Achieved More than $ 1 Billion in local Funding
Daniels Spectrum, Regent Park Aquatic Centre, Wellesley Central Supportive Housing, Sound Times, Bridgepoint Health, Sherbourne Health Centre (capital) and Rainbow Health Ontario, Supporting our Youth (SOY) and Daddies and Papas to be (operating). Kiwanis K Club and Cabbagetown Youth Centre renovations, Seaton House Family Health Team, Pathways to Education (partial list).
The clousure of Wellesley Hospital and the proposed closure of Bridgepoint. For equality rights and in favour of accessibility.
St. James Cathedral, First Parliament Site.
Wellesley Community Centre, Pan Am Games Village, Regent Park redevelopment, George Brown waterfront campus, Casey House redevelopment.
George Smitherman and his family reside in Ward 23 which is entirely contained within the Toronto Centre boundaries that George successfully contested four times. Since his teenage years as a student leader and political activist in Etobicoke George has been recognized as a forceful advocate George's passion for politics is well known as is the breadth of his knowledge having served at all levels of government including as Ontario's Deputy Premier. Those roles aside George values more than anything else the helping hand he played in the fight to save the Wellesley Hospital and his contribution to the success of Pathways to Education and the redevelopment of Regent Park. George's community roots are well known such as the distinction as being the first openly gay MPP in Ontario and a winner of the Tanya Harding Award in the Toronto Gay Hockey Association. George's path to important roles such as running the largest government department in Canada for a record setting 5 years was unlikely considering a limited formal education. Through hard work and a lot of stewardship from incredigble role models and mentors George has had a very direct role in shaping our Ward 23 and adjacent downtown community. Beyond the stunning bricks and mortar of Bridgepoint Hospital and the Daniels Spectrum, Pan Am Games Village, an independent Women's College Hospital, all of which are projects where George played a pivotal role his signature local project was helping to teach generations of residents to skate. A proactive style of representation including a storefront office that is accessible are key commitments George has always adhered to. Somewhat unconventional in his candour George has not wavered when called to stand with his friends whether that was a gay kid barred from taking his boyfriend to the prom or Muslims subjected to hateful acts after 9-11. Despite being a lifelong Liberal George helped form a challenge of his own party when it wavered on support for the recognition same sex rights. George enjoyed the priviledge of making his maiden speech in the Ontario Legislature on the subject of a piece of Mike Harris Government legislation that was inspired by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms delivered by my political hero Pierre Trudeau. As Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, George restored the independent status of Women's College Hospital, delivered community health centre's for all Toronto Priority neighborhoods, helped provide over one and a half a million Ontarians with access to a family doctor, invented Family Health Teams and improved wait times for key services. Meanwhile George initiated drug reforms that saved billions and created an accoutability framework that modernized health care. During my tenure over 6,000 units of housing were created to help keep people with severe mental illness out of the criminal justice and correctional services systems. As the first health minister after SARS George hired Dr. Sheela Basrur and together they rebuilt the ontario public health system. As Deputy Premier George Smitherman was a strong voice for the City of Toronto helping Toronto secure a share of the province's gasoline tax and broad powers under the City of Toronto Act, As Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, George championed efforts to protect Ontario workers from the ravages of the global economic crisis by leading Ontario's 2800 project multi billion dollar Federal Provincial Infrastructure Program as well as crucial early steps in Ontario's Green Energy strategy that attracted billions in foreign investment, created tens of thousands of jobs and heped to eliminate smog days. George also stopped the process that was leading towards the construction of two further nuclear power units and he forcefully protests the ongoing operation of the aged Pickering Nuclear Power Plant. George also knows how to get things done at City Hall having served as the chief of staff to former Toronto mayor, Barbara Hall. During his time in this role, George represented the Mayor in Economic Development, City Budget and the re-zoning for the Air Canada Centre and the adjacent Railway Lands, pioneering KINGS initiative that lead to the revitalization of King Parliament and King Spadina. Prior to holding elected office George owned and operated his own retail business in the City of Toronto for a decade. George and his children Michael and Kayla lost Christopher Peloso to suicide caused by depression and the family continues to contribute towards a capital commitment to Casey House in Christopher's memory. George closely identifies with people who have suffered traumatic loss and he has been open with his own struggles with addiction onset by the untimely loss of his father. Recently remarried to Rolando Salomon from Havana where they met George is relieved to have survived 4 and half years as a solo parent and brings an informed and refreshed passion to the political arena.
I can’t help but think how many lives would have been saved had I been elected Mayor in 2010 and given a chance to implement physically separated bike lanes. Having given up my car in 2015 cycling has become my favourite transportation alternative. I haven’t been dissuaded yet despite having several near misses and a Read more about Cycling Views[…]
Last time I ran in an election my son Michael wasn’t even walking and now my kids are running so fast on our literature drops I just can’t keep up with them. Kayla and Michael aren’t shy to participate in direct campaigning so anyone wanting to take me on needs to know I am not Read more about Family puts the fun in Campaigning[…]
Last week while in St. James Town I was shocked to see just what a mess it was outside the food basics. A few days later we returned with a crew and decided to tidy up the area. Not only did we make light work of quite a mess we had so much good feedback Read more about Cleaning up the St. James Town Gateway[…]
Whether for beauty of food or ideally both a wonderful array of gardens populated our Ward. It is an amazing testimony to the hard word of neighbours everywhere like on Berkeley Street where a new garden was added last week on the grounds of Lord Dufferin School. I want to help our Ward be Read more about Community Gardens for Food and Social Interaction[…]
Knocked at the door of my first house #cabbagetownsouth and was please to see the fence in such good shape 20+ years later #ward23 #torontocentre pic.twitter.com/svFMFJBLoM — George Smitherman (@G_Smitherman) July 30, 2018
An Essay on Entry Ward 23 and Me Author George Smitherman In the late 1970s my grandmother was suffering from cancer and seeking treatment at Princess Margaret Hospital then co housed with the Wellesley Hospital at the bustling corner of Sherbourne and Wellesley. I was a teenager in high school in Etobicoke and I often Read more about Open Letter to the Residents of Ward 23[…]
Neil is a resident of St. Jude Community Home and a well known supportive housing advocate who taught me plenty over many years about the value of work for people managing serious mental illness. A founding member of the Dream Team Neil has appeared widely to advocate for housing and he knows his stuff. St. Read more about Ward 23 People, Place and Purpose[…]