Patrons at the Sports Centre Café at 49 St. Clair Ave. West cheered for a team of a different kind on Monday night as Ward 22 councillor Josh Matlow celebrated his landslide re-election.
“Toronto has rejected the politics of division and dishonest rhetoric, and has chosen a thoughtful new day that will focus on our city’s priorities,” Matlow said to a roaring crowd of more than 100, referencing both his own capture of 86 per cent of the vote and the election of John Tory as mayor, which officially drew a close to the often-divisive Rob Ford era.
He was introduced by children’s entertainers and Ward 22 residents Sharon Hampson and Bram Morrison.
A former trustee who was elected to council in 2010, Matlow increased his audience during the past four years by frequently opposing Mayor Ford in council and supporting initiatives such as relaxed food truck laws and campaigning, along with Ward 27 councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam, to remove Toronto from the jurisdiction of the Ontario Municipal Board.
He ran uncontested for most of the campaign, with candidates Sarfraz Khan, James O’Shaughnessy and Bob Murphy registering less than a week before the Sept. 11 deadline.
In his speech, Matlow also congratulated mayor-elect Tory, while thanking his wife Melissa and toddler daughter Molly. He also thanked his supporters, singling out those “who volunteered, who put up a lawn sign, who gave of your time to contribute to the campaign.”
Matlow said the residents of Ward 22 have given him “several” priorities, and that his first will be to establish positive working relationships between councillors so they can see those goals to fruition.
“I’m so honoured and touched by the strong support our community has shown me tonight,” he told the Town Crier. “I intend to work even harder, and bring a thoughtful and honest approach to city council.”