I’m Suzanne Kavanagh, a lifelong community builder, accessibility advocate and neighbourhood champion. My campaign for Toronto City Council is founded on 20 years of volunteer work with neighbours, city staff, developers, and councillors to build a better community in Toronto’s downtown core.
Now more than ever, we need proven leadership at City Hall to make sure our streets are safe, green, and complete, city services keep pace with development, and neighbourhoods remain affordable for renters and owners. I have the network, experience, and commitment to be a strong voice for our community. I hope you’ll help me carry on the spirit of good, local leadership in this election by supporting me on October 22nd.
Proven, progressive leadership: Suzanne’s work in your community
St. Lawrence Neighbourhood Association
As President of the St. Lawrence Neighbourhood Association from 2008-2018, Suzanne has had a transformative impact on her ward. Joining the SLNA in 2005, she struck the Heritage Conservation District Committee and worked for a decade toward the designation of St. Lawrence neighbourhood as a Heritage Conservation District in 2015. Suzanne was recognized by the City of Toronto in 2013 for her heritage work in the St. Lawrence community.
- Working with the Corktown Residents and Business Association, Suzanne launched the weekly farmer’s market in the recently revitalized Underpass Park. This vibrant market is a great place to hang out, complete with seating and live music. She secured funding for a three-year pilot.
- Suzanne has been a leader of the St. Lawrence Market Precinct Advisory Committee since its inception in 2010. She worked with late Councillor Pam McConnell on planning the rebuild of the North Market on Front St., with vendors and residents on the revitalization of Market St., and with the City of Toronto to ensure that the area’s history was reflected in the plans.
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A strong record on development
As chair of the SLNA Development Committee, Suzanne built a community group that is considered the gold standard for this type of organization and is being adopted by other neighbourhood associations. The Development Committee has worked with city staff and residents to make sure that development conforms to city plans and works in the context of the neighbourhood. Over the years, Suzanne has been a strong voice for the community at countless OMB hearings, and has struck working groups with developers leading to improved designs for 301 Queen Street East – Berkeley Church, 177 Front Street East, and 55 Front Street East.
Waterfront for All
Suzanne has served on the Steering Committee of the Waterfront for All consortium since 2017 and was an organizer for the inaugural Waterfront for All Summit held in October that year. This consortium launched in 2016 to ensure that Toronto’s waterfront remains a unique natural and cultural resource for all to enjoy.
Metrolinx Advisory Committee
As President of the SLNA and a member of the West Don Lands Committee, Suzanne negotiated with Metrolinx to strike a Community Advisor Committee to work with stakeholders on the Union Station Rail Corridor. The corridor has a direct impact on a number of residents of the ward, and Suzanne continues to meet regularly with Metrolinx and other stakeholders on behalf of the community about this critical project.
Big Brothers Big Sisters
As president of the Big Sisters Association of Ontario and past president of Big Sisters of Canada, Suzanne orchestrated the merger of these charities with Big Brothers of Canada in 1999, creating Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada as we know it today. Big Brothers Big Sisters comprises more than 100 agencies providing life-changing mentoring experiences in 1,100 communities. Suzanne’s work in creating Big Brothers Big Sisters Canada was honoured with the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal.
Regent Park Homework Club
Suzanne has volunteered at Regent Park Homework Club through Frontier College as a tutor for 15 years. This group meets twice a week to assist students with homework and help increase their confidence, self-esteem, and future opportunities. Suzanne has been recognized by the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration with a Volunteer Award for her work with this group.
Suzanne has also served as volunteer for Roots of Empathy for 10 years and served on the boards of the Enoch Turner Schoolhouse Foundation and Toronto’s First Post Office. Over the years, she has attended dozens of City Council meetings, deputized at Community Council meetings, and worked with City staff on the full range of issues affecting Ward 21. Suzanne’s work of the last two decades has prepared her for this role and she understands the work that needs to be done.
When it comes to meaningful change that improves daily life in your community, Suzanne is running on her record.
I have had the pleasure of working with Suzanne since 2017, when we embarked on creating Waterfront for All, an organization devoted to ensuring that the Toronto waterfront remains a unique natural and cultural resource following the guiding principles of the Crombie Commission set out over 25 years ago. Suzanne has ably served on the Steering Committee, where she has demonstrated her abilities as a great collaborator and dedicated city builder, including serving as a key organizer of the highly successful inaugural Waterfront for All Summit held in October 2017, which brought people together from all across the city.
Urban Designer, Principal, Greenberg Consultants