Practice Lead, Planning and Administrative Tribunal Law Section, City of Toronto (Legal Services)
Sector: Public Sector
Magic Moment: My decision to article at the City of Toronto changed the entire trajectory of my legal career. I always knew I wanted to be a public sector lawyer, but wasn’t exactly sure in what capacity. During my articles at the City I was exposed to Planning Law for the first time and as a result found my niche.
Key Influence: Anna Kinastowski, former City Solicitor for the City of Toronto. After my articles, Anna hired me into the Planning Law section when she was the Director of the group. Her high expectations and standards encouraged me to become a better lawyer. She championed me through the first 15 years of my career.
John Paton, former Director of the Planning Law group. John was my other boss for the first 15 years of my career. His quiet intellect and incredible knowledge of municipal governance helped shaped my approach to being a lawyer and a public servant.
Next Big Challenge As An Industry: In my opinion the two major challenges we face are affordability and climate change. We must figure out how to provide affordable housing for everyone in urban environments. It’s not simple, but it has to be done not only to address homelessness, but also climate change. Everyone should be have choices about how to get to work or school. This also means expanding our public transit systems – another big challenge. For me this is as much about equity as much as it is about protecting the planet.
Secret Talent: Word games and trivia. I’m a real nerd.
On Championing Others… I try to keep an open door and open mind. I want people to feel they can talk to me, ask me questions and for my support. Given my current management role at the City, my focus is mostly on mentoring younger lawyers. I hope they feel they can reach out to me if they need advice or a champion.
One word that captures you: Someone once called me tenacious and I decided I like it. Sounds so much better than stubborn.