I am a contract lecturer in the School of Urban and Regional Planning, and was previously a distinguished visiting professor in the Faculty of Community Services. In addition to an honourary doctor of Laws from Ryerson University (2010), I hold a master of Library Science from the University of Toronto (1987), a master of Medieval English History and Culture from the University of Birmingham, England (1977), and a bachelor of arts (honours) in History from Brock University (1976). I was elected to the Council of the City of Toronto in 1991 as the first openly gay city councillor. On City Council, I represented the ward that includes Ryerson University from 1991-2010. I also served as chair of the Economic Development and Culture Committee from 2006-2010; as a member of the Executive Committee from 1991-2001 and 2003-2010; as chair of the Personnel Committee from 1991-1997; and as a member of the Budget Committee from 2003-2010.
Prior to being elected to City Council, I worked at the 519 Church Street Community Centre, as executive director from 1987 to 1991, and as program coordinator from 1986-1987. From 1981 to 1988, I was a queer activist and coordinator of Pride Toronto. From 1978-1980, I was a lecturer at the University of Birmingham and at Westhill Teachers’ College.