Jennifer McKelvie

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Jennifer McKelvie
Toronto City Councillor for Ward 25 (Scarborough—Rouge Park)
Assumed office
December 1, 2018
Preceded byNeethan Shan
Personal details
BornEast York, Ontario
Spouse(s)Warren McKelvie
ResidenceToronto, Ontario
Alma mater
OccupationEnvironmental geoscientist

Jennifer McKelvie is a Canadian politician, who was first elected to the Toronto City Council in the 2018 municipal election.[1] She represents Ward 25 (Scarborough—Rouge Park), which encompasses much of eastern Scarborough, the Toronto Zoo, Rouge National Urban Park, and the neighbourhoods of Centennial, Highland Creek, Malvern, Morningside Heights, West Rouge, and West Hill.

McKelvie was one of only two non-incumbent candidates to unseat an incumbent in the 2018 election, a rare feat in Toronto politics. In the 2014 Toronto municipal election, she was a candidate in the now defunct Ward 44, and came within less than 600 votes of defeating then long-time incumbent Ron Moeser.

Enhancing public transit, creating employment opportunities, and improving housing and community safety were her key priorities. She also derided the post-amalgamation shift of public investment and municipal jobs out of Scarborough to Toronto's downtown core. McKelvie believes replacing the antiquated Scarborough RT line in favour of a subway and building an Eglinton East LRT line are crucial transit projects necessary to properly connect Scarborough with the rest of Toronto.

Early life and family[edit]

Jennifer McKelvie (née Gray) was born in East York, and lived her early years in an apartment complex on the North York-Scarborough border. She attended the French immersion program at Precious Blood Elementary School, and is a graduate of Senator O’Connor College School. She is one of the few members of City Council who is fluent in French. Jennifer honed her interests in science and environmental issues by completing her Bachelor's in Environmental Science at the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus, now in her Council Ward.

While in university, she worked as a research assistant. She later worked at Environment Canada and at the then-Department of Indian and Northern Affairs. Jennifer lives in Ward 25 with her husband, Warren, and her two children.

Academic career and community service[edit]

She received her M.Sc. and Ph.D. from the University of Toronto in geology, with research specializing in geochemistry, environmental cleanup, and biochemistry. Jennifer's academic mentor and supervisor was Barbara Sherwood Lollar, an internationally recognized leader in geological research and a Canada Research Chair in geochemistry who was recently awarded the Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering, the top science accolade in the country.

McKelvie's academic work has been recognized and supported by the L’Oréal UNESCO Women in Science Fellowship, and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. Prior to her election, McKelvie worked as an environmental geoscientist and researcher. For almost a decade, she served as a senior scientist at the Nuclear Waste Management Organization, and as a research director at the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research.

McKelvie was the first President of the Scarborough Community Renewal Organization, and was President of the Centennial Community & Recreation Association. In both of these capacities she fought for renewal and investment in Scarborough. Proud of her academic roots, McKelvie served as a member of the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus Council, and as a citizen member of the Toronto Region Conservation Authority (TRCA).

Her community service has been recognized by the Scarborough Rotary Clubs, who awarded her with the Paul Harris Fellow award in 2017. She has also received awards recognizing her leadership from the Province of Ontario and the University of Toronto.

Political career[edit]

Following her election to Council in 2018, she was appointed Vice-Chair of Toronto's Infrastructure and Environment Committee and Scarborough Community Council. She also serves on the Board of Health, Toronto's Budget Committee, the Toronto Atmospheric Fund, the Toronto Zoo Board of Management, and as a Commissioner of the Toronto Transit Commission.

Electoral record[edit]

2018 Toronto election, Ward 25[2]
Candidate Votes %
Jennifer McKelvie 11,624 40.21%
Neethan Shan 11,470 39.68%
Paul Cookson 1,897 6.56%
Amanda Cain 831 2.87%
Total 28,970 100%
2014 Toronto election, Ward 44[3]
Candidate Votes %
Ron Moeser 6,416 25.73%
Jennifer McKelvie 5,844 23.44%
Diana Hall 5,530 22.18%
Amarjeet Chhabra 2,852 11.44%
Total 24,934 100%


  1. ^ "Jennifer McKelvie unseats a council incumbent, in Ward 25, Scarborough—Rouge Park". Toronto Star, October 22, 2018.
  2. ^ "A look at the 2018 Toronto election results, ward by ward". Toronto City Council. October 22, 2018.
  3. ^ "Declaration of Results" (PDF). Toronto City Council. October 30, 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 5, 2016. Retrieved April 18, 2017.