Denzil Minnan-Wong

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Denzil Minnan-Wong
Denzil Minnan-Wong speaks to reporters - 2012 (cropped).jpg
Minnan-Wong in 2012
12th Deputy Mayor of Toronto
Assumed office
December 1, 2014
Preceded byNorm Kelly
Toronto City Councillor for (Ward 16) Don Valley East
Ward 34 (2000-2018)
Assumed office
December 1, 2000
Preceded byWard Created
Toronto City Councillor for (Ward 11) Don Parkway
In office
January 1, 1998 – December 1, 2000
Preceded byWard Created
Succeeded byWard Abolished
Chair of the North York Community Council
In office
January 1, 2004 – May 21, 2005
Preceded byGiorgio Mammoliti
Succeeded byMaria Augimeri
Personal details
Born1963/1964 (age 57–58)
ResidenceToronto, Ontario, Canada

Denzil Minnan-Wong (About this soundlisten) (traditional Chinese: 黃旻南; simplified Chinese: 黄旻南) (born c. 1963)[1] is a Toronto city councillor representing Don Valley East, Toronto City Council Ward 16. He was the Progressive Conservative candidate for the riding of Don Valley East in the 2018 provincial election, placing a close second behind re-elected Liberal incumbent Michael Coteau.[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.

Municipal politics[edit]

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]

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,[5] 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][6][7] In 2013 he facilitated the move of the Bixi public bike share system to the operation of the Toronto Parking Authority.[8][9] 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][10][11][12]

Minnan-Wong was Deputy Mayor of Toronto for period 2014-2018.[13] During the 2014-2018 Council term, he was Chair of the Striking Committee, the Employee and Labour Relations Committee, and the Civic Appointments Committee. He was also Vice-Chair of the Executive Committee and sat on the TTC Board, the Debenture Committee, the Committee of Revision, and was part of the Nominating Panel for Facilities and Finance.[14]

Removal and reappointment to TTC Board[edit]

He was appointed to the TTC by City Council under the Mayor Rob Ford administration in December 2010.[15] 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.[16] The five councillors who supported Webster's termination, including Minnan-Wong, were removed from the TTC board by council on March 5, 2012, as a result of a motion by Councillor Karen Stintz, chair of the TTC board.[17][18] On December 2, 2014, he was appointed again to the TTC board by city council after the election of Mayor John Tory.[19] Under Byford's leadership the TTC subsequently won the 2017 American Public Transportation Association's (APTA) award for Transit System of the Year [20]

Ontario provincial 2018 election[edit]

On January 20, 2018 he was acclaimed as the candidate for the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario for the riding of Don Valley East for the 2018 provincial election.[21] He placed a close second to the Liberal incumbent, former cabinet minister Michael Coteau.[2]

During his run for the Don Valley East seat, Minnan-Wong stated that he would take an "unpaid" leave from Toronto City Council, remitting the salary he would have collected from the 30-day provincial campaign period to either the city or a charity. He ultimately donated his councillor salary for that period to the City of Toronto and directed the money be spent on roads.[22]

2018 municipal election[edit]

After the 2018 Ontario general election Minnan-Wong ran for Councillor for Toronto City Council in the 2018 municipal election in newly constituted Ward 16 Don Valley East, which has the same boundaries as Don Valley East. He won the election for a 4-year term from 2018 to 2022, defeating former Liberal Cabinet Minister David Caplan. [23] Minnan-Wong was the only 1 of 7 sitting councillor TTC Board members to be returned to council.[24] He was reappointed during the 2018-22 council term as deputy mayor and was reappointed, a third time, as a member of the Toronto Transit Commission Board.[25]

"Stick to knitting" controversy[edit]

In an interview published on August 30, 2017, in the Toronto Sun,[26] Minnan-Wong said in reference to outgoing chief planner of Toronto Jennifer Keesmaat that he wanted the planner to "stick to knitting". Although Minnan-Wong had previously also used the term to describe men he was accused of making a sexist comment by Keesmaat.[27] Minnan-Wong apologized for his words and said that they were taken out of context.[28]

Election results[edit]


