Walk of life:
civil engineer, civic politician and author
Biographical details:

Tony O’Donohue’s twin career paths – as civil engineer and civic politician – have given him an intimate understanding of the troubling issues confronting the urban environment. He’s concerned that Toronto is putting itself at risk of a decline and fall that could have frightening implications for the city itself and also for Ontario and Canada.

He’s worked on many major engineering projects and has seen first hand how political incompetence and waste can lead to serious problems in infrastructure. He’s seen Toronto go from a clean city to a relatively dirty one – and from a rich city to a relatively poor one, mostly since amalgamation and under Mayor Mel Lastman.

He has immediate concerns about the energy supply in the wake of the 2003 blackout, the long-term implications of dumping urban waste into the United States, the cost of political miscalculations (as much as half a billion dollars is to be picked up by Toronto taxpayers for boondoggles in computers), sludge, property, the waterfront, health, education and other major issues.

He worries, too, about the risk of maintaining a disabled and degraded nuclear power plant on Toronto’s doorstep. "There is no DIY manual for repairing Pickering", he says in this important book.

O’Donohue graduated as an engineer in Ireland, and part of The Tale of a City is a memoir contrasting two entirely different worlds. His father built a wind turbine at their home on the west coast, to power the only ‘wireless’ radio for miles around, which brought news of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

O’Donohue has devoted much of his time to environmental issues – water, waste water, recycling and the efficient use of fuels and electricity. In City Council he pushed Toronto to become the first city in the world to enact a global warming by-law. He also helped pioneer recycling. He received the Citizenship Award from the Ontario Association of Professional Engineers for his "substantial contribution to humanity."

Lastly, O’Donohue’s committment to Canada has taken him on a nearly three decades quest to have Canada’s Parliament repeal the 1701 Act of Settlement, a descriminatory legislation he calls "offensive and demeaning" to Canadians. As he’s been in his careers in civil engineering and politics, his dedication to this cause is tenacious and passionate. He looks forward to your support.

Specific research interests