Why this Review?

    • The Town of Grimsby has not had an independent review and a broad-based public consultation on its ward boundaries in 27 years, since 1993.
    • Ward boundaries often have their roots in history. They often reflect where the population lived and how big it was at the time the boundaries were first drawn.
    • Communities grow and evolve, and as population grows, it is common that wards grow at a different rate, which can throw the population of wards out of balance. 
    • The object of the Review is to ensure that Grimsby’s ward boundaries, electoral structure, and Council structure continue to provide a system “effective representation” for all residents.

    How is Council Elected?

    Grimsby has a Council of nine (9) members.

    • There is a Mayor who is elected at large.  That means every voter in Grimsby is entitled to vote for the Mayor.
    • There are eight councillors who are elected by ward from the Town’s four wards. 
    • Each ward elects two councillors.

    Under Ontario Law, a municipality may review and set the size of its council and method of election within certain rules set out in the Municipal Act, including:

    1. Council must have at least 5 members including the head of council (e.g., the Mayor).
    2. The head of council must be elected at-large, meaning every voter in the municipality gets to vote for the mayor.
    3. Councillors may be elected in one of three ways:

    There is no right or wrong answer about what system is best and a municipality may consider a variety of factors in determining how its Councillors are elected. All three systems are used by municipalities across Ontario, and they each have there own advantages.

    Advantages of a ward system may include:

    • May ensure representation from diverse areas
    • Simplified election process for voters and candidates
    • Efficient division of responsibilities among Councillors
    • Councillors likely to be accessible and knowledgeable about local issues

    Advantages of an at-large system may include:

    • May encourage a broader, municipality-wide view
    • Voters have a broader choice of candidates
    • All councillors potentially interested in a resident issue (not always a positive)
    • Reduced likelihood of acclamations

    What is a Ward?

    • Local governments are often divided into smaller geographic areas called “wards.”   
    • Today, Grimsby is divided into four (4) wards. The map shows the current ward boundaries.
    • Grimsby elects 8 of its councillors by ward; and
    • Uses wards to organize the delivery of some services.
    • Municipalities are always changing, and ward populations go up or down as people move in or out of the community.
    • For that reason, wards need to up-dated from time to time.

    Here is a current map of Grimsby's four (4) wards

    What are the Principles of "Effective Representation"?

    “Effective representation” as set out by the Supreme Court of Canada in Reference re Provincial Electoral Boundaries establishes the following guiding principles:

    1. Representation by Population: wards should have relatively equal population totals. However, a degree of variation is acceptable given differences in geography and population densities as well as the town’s characteristics;
    2. Population and Electoral Trends: consider anticipated population increases/decreases so that ward sizes will be balanced for up to three terms of Council;
    3. Means of Communication and Accessibility: group existing neighbourhoods into wards that reflect current transportation and communication patterns;
    4. Geographic and Topographical Features: use geographical and topographical features to delineate ward boundaries while keeping wards compact and easy to understand; and,
    5. Community or Diversity of Interests: as far as possible, ward boundaries should be drawn around recognized settlement areas, traditional neighbourhoods and community groupings – not through them.

    What does Local Government do?

    Your local government, the Town of Grimsby, provides you and your community with services that are important to everyday life.

    • Emergency Management
    • Land use planning
    • Road Maintenance
    • Garbage and Recycling
    • Water
    • Building permits and inspections
    • Economic Development
    • Parks, Arenas and Recreation