2018 Ontario general election: Don Valley East
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Michael Coteau 13,012 35.93% −19.78
Progressive Conservative Denzil Minnan-Wong 11,984 33.09% +6.30
New Democratic Khalid Ahmed 9,937 27.44% +14.41
Green Mark Wong 917 2.53% −1.11
Libertarian Justin Robinson 236 0.65%
Freedom Wayne Simmons 131 0.36% −0.48
Total valid votes 100.0  
Liberal hold Swing −13.04
Source: Elections Ontario[29]


2018 Toronto election, Ward 16[30]
Candidate Votes %
Denzil Minnan-Wong 11,128 46.33%
David Caplan 7,227 30.3%
Stephen Ksiazek 1,698 7.07%
Dimitre Popov 1,104 4.06%
Pushpalatha Mathanalingam 888 3.7%
Michael Woulfe 771 3.21%
Aria Alavi 582 2.42%
Diane Gadoutsis 569 2.37%
Total 23,967 100%
2014 Toronto election, Ward 34[31]
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[32]
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. ^ a b D'Andrea, Aaron (June 7, 2018). "Liberals' veteran Michael Coteau defeats city councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong in Don Valley East". Toronto Star. Retrieved July 16, 2018.
  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. ^ "CITY WAY BEHIND ON BIKE LANE TARGET" by Ben Spurr, Now Magazine, DECEMBER 29, 2013
  6. ^ "New bike lanes on Richmond Adelaide". Toronto Sun. July 30, 2014.
  7. ^ "Bikeway Network - 2011 Update". City of Toronto. July 12, 2011.
  8. ^ Doolittle, Robyn (December 4, 2013). "Bixi bike-share program to pedal forward under a new name". Toronto Star.
  9. ^ "Toronto unveils new separated bike lane on Sherbourne Street". Globe and Mail.
  10. ^ "Share the Road Announces Bicycle Friendly Community Awards April 2015" (PDF). Share the Road Cycling Coalition. April 1, 2015.
  11. ^ Simcoe, Luke (April 5, 2015). "Bicycle award divides Toronto's cycling community". Metro Toronto. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  12. ^ Kolb, Jared (April 4, 2015). "People who ride bicycles in Toronto have hearts of gold". Cycle Toronto. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  13. ^ "John Tory picks next Toronto deputy mayor, executive committee". Retrieved July 20, 2015.
  14. ^ "Councillor Denzil Minnan Wong". City of Toronto. Archived from the original on 2016-01-29. Retrieved 2016-01-29.
  15. ^ "Fords picks named to police board". Toronto Star. December 8, 2010.
  16. ^ O'Toole, Megan (February 21, 2012). "'Toadyism wins:' Councillors rage after TTC board sacks Toronto transit chief Gary Webster". National Post.
  17. ^ "Mayor loses as TTC board restructured". Globe and Mail.
  18. ^ "Eglinton LRT first up at new TTC board". Toronto Star. March 7, 2012.
  19. ^ "Old guard of council's left". NOW Magazine.
  20. ^ "2017 APTA Transit System of the Year".
  21. ^ Fox, Chris (2018-01-20). "Deputy Mayor Denzil Minnan-Wong acclaimed as PC candidate for Don Valley East". CP24. Retrieved 2018-01-20.
  22. ^ Denzil, Vote (26 July 2018). "Donating the salary I made during my leave of absence. I directed the funds be spent on".
  23. ^ "Denzil Minnan-Wong gets another term in Ward 16, Don Valley East - The Star".
  24. ^ "Toronto voters shake up TTC board as four members defeated". Archived from the original on 2018-12-03. Retrieved 2018-12-02.
  25. ^ "Agenda Item History".
  26. ^ "Councillors have goals for new planner". Toronto Sun. August 30, 2017.
  27. ^ "Minnan-Wong discovers the perils of getting stuck in the knitting: Keenan - The Star".
  28. ^ "Minnan-Wong apologizes for saying Keesmaat 'should stick to the knitting'". Globe and Mail. September 8, 2017.
  29. ^ "Summary of Valid Votes Cast for each Candidate" (PDF). Elections Ontario. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  30. ^ "Toronto election 2018: Ward 16 Don Valley East - Toronto -". 13 October 2018.
  31. ^ "City of Toronto Election Results, Councillor: Ward 34". CBC News. October 27, 2014.
  32. ^ "City of Toronto Election Results, Councillor: Ward 34". City of Toronto. October 26, 2010. Archived from the original on January 8, 2014. Retrieved February 25, 2014.

External links[edit]