Dan Leckie Way honours late education advocate, environmental activist and City Councillor|
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Toronto City Council has officially renamed Lower Portland Street, between Lake
Shore Boulevard West and Queen's Quay West in honour of activist, educator and
former Councillor Dan Leckie (1949-1998). Long-time friend, Councillor Olivia
Chow presided over the renaming ceremony, which was attended by his widow,
Nicki Leckie, his mother, Helen Leckie, and other family and friends.
"Renaming the street is a small and symbolic way to remind Torontonians of
Dan's contribution towards improving the quality of life for Toronto's
residents," said Councillor Olivia Chow (Ward 20 Trinity-Spadina). "Whether it
was in education, municipal politics or the environment, Dan sought to better
the condition of everyone's lives. He was a generous and dedicated man, and he
is sorely missed."
Dan Leckie was a trustee of the Toronto School Board from 1972 to 1978, serving
as Chair in 1977. While there, he introduced multi-culturalism programs,
de-streaming and made vocational schools co-ed. In the same years, Leckie also
worked with the Toronto Board of Health on ground-breaking initiatives like the
Health Advocacy Unit, the Healthy City Programme and Toronto's AIDS Defence
As a policy advisor, Dan Leckie worked in the office of Mayor John Sewell, and
in 1981 for New Democratic Party Member of Parliament Dan Heap. From 1986 to
1991, while in the office of City Councillor Jack Layton and as City Councillor
himself from 1994 to 1997, Leckie developed many health and environmental
initiatives, including the Toronto Atmospheric Fund, the Food Policy Council,
the Toronto Bay Initiative, the Better Buildings Partnership and the Task Force
to Bring Back the Don.
In the last months of his life, Leckie was active on environmental causes,
making presentations at the United Nations Kyoto Summit on climate change.