Riding to Watch: St. Catharines ON

Riding to Watch: St. Catharines ON


WATCH ABOVE: Laura DiBattista takes a look at the bellwether Niagara riding of St. Catharines, Ont.

St. Catharines voters have returned governing-party MPs since 1984. This “Garden City” on the shores of Lake Ontario is home to the General Motors propulsion plant that employs nearly 700, along with Brock University and its enrollment of nearly 19,000 students.

Incumbent Liberal Chris Bittle is being challenged by Kristina Waler (Conservative), Unifor local vice-president Dennis Van Meer (NDP), and Canada Post letter carrier Travis Mason (Green).

 
IN 2015:

Chris Bittle (Liberal) won with 43.2% support — and a 5.6% margin of victory (1,757 votes) over Conservative runner-up Rick Dykstra.

St. Catharines was the 80th closest race out of all 338 ridings.

Voter turnout was 61.1%.


 
THE RIDING IN NUMBERS (CENSUS 2016):

SIZE: 55.0 km2

POPULATION: 111,691 people in 2016: a change of 1% from 2011. The average age is 44.3, with 13.7% age 14 and under and 22.7% 65 and older.

95.1% are Canadian citizens. 19.1% are immigrants. 2.9% indicated Aboriginal identity. 12.1% are visible minorities. 21.1% are 1st generation Canadians. 22.7% are 2nd generation. 56.2% are 3rd generation and older.

HOUSING: The average home value in 2016 was $285,217. Renters paid an average of $905 per month, with 16.2% in subsidized housing. 54.6% of dwellings are single-detached houses; 10.4% are condos. 1.7% of all homes were built between 2011 and 2016.

INCOME: Median total income in 2015 was $30,059. 17.6% of people were classified as low-income (after tax) — 24.3% of children and 12.5% of seniors.

IDENTITY: Top reported ethnic origins are English: 31160 / Canadian: 29245 / Scottish: 23270 / Irish: 20405 / German: 14400

IMMIGRATION: United Kingdom, Italy, Poland, United States, Europe-Other are the top birth origins for immigrants. Philippines is the top origin for recent immigrants (2011 to 2016).

LANGUAGE: Spanish, Italian, German, Polish, and Arabic are the most common non-official languages. Official Mother Tongues: 80.5% English and 2.11% French.

EDUCATION: 18.2% have no degree, diploma, or certificate. 18.1% have a university bachelor’s degree or above.

-Compiled by Andrew Thomson