"Toronto lost one of it's biggest social justice champions with the passing of Pam McConnell. She was a guiding light for us all."
“Deputy Mayor Pam McConnell: a principled, tenacious city builder. Champion of neighbourhoods, the vulnerable. We are all so saddened today,” said Jennifer Keesmaat of the passing of Pam McConnell.
Numerous other tributes have been made to remember Councillor McConnell, Toronto’s deputy mayor who passed away on July 7 from lung issues. Friends, colleagues, and constituents recall her integrity, her passion, and her commitment to tackling the issues surrounding poverty and social justice in this city. She leaves behind a remarkable legacy. McConnell was instrumental in helping to develop St. Lawrence Market, the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal, the West Don Lands, Regent Park, and East Bayfront areas of Toronto.
McConnell served Toronto initially as a teacher, and then as a school trustee in 1982 and as a city councillor from 1994. McConnell became the councillor for Ward 28 in the 2010 municipal election and was re-elected in the 2014 election. More recently, she was made one of four of Toronto’s deputy mayors by Mayor John Tory.
“Toronto is a better and fairer city thanks to Pam’s service and advocacy. She will be missed by her Council colleagues, City staff and the community she served with integrity and passion, ” said Mayor John Tory in a released statement.
Truly saddened to learn of the passing of my colleague, Deputy Mayor Pam McConnell. Please read my statement below: pic.twitter.com/DpenEWFnVO
— John Tory (@JohnTory) July 7, 2017
Others remembered her commitment to promoting affordable housing in Toronto. “Pam McConnell has been a force for good in thousands of people’s lives. She was admired and respected by multiple communities and organizations. But for the co-op housing sector, she was one of us. We have lost one of our own, and our hearts are broken,” reported the Co-op Housing Federation in a released statement.
The Toronto sign was dimmed in her honour on the evening of July 7 and the flags at City Hall, Metro Hall, and Toronto Civic Centres will fly at half-mast until the end of the day of her funeral. An online book of condolences can also be signed to remember the legacy of this resilient and principled fighter for social justice in Toronto.
Here’s just some of the outpouring of love for Councillor McConnell on social media this weekend.
— City of Toronto (@TorontoComms) July 10, 2017
My heart is filled with a deep sadness with news of my sister @PamMcConnell28 passing. our city has lost one of its greatest champions.
— Mike Layton (@m_layton) July 7, 2017
The National Ballet is saddened by the death of Deputy Mayor Pam McConnell, a long-time YOU dance supporter. She will be missed. pic.twitter.com/f4fGc7JlPG
— national.ballet.ca (@nationalballet) July 10, 2017
Pam McConnell was a school trustee when my kids were in school. All the best to a passionate, caring woman who understands people & politics
— Kathleen Wynne (@KathleenWynneON) July 9, 2017
Regent Park revit, the West Donlands redevelopment, St Lawrence Neighbourhood, and recently, Berczy Park. All legacies of Pam McConnell.
— jennifer keesmaat (@jen_keesmaat) July 7, 2017
— Olivia Chow (@oliviachow) July 7, 2017
I was dismissive when Tory named deputy mayors. Pam McConnell sneered at me. "I'm no one's window dressing." And she never was. RIP.
— Edward Keenan (@thekeenanwire) July 7, 2017
— Kristyn Wong-Tam (@kristynwongtam) July 7, 2017
— Jay Wall (@Jay_Wall) July 8, 2017
— Barry Jordan Obama (@bjcTO) July 8, 2017
Come to city hall and write something remembering the life and work of Cllr Pam McConnell pic.twitter.com/GeZaN9SYJY
— Joe Mihevc (@joemihevc) July 10, 2017