Councillor Josh Matlow

Toronto Star: City hall rookies 2010: Josh Matlow


Published On Tue Nov 23 2010

Josh Matlow may be new to city council, but he’s no stranger to politics.

He ran against former premier Ernie Eves in the Dufferin-Peel-Wellington-Grey by-election in 2002, at the age of 26. He was a school board trustee for seven years. He has no children. He’s a longtime environmental activist. He worked towards a conservation act for the Oak Ridges Moraine with the group Earthroots.

“I’m not passive by nature,” says the incoming Ward 22 councillor. “I like solving problems.”

His priorities for St. Paul’s? Build a community garden. Clean up Oriole Park. Support the growing farmers’ market one ward over. And get people talking.

“One thing that has not been fostered in my ward is a sense of community,” he says.

He calls the city’s current public consultation process “a farce” and pledges to hold regular town hall-style meetings so residents can fill him in on their concerns. He says he’ll maintain a rule when a developer comes to his office: He won’t discuss plans unless a community representative is there, too.

What does he want for the city? Better tourism advertising. Uniform design standards for new buildings. A national affordable housing strategy. And better transportation.

“We need to get a line out to the airport,” he says.

Matlow was born and raised in Toronto. He studied political science at Concordia University and went to theatre school in Paris. He and wife Melissa have just celebrated their first anniversary. They have a cat, Tony.

He plays the guitar, enjoys going to the theatre and canoeing around the Toronto Islands. He says he likes St. Paul’s because it’s “downtown enough” to be fun and full of great shops, parks and restaurants, but “uptown enough” for residents to feel like they’re getting away from it all when they go home.

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