Heather Robertson, a Ward 12 voter, has issues with how third-term councillor Josh Matlow is handling the issues important to them.
“I think affordable housing [and] traffic in the area that can hurt people who are walking or riding their bicycle, and new development [are the biggest issues].”
Ward 12 – Toronto St. Paul, which includes neighbourhoods like Deer Park, South Hill, Forest Hill, Davisville, and Casa Loma, has four candidates who are running in this year’s municipal election. All are looking to make a change in their community.
Matlow is a well-known supporter of progressive issues like planning and development, parking and traffic regulations and commitment to making the community a better place.
His plan is to improve the official plan to put residents’ quality of life before the interests of developers and a strategic plan to have an age-friendly city for seniors.
Matlow managed to sway 51.6 per cent of the votes last term and hopes to continue to get more votes this year.
Leonore Wells, an elderly woman who lives in Ward 12, has different views on the performance of Josh Matlow and how he can improve.
“I think it’s difficult. The city is big and there are lots of problems,” she said. “It’s hard to take care of some things but I voted for Josh Matlow in the last election.”
Wells said issues she thinks need to change in Ward 12.
“I think we need more responsibility for the citizens and less about development for the people that have lots of money,” she said.
The City of Toronto’s census profile of the ward completed for the 2018 election showed the average annual income for Ward 12 is about $155,470 and 27 per cent makes more than $125,000.
Many of the neighbourhoods are known for businesses and people with higher incomes, but it’s also less diverse than most of Toronto with 72 per cent of residents not belonging to visible minorities.
Candidate Bryan Ashworth is making his first run for a seat at City Hall despite having no prior civic experience.
Ashworth’s plan is to get involved in the city’s needs and initiatives. That would include listening to marginalized communities and their different experiences with the police, affordable housing, working to maintain the parks and keeping streets clean and safe with ongoing construction in the area.
Cycle Toronto, an organization advocating for bike safety, has called on all candidates in Ward 12 to commit to taking road safety seriously.
Cycle Toronto has a campaign called “Safe and Active Streets for All,” which was a survey sent out to all Municipal candidates “calling for 10 Priority Actions that, if implemented consistently and systematically across all wards, will make Toronto’s streets safe, equitable, sustainable, and healthy for all.”
Cycle Toronto hopes this campaign will encourage any councillor who wins to take these issues into consideration.
Sheldon Hilderbrand is another voter and hopes a lot of residents will cast ballots in this municipal election.
“I think people should vote,” she said.
“If they are feeling unhappy about an issue then they should be able to vote for someone they really believe to be the best candidate,” she said.