john sewell and karim kanji

John Sewell: Former Toronto Mayor

John Sewell is Toronto’s 58th Mayor. Sewell was first elected to Toronto’s city council in 1969 and served as the city’s Mayor from 1978 until 1980.

John Sewell was raised in the Beaches area of Toronto and earned his Law Degree from the University of Toronto. Sewell has always fought for the under represented and the underdog in Toronto.

Co-host Gregg Tilston joined me in studio for this conversation with Toronto’s first rebel mayor.

This is episode #137  of the Welcome! podcast.

Here are some of the things we talked about:

  • Why John Sewell wore jeans and a leather jacket when he was first elected to city council
  • Working with the community to help develop the St. Lawrence neighbourhood.
  • Why John Sewell thinks that the revitalized Regent Park didn’t go far enough in regards to affordable housing and integration.
  • The history behind the 401 Richmond heritage building and why it’s important to have smart property tax assessments instead of a one size fits all solution.
  • We discussed the challenges that cities all over the world seem to have regarding accessing funds for municipal programming and services.
  • A long and lively discussion around affordable housing.
  • Why John Sewell fought against the “megacity” proposal that created the city of Toronto as we now know it today.
  • Why Sewell thinks we should have smaller councils (in terms of councilors) while also having more local representation (more councils).
  • Sewell was a big fan of the Metropolitan Toronto system prior to “megacity”.
  • John Sewell’s candid thoughts on Richard Peddie, Desmond Cole, David Miller, John Tory, Jennifer Keesmat.
  • His favourite thing about Toronto.

Listen below:

Girth Radio
Apple Podcasts
Google Play Music
Pocket Casts
You can also subscribe to the podcast via RSS Feed if you’re so inclined.

Music by Afraaz Mulji.

If you liked this episode you will also like the following conversations with other former podcast alumni: