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May 22, 2009
New street name honours Marie Labatte
Councillor Cliff Jenkins (Ward 25 Don Valley West) and Councillor Howard Moscoe (Ward 15 Eglinton-Lawrence) today unveiled a new street sign to honour activist, philanthropist and former City Councillor, the late Marie Labatte.

“Marie Labatte devoted her life to her family and community,” said Councillor Jenkins. “She had a strong belief in the leadership of women and their contribution to public policy and the betterment of cities and local communities.”

Born in Chicago in 1925, Labatte moved to Canada after graduating in 1953 from George Williams College where she studied social work and social welfare. Elected to North York City Council from 1976 to 1988, and to the Don Parkway Ward of the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto from 1988 to 1996, her commitment to issues such as social justice, women’s rights and the environment paved the way for a number of achievements. She lobbied successfully for 10 years to have the title of alderman changed to councillor and championed the rights of non-smokers.

“Marie Labatte was a passionate advocate for women’s rights and community planning,” added Councillor Moscoe. “This street name honours her dedicated service to our city, including the non-smoking bylaws that we take for granted today.”

Labatte will also be remembered for her community endeavours and her role as Governor and member of the Board of Governors at Seneca College. In 2000, Labatte established a full-year tuition bursary in her name to encourage and support academic excellence in Seneca students. She personally reviewed candidates for the bursary, selecting students who were, like her, committed to leadership and community service.

Labatte died in January, 2004 at the age of 79. She is survived by her husband, Henry Labatte, and her three children, Brian, Neil and Mary.

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. Toronto has won numerous awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. 2009 marks the 175th anniversary of Toronto's incorporation as a city. Toronto's government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contact:
Steve Johnston, Sr. Communications Co-ordinator, 416-392-4391,



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