Denzil Minnan-Wong

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Denzil Minnan-Wong
Denzil Minnan-Wong speaks to reporters.jpg
12th Deputy Mayor of Toronto
Assumed office
December 1, 2014
Preceded by Norm Kelly
Toronto City Councillor for (Ward 34) Don Valley East
Assumed office
December 1, 2000
Preceded by Ward Created
Toronto City Councillor for (Ward 11) Don Parkway
In office
January 1, 1998 – December 1, 2000
Preceded by Ward Created
Succeeded by Ward Abolished
Chair of the North York Community Council
In office
January 1, 2004 – May 21, 2005
Preceded by Giorgio Mammoliti
Succeeded by Maria Augimeri
Personal details
Born 1963/1964 (age 53–54)
Nationality Canadian
Spouse(s) Colleen
Children 3
Residence Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Occupation Lawyer

Denzil Minnan-Wong (born c. 1963)[1] is a Toronto city councillor representing one of the two Don Valley East wards, Toronto City Council Ward 34. As of 2016, he is the Chair of the Striking Committee, the Employee and Labour Relations Committee, and the Civic Appointments Committee. He is also the Vice-Chair of the Executive Committee and sits on the TTC Board, the Employee and Labour Relations Committee, the Debenture Committee, the Committee of Revision, and is part of the Nominating Panel for Facilities and Finance.[2]


Minnan-Wong is the son of Denzil Minnan-Wong, Sr., a Chinese immigrant who became a prominent member of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario. His father died in 1988 at age 53. He was educated at Osgoode Hall Law School and became a lawyer specializing in immigration issues. He lives in Toronto with his wife Colleen and their three children.


In 1994 North York councillor Barry Burton died of cancer and the North York city council appointed Minnan-Wong as interim councillor. Later that year he was elected to the position in the municipal election. In 1997 he was elected to the city council of the new amalgamated city of Toronto.[3]

In 2011, he led an initiative to contract out garbage collection in Toronto west of Yonge Street in 2011 which projected savings of $12 million a year.[4] Minnan-Wong was accused of "poisoning" the relations between Toronto Civic Employees Union and the Toronto government after supporting Tory's position to privatize the city's garbage collection.[5]

Although Minnan-Wong didn't learn to ride a bicycle until the age of 46, he supported the development of the first on street separated bike lane network in Toronto resulting in the creation of the Sherbourne, Wellesley, Hoskin,[6] Richmond and Adelaide protected cycle tracks while voting for the removal of 3 painted bike lanes on Jarvis Street, Pharmacy Avenue and Birchmount Road.[1][7][8] In 2013 he facilitated the move of the Bixi public bike share system to the operation of the Toronto Parking Authority.[9][10] Toronto was awarded Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) gold status from the Share the Road Cycling Coalition in April 2015, an award criticized by local cycling advocates.[note 1][11][12][13]

He was appointed to the TTC by City Council under the Mayor Rob Ford administration in December 2010.[14] He was one of 5 councillors on the TTC board who voted in 2012 to terminate the services of the TTC General Manager Gary Webster. Andy Byford was hired as Webster's replacement.[15]

As a result of the decision to terminate Webster the five Councillors who supported the termination, including Minnan-Wong, were removed from the TTC board by council on March 5, 2012 before the end of their appointed term as a result of a motion by Councillor Karen Stintz, who was Chair of the TTC board.[16][17] On December 2, 2014 he was appointed again to the TTC board by City Council after the election of Mayor John Tory.[18]

Minnan-Wong was named Deputy Mayor of Toronto by John Tory on December 1, 2014.[19]


In an interview published on August 30th 2017 in the Toronto Sun [20], Minnan-Wong said in reference to outgoing chief planner of Toronto Jennifer Keesmaat that he wanted the planner to "stick to knitting". After criticism of the comment as sexist, Minnan-Wong apologized for his words and said that they were taken out of context [21]

Election results[edit]

2014 Toronto election, Ward 34[22]
Candidate Votes  %
Denzil Minnan-Wong 9,761 53.46%
Mary Hynes 5,953 32.13%
Douglas Owen 1,171 6.32%
Faisal Boodhwani 705 3.80%
Amer Karaman 486 2.62%
Alan Selby 453 2.44%
Total 18,529 100%
2010 Toronto election, Ward 34[23]
Candidate Votes  %
Denzil Minnan-Wong 8,743 53.42%
Peter Youngren 6,484 39.63%
Stephan Stewart 1,140 6.96%
Total 16,367 100%



  1. ^ Gold is third of five awards possible, those being Diamond, Platinum, Gold, Silver, Bronze.


  1. ^ a b Lu, Vanessa (June 15, 2009). "City hall's car guy learns to ride". Toronto Star. 
  2. ^ "Councillor Denzil Minnan Wong". City of Toronto. 
  3. ^ "1997 Toronto general election results". City of Toronto. 1997. Archived from the original on 21 October 2012. Retrieved 12 July 2013. 
  4. ^ "Toronto has saved $11.9M through private garbage December 16, 2013". CBC News. 
  5. ^ "Will John Tory follow Rob Ford's lead in upcoming labour talks?". Retrieved July 20, 2015. 
  6. ^ "CITY WAY BEHIND ON BIKE LANE TARGET" by Ben Spurr, Now Magazine, DECEMBER 29, 2013
  7. ^ "New bike lanes on Richmond Adelaide". Toronto Sun. July 30, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Bikeway Network - 2011 Update". City of Toronto. July 12, 2011. 
  9. ^ Doolittle, Robyn (December 4, 2013). "Bixi bike-share program to pedal forward under a new name". Toronto Star. 
  10. ^ "Toronto unveils new separated bike lane on Sherbourne Street". Globe and Mail. 
  11. ^ "Share the Road Announces Bicycle Friendly Community Awards April 2015" (PDF). Share the Road Cycling Coalition. April 1, 2015. 
  12. ^ Simcoe, Luke (April 5, 2015). "Bicycle award divides Toronto's cycling community". Metro Toronto. Retrieved February 2, 2016. 
  13. ^ Kolb, Jared (April 4, 2015). "People who ride bicycles in Toronto have hearts of gold". Cycle Toronto. Retrieved February 2, 2016. 
  14. ^ "Fords picks named to police board". Toronto Star. December 8, 2010. 
  15. ^ O'Toole, Megan (February 21, 2012). "‘Toadyism wins:’ Councillors rage after TTC board sacks Toronto transit chief Gary Webster". National Post. 
  16. ^ "Mayor loses as TTC board restructured". Globe and Mail. 
  17. ^ "Eglinton LRT first up at new TTC board". Toronto Star. March 7, 2012. 
  18. ^ "Old guard of council's left". NOW Magazine. 
  19. ^ "John Tory picks next Toronto deputy mayor, executive committee". Retrieved July 20, 2015. 
  20. ^ "Councillors have goals for new planner". Toronto Sun. August 30, 2017. 
  21. ^ "Minnan-Wong apologizes for saying Keesmaat ‘should stick to the knitting’". Globe and Mail. September 8, 2017. 
  22. ^ "City of Toronto Election Results, Councillor: Ward 34". CBC News. October 27, 2014. 
  23. ^ "City of Toronto Election Results, Councillor: Ward 34". City of Toronto. October 26, 2010. 

External links[edit]