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City councillor Josh Matlow announces he will run for Toronto mayor

Updated: Mar 27, 2023

Four-term Toronto city councillor will join the growing race to become Toronto mayor following the June 26 by-election.

Josh Matlow speaks during a Toronto city council budget meeting
Josh Matlow speaks during a Toronto city council budget meeting on Feb. 15, 2023. [Scott McLaughlin]

Four-term Toronto city councillor Josh Matlow announced on Tuesday he is putting his hat in the ring for mayor in the city’s upcoming by-election.

In an interview with Humber News, Matlow spoke about his excitement to join the race.

“I’ve had a very different vision than the previous two mayors, and I have the opportunity to actually go and really change lives and affect the city and actually fix our problems,” he said.

The Ward 12, Toronto-St. Paul’s councillor also acknowledged the work that needs to be done to fix the many issues that the city is facing.

“Even if I win the election, the victory party will be very short. The day after, we’re going to have to really address the problems that we’ve been left with,” he said.

His first priority would be to launch a City Works Fund, paid for by a dedicated property tax, which would raise more than $390 million during the next five years to improve city services.

When discussing the fiscal issues that Toronto may have to deal with in the coming years, Matlow said he would continue to advocate for different approaches to cash-eating problems such as the Gardiner Expressway.

“It’s just sucking hundreds of millions of dollars into this black hole of 1950s planning, which is just so stupid and backwards,” he said. “If we open up the city lands and build the boulevard rather than rebuild a section of elevated expressway, we could bring in almost half a billion dollars in new revenue along with building new housing in the midst of a housing crisis.”

Matlow also mentioned he would like to see growth in Toronto’s mental health services.

“We’re doing a pilot now where there’s community response services to address people who are going through a mental health crisis, rather than have police be the first responders,” he said. “But that needs to expand. It needs to expand quickly.”

First elected in 2010, Matlow has remained a popular councillor for his ward. In the most recent 2022 election, he won his seat with almost 85 per cent of the vote.

Before joining city council, he spent seven years serving as a trustee for the Toronto District School Board.

Matlow joins a growing field of candidates looking to replace former-mayor John Tory.

Gil Penalosa, Chloe Brown, Blake Acton, Giorgio Mammoliti, and Mark Saunders have all already announced their intention to enter the race.

Nominations will open April 3, 2023 and close on May 12, 2023 with the by election occurring on June 26.

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