Matlow joins crowded race for mayor’s job

If he’s elected mayor on June 26, Josh Matlow will create a fund to make transit run on time, keep libraries open, fill potholes and otherwise “fix our city.”

That’s the promise the Toronto-St. Paul’s councillor is making in today’s announcement he is running for mayor.

He’s joining a field of mayoral candidates that already includes former city councillors Ana Bailao and Giorgio Mammoliti, former police chief Mark Saunders, urbanist Gil Peñalosa, and nine others at the last count. Beaches-East York councillor Brad Bradford and several others are also considered possible candidates.

In his statement today, Matlow said the city’s political leadership has held this city back from reaching its full potential.

“The deterioration of our city was not inevitable. It was a choice,” Matlow said. “The past decade of leadership has kept taxes artificially low by starving the services that made Toronto the incredible city I grew up in.”

He said his first act as mayor would be to create a $390-million fund, financed over five years by a $67 tax per average homeowner, to improve services.

“The City Works Fund will ensure that buses and streetcars run on time,” Matlow said. “Libraries are open when your family needs them. Warm places are available for unhoused people to go when it’s cold outside. Streets and sidewalks are cleared so parents with strollers or people with mobility issues can get around safely. Roads aren’t cracked and covered in potholes. Parks and recreation programs are accessible and available.”

Popular councillor

Matlow has been a city councillor since 2010, after seven years on the Toronto school board. He’s been a popular local candidate, in 2022 winning Toronto-St. Paul’s with nearly 85 per cent of the vote.

He’s often been considered part of the left-leaning faction on council. He was also seen as a critic of former mayor John Tory, whom he now hopes to succeed.

Tory resigned Feb. 15 after admitting to an affair with a former staffer.

Official nominations for mayoral candidates open April 3.