ELECTION: Council Turnover – Ward 22

It’s not often that candidates for City Council are given the opportunity to run without an incumbent in the ward. This year there are nine wards with seats ripe for the picking. This post is the fifth in a series on the candidates in these contested wards, and the key issues in the neighbourhoods they seek to represent.

Ward 22 – St. Paul’s

This ward encompasses Forest Hill, Davisville Village, Yonge & Eglinton, and Mt. Pleasant. It’s bordered by Eglinton to the North, Bayview Ave. and the North Toronto Rail Line in the east, and Spadina Road and Dupont Street to the south.

The Candidates:

Michael Walker announced his desire to resign from City politics this year after 28 years serving Ward 22. There are only four candidates running in this election to replace Walker in this wealthy North Toronto ward,

Josh Matlow may be a name you recognize even if you don’t leave in or near Ward 22. Matlow is a TDSB board member, and has also served on boards for the North Toronto Community, City of Toronto’s Historic Houses of Old Toronto Museum, Greepower, Ontario Smart Growth Network, Toronto Board of Trade’s Clean City Task Force and the City of Toronto’s Clean Streets Working Group. His campaign is focused on environmental and community-focused issues, and he’s been endorsed by local Liberal MP Carolyn Bennett.

William Molls may be the youngest candidate in this election, at 22 years old. Molls proposes to implement a dog park in Davisville and recognizes the Toronto Environmental Alliance’s six key points for the upcoming election. He also wants to lower the voting age to 16.

As previous executive assistant to Walker, Chris Sellors has been endorsed by the retiring councillor and proposes to make the city work for his constituents by supporting tenants’ rights, strengthening community groups, and keeping bike paths of arterial roads. Sellors also wants to institute a public awareness campaign that teaches drivers and cyclists how to share the road.

Also running in this election is last minute candidate, Elizabeth Cook, who has yet to create a website; Spacing has tried to contact the candidate but with no success.

The Issues:

Yonge-Eglinton Square

  • Matlow calls for the revitalization of the Yonge-Eglinton Square, and has been rallying citizens of the area, as well as all of Toronto, to claim this space as a public meeting space instead of turning it into another commercial building.
  • Sellers wants to improve and add to parks and green spaces by creating Local Land Funds, money reserved solely for these purposes.

Environment

  • As the former co-director of a major environmental NGO, protecting the environment is a top priority for Matlow. He wants to work to keep existing parks and ravines safe, and protected from development.
  • In addition to the Local Land Fund initiative, Sellers also wants to create an “Eco Check” program so that City vehicle purchases can be tracked to ensure that they are environmentally friendly.

Eglinton Right-Of-Way

  • Molls supports the Eglinton LRT as part of Transit City, and wants to see a line connecting the city from Scarborough to the airport. “We must learn from the mistakes of the Sheppard subway,” he says on his website. “We can’t afford to have another ‘stubway’ on Eglinton.”
  • Matlow proposes an underground line for Eglinton Ave. and promotes the use the Presto smart card. He also wants to see the TTC abolish the “premium” fares on rush-hour express bus routes along Mt. Pleasant and Avenue Rd.
  • Sellers supports the idea of building an Eglinton subway instead of the current Transit City LRT plan, and wants to investigate changing the fare method to distance paid, rather than a flat rate for the service, utilizing the Presto card.

Both Sellers and Matlow mention that they want to wrestle development control for Toronto away from the Ontario Municipal Board. Both also cite the importance of fighting for tenants’ rights in the ward; 63% of St. Paul’s residents are tenants, one of the highest percentages in Toronto. Matlow promises that a member of his staff would be the ward’s “tenant expert,” whose job would be aimed at ensuring that renters’ rights are defended.

photo by Wylie Poon

6 comments

  1. It is unfortunate from reading their websites that they appear to agree on most issues.

    Also why are there links for the first two but not Sellers?

  2. Chris Sellors’ website is http://chrissellors.ca/ and provides a good amount of information pertaining to his platform. I’m a resident of Ward 22 and have been for 7 years and I’m not in any way affiliated with any of the candidates, but I have been reviewing their websites and plan to attend one of more of the upcoming debates in October before making my choice.

  3. On the issue about Yonge-Eglinton square. Forgive me if I’m behind the news, but I thought this was a done deal. There was a push (by the square’s private owner) to construct 2-3 floors as an addition to the existing centre, and there were some protests against it. I seem to recall that this was dealt with and that the owner got what they wanted, as the property belongs to them. In addition, with all due respect to the candidates, the square is in Karen Stintz’s ward, not in ward 22!

  4. An interesting thing about the retiring Michael Walker is that he was a precursor to Al Gore/Bush problems.  

    Michael Walker almost was defeated in 1988 when running for re-election in the city of Toronto Ward 16 (Lawrence Park).  The initial results had him losing by 3 votes to Malcolm Martini, a progressive.  It was quite a surprise upset.  Later it was determined that the city’s new voting machines had missed around 1500 votes.   The recount put Walker over the top by just under 200 votes.  3 years later, Walker clobbered Martini in the rematch and the rest is history.  He then stayed on for another 19 years.  

  5. It’s a “wealthy North Toronto ward” but it also has one of the highest percentages of non-home-owners in the city. Interesting.

  6. It’s interesting how an opportunist like Matlow manages to ignore the concerns of his local school Davisville Public and instead support the whining cries of Maurice Cody parents over boundary change that would have got their kids off eating on the floor for lunch. His actions and statements have changed so many times in the last 2 years, it’s clear he will do anything in effort to get votes.

    Chris Sellors stays the course, supports local schools putting kids first before developers. Parents of Davisville children need to know more and not learn before it’s too late that Matlow supports development on school lands that will cost kids green space.

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