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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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