him to bring extra help to out riding. That is why Kennedy will easily win this riding on election day.
05/04/99 Jim Williamson Email:
Gerard Kennedy is so well know in Toronto for all his work at the Daily Bread Food Bank and for the last few years that he has been at Queen's Park. The NDP don't understand they couldn't beat Kennedy in the old York South riding and they won't beat him in Parkdale. The other strength Gerard Kennedy has is that he is a really down to earth person despite his fame and he will make sure Parkdale High Park is front and centre in the new Liberal government that will be elected on June 3.
05/04/99 A.L. Email: 3arb@qlink.queensu.ca
In a bizarre move, York Centre Liberal MPP Annamarie Castrilli has crossed the floor to join the Tories and will be the PC candidtate in Parkdale-High Park crossing swords with former caucus mate and leadership rival Gerard Kennedy. While Castrilli will not win her single minded hatred of Kennedy (who is an ally of Monte Kwinter, the man who Castrilli lost the Liberal nomination in York Centre too) and the Liberals can only hurt Kennedy's campaign and could help the NDP as astrilli's anti-Kennedy campaign pushes some Liberals into the hands of the NDP and pulls others to the PCs.
05/05/99 PHA Email:
There's a rumour that Anne-Marie Castrilli has jumped ship to the Tories and will run in Parkdale-High park. OHH dear. She is, quite frankly, a fool. She disgraced herself at the last Ontario Liberal Convention bye an Im off the ballot/I'm on the ballot temper tantrum. The type of person who will do stab anybody in the back to advance. It is hard to believe, Anne-Marie, aka La Contessa,(her another nickname is not even printable) even walking in Parkdale. At least Mr. Shea has compassion. La Contessa constantly is walking with her nose in the air. I believe the voters will concentrate on the honourable candidates: Gerard Kennedy or Irene Atkinson
05/06/99 NOW Email:
Defection hits Liberal campaign By Enzo di Matteo
05/06/99 DJH Email:
Although, on the face of it, it would seem unlikely that Castrilli can take this riding, given her blatant opportunism, it would be premature to discount the possibility. Both opposition parties are fielding strong, known candidates, which increases the risk that the anti-Harris vote will be split and that Castrilli could win with a plurality.
05/07/99 Jeff Bennett Email: jbennett@execulink.com
Gerard Kennedy is heir apparent to the Liberal leadership, and I think that fact alone should be enough to guarantee him victory here. Now with Liberal turncoat Anna-Marie Castrilli running as the Tory here, Kennedy should benefit with a sympathy vote on account of most people's distaste for "born-again" politicians. Kennedy wins easily.
05/12/99 Nation Post Email:
If the 1995 election results were applied to the riding's new boundaries, all three parties would have obtained almost exactly the same number of votes. Given the volatility of the class-conscious electors of Parkdale-High Park, and the fact all three candidates could easily be running for another party, anything could happen.
05/14/99 P. Kasman Email:
Gerard Kenedy is very popular but riding distribution and a very strong NDP candidate my thwart his hopes for a ministry in the event of a Liberal victory.
05/13/99 NOW Email:
Will Kennedy go down with the Liberals? By Glenn Wheeler
05/19/99 John Mackay Email: jmackay@uts.oise.utoronto.ca
Annamarie Castrilli's party-switching makes her hard to take seriously. Irene Atkinson is fairly well-known and has a slight chance, but Gerrard Kennedy should prevail on account of his being a prominent figure in the community and the province.
05/21/99 PO Email: PerryO@Compuserve.com
This riding could go any way. I think that the final result will be one of the closest in the province, but I think that Kennedy is the man to beat.
05/22/99 LC Email:
Now magazine should stick to doing patio and reveiws and entertainment. They do that well, they do news with as much objectivity as the Sun. The article on our riding was hilarious. Kennedy in a walk. School trustees have no name recognition. There are a large amount of lefties that will go(and already work on the campaign team) Kennedy's way, because he is quite simply a decent guy who has done alot for the poor of Toronto. Casrilli is a laugh. Current sign count(on peoples lawns only) Kennedy to Castrilli: 3-1 Kennedy, Kennedy to Atkinson: 1.8-1 Kennedy
05/30/99 A.S. Email: adma@interlog.com
Final stretch...and of course, none of us knew Castrilli would be the nominee. For a brazen opportunist, she's holding her own--and so's Atkinson, for that matter. And the candidates'topsy-turvy ideological history simply blurs things all the more. Kennedy still *should* hold, but things are no so snarled up, especially post-debate, that I might as well make it a 3-way at this point...
06/01/99 Email:
John Nunziata is still respected by a great many Liberals, particularly ethnic voters. The fact that he's campaigning for the Tories can't help the Kennedy campaign. Remember, even after his expulsion from caucus, he still usually campaigns for Liberals, and virtually ran Kennedy's own by-election campaign in 1996. Kennedy could not have won that election without Nunziata's help. Still, the Tories are unlikely to win here, so the beneficiary of this "centrist family feud" will be the NDP.
06/02/99 Michael Ensley Email: mensley@rokcetmail.com
Parkdale will fall to the Tories due to the liberal NDP spilt of opposition votes. This will be a disaster for the liberal party trying to rebuild after carrying 34 or less seats in the election.
06/02/99 MS Email:
Current Sign Count
Kennedy-Castrilli 2:1
Kennedy-Atkinson 4:1
Kennedy well ahead

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Last Updated 2nd June 1999

© 1999 Milton Chan, University of Waterloo
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