My story begins when I first moved to Toronto at the tender age of six weeks. I grew up in a close family with two younger sisters and parents who encouraged me to work hard, be kind to others, and contribute to my community.
I attended public elementary and high school in Toronto, travelled around the world for one year with my family, then moved to Montreal and received a Bachelor of Science at McGill. Upon graduation, I returned to Toronto to work on endangered species conservation with the World Wildlife Fund. It was there that I came to fully understand the connections between how we live in our cities and the health of our planet. Subsequent professional positions included being a researcher at Moving the Economy – a non profit that researched and promoted best practices in transportation – and the Executive Director at the Black Creek Transportation Management Association (which later became Smart Commute). During that time I implemented a ride-sharing program, improved bicycle infrastructure at York University, publicized the economic benefits of decreasing reliance on the personal automobile, and being part of the movement that successfully fought to bring the eastern stub of the Gardiner Expressway down.
In 2002 my husband and I had our first child, and I devoted myself full time to raising a family and getting involved in my neighbourhood. As a volunteer I worked on everything from support for new mothers to greening my children’s schoolyard to getting safe pedestrian infrastructure installed in local streets. I was part of the team that brought the community together in support of the St. Clair streetcar right of way, which in 2005 resulted in much needed transit priority along St. Clair.
In 2015, inspired by the trip my parents had taken me on when I was a teenager, I travelled the world for one year with my husband and three children. It was a life-changing experience, which I shared with others around the world through a travel blog. During that time I saw first-hand the way cities were being transformed into safe, vibrant centres with thriving public spaces, designed around the needs of people.
Since returning home to Toronto, I have devoted myself to advocating for change at City Hall on the budget, improved cycling infrastructure, the plan to Transform Yonge, and the need for safe, accessible sidewalks. Seeing a lack of leadership and politicization of transit among other issues, I decided to campaign for mayor in order to bring a new vision and a resident’s perspective to City Hall.
My entire life I’ve been dedicated to my community and have advocated for positive and progressive change. I love Toronto, and a lifetime of experience here has given me great insights into the challenges and opportunities facing this city. My family and I depend on transit to get around, my children walk to their local school, we love the libraries and we spend much of our spare time enjoying this city’s parks, community centres, public pools and community ice rinks. I know how critical these are to the quality of life for all residents in our city.
My commitment to Toronto is to listen to residents, experts, and stakeholders, and make evidence-based decisions that put people first. Let’s build a liveable city, together!