By RON FANFAIR
With long-serving city councilor Howard Moscoe’s retirement last August from municipal politics, Toronto Catholic School Board (TCSB) trustee Rob Davis is the frontrunner to take the Ward 15 (Eglinton-Lawrence) seat and return to City Hall after a 10-year absence.
Davis served on York’s city council from 1991 – he was the first Black councilor in the city’s 200-year history and one of the youngest elected officials at the time – until the city was amalgamated into the new City of Toronto in 1997 when he was elected as one of the two members for Ward 28 (Toronto Centre-Rosedale).
When the wards were redistributed prior to the 2000 elections, some sitting members were forced to face one another for re-election. Davis lost to Joe Mihevc in Ward 21 (St. Paul’s West) and in 2003 Shelley Carroll narrowly defeated him in the Ward 33 (Don Valley East) race.
If elected, Davis plans to restore and rebuild confidence in local government and honour Canada’s Black pioneers through the establishment of a Walk of Fame in the Eglinton Ave. West/Oakwood Ave. neighbourhood.
“The Walk of Fