David Reville

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David Reville
Ontario MPP
In office
Preceded byJim Renwick
Succeeded byMarilyn Churley
City Councillor, Ward 7
In office
December 1, 1980 – November 30, 1985
Serving with Gordon Cressy (1980-1982), Joanne Campbell (1982-1985)
Preceded byJanet Howard
Succeeded byBarbara Hall
Personal details
Born (1943-04-19) April 19, 1943 (age 76)
Brantford, Ontario
Political partyNew Democrat

David R. Reville (born April 19, 1943) is a former politician in Ontario, Canada. He was a New Democratic member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 1985 to 1990 who represented the downtown Toronto riding of Riverdale. Between 1990 and 1995 he was an advisor to the government of Bob Rae.


Reville was born in Brantford, Ontario. After graduating from Brantford Collegiate Institute in 1961, he attended Trinity College at the University of Toronto and proceeded to law school. It was expected that he would follow the career path of his father, an Ontario judge. Instead, Reville became manic-depressive and attempted to kill himself during his law studies.[1] He was institutionalized in a psychiatric hospital and became a crusader for mental health reform upon his release.[2]

During an interview with Canadian Press, Reville intoned, tongue firmly in cheek, "I became a New Democrat because I was mentally ill" and was bemused when his statement appeared as a headline in newspapers across the country. He was making the point that he had begun to learn something about powerlessness in hospital, and joined the NDP to fight for marginalized people.[3] He once joked that he was the only MPP with a certificate to prove that he was sane.[4]


Reville served on Toronto's city council from 1980 to 1985, and emerged as a popular alderman in the downtown area.[5][6] Known primarily for his work on affordable housing, he was responsible for an environmental first. He got Council to award intervenor funding for a community group to be involved in the environmental assessment of a proposed refuse-fired steam plant. Out of the group that organized around the issue came two popular politicians, Marilyn Churley and Peter Tabuns, both of whom were City Councillors before being elected to the Legislature. David was elected to the Ontario legislature in the 1985 provincial election, winning an easy victory in Riverdale.[7] He was re-elected in the 1987 election, defeating future Liberal Member of Parliament and then City Councillor Jim Karygiannis by about 1,500 votes.[8] Reville was an opposition MPP throughout his time in the house. He was proud to be the author of a private bill that brought roomers and boarders under the protection of the Landlord and Tenant Act for the first time. (Bill 10)

Electoral record[edit]

Ontario general election, 1985: Riverdale
Party Candidate Votes %
New Democratic David Reville 9,869 52.1
Progressive Conservative Bret Snider 4,590 24.2
Liberal Doug DeMille 3,986 21.0
Communist Maggie Bizzell 322 1.7
Green Michael Tegtmeyer 189 1.0
Total 18,956
Canadian Press.[9]
Ontario general election, 1987: Riverdale
Party Candidate Votes %
New Democratic David Reville 10,338 44.4
Liberal Jim Karygiannis 8,699 37.7
Progressive Conservative Bob Dodd 3,300 14.3
Green Debora Hojman 328 1.4
Libertarian Byron Garby 283 1.2
Communist Maggie Bizzell 210 0.9
Total 23,048
Toronto Star.[10]

Later life[edit]

Reville did not seek re-election in 1990, arguing that he wanted to devote his time to more useful pursuits.[11] After the NDP won a majority government in the 1990 provincial election, he served as a senior advisor to Premier Bob Rae.[12]

In 1994, Reville was appointed chair of the Ontario Advocacy Commission but it was disbanded by the Mike Harris government less than two years later.[13][14] In 2001, he received an award from the Council of Canadians with Disabilities. He ran a consulting company called David Reville & Associates specializing in social research and community development.[15] As a consultant to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, he helped develop the augmented education program at George Brown College; the award-winning program helps people with mental health and addictions histories get their first jobs in the construction and culinary industries. In 2004, Reville began teaching for the School of Disability Studies at Ryerson University; one of his courses was called A History of Madness and the other Mad Peoples' History which received the Canadian Association for University Continuing Education Award of Excellence in 2011.[16] He retired in 2014. That year, friends and colleagues honoured Reville by establishing the David Reville/Working for Change course bursary in Mad People's History; the winner is selected annually from the Working for Change community. Working for Change creates education and employment opportunities for people with mental health and addictions challenges. Reville was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws by Queen's University in 2015.

Singing has been a big part of his life. He was a member, man and boy, of the choir at Grace Anglican Church in Brantford for 10 years. He sang at the Mariposa Folk Festival with the Spadina Road Tabernacle Band in 1980 and at Carnegie Hall with newchoir, Toronto's first rock choir in 2015. Since 2014, he's been a member of the Eastminster United Church choir in Toronto.


  1. ^ Outhit, Jeff (April 4, 1992). "Former psychiatric patients unit". The Kingston Whig - Standard. p. 1.
  2. ^ Lindgren, April (March 19, 1998). "Should mental help be forced?: Advocates for the ill say the law falls short Ontario". The Windsor Star. p. A7.
  3. ^ Walkom, Thomas. Rae Days. pp. 41–43.
  4. ^ Coyle, Jim (July 28, 1994). "Reville is perfect for Advocacy Commission". The Kitchener Record. p. A7.
  5. ^ "Civic Elections '80". The Toronto Star. November 11, 1980. pp. A12–A13.
  6. ^ "New councils in Metro region". Toronto Star. November 14, 1985. p. A7.
  7. ^ "Results of vote in Ontario election". The Globe and Mail. May 3, 1985. p. 13.
  8. ^ "Results from individual ridings". The Windsor Star. September 11, 1987. p. F2.
  9. ^ Canadian Press (1985-05-03). "The night the Tories tumbled; riding by riding results". Ottawa Citizen. Toronto. p. 43. Retrieved 2012-05-10.
  10. ^ "How Metro-Area Voted". The Toronto Daily Star. Toronto. 1987-09-11. p. A12.
  11. ^ Byers, Jim (July 7, 1990). "Churley to seek NDP nomination". Toronto Star. p. A4.
  12. ^ Hall, Chris (October 1, 1990). "Ambitious list; Party must now turn promises into government priorities". The Ottawa Citizen. p. A4.
  13. ^ "10,000 apply for rights advisory jobs". The Hamilton Spectator. December 14, 1994. p. B5.
  14. ^ Longbottom, Ross (February 7, 1996). "Retain Advocacy Act, province urged". The Hamilton Spectator. p. T1.
  15. ^ "Honorary degrees recognize outstanding work". Queen's Gazette. Queen's University.
  16. ^ Coyle, Jim (May 19, 2012). "Gathering world's 'psychiatric survivors': Ryerson hosting 'high-knowledge crazies' at unique conference". Toronto Star. p. IN1.

External links[edit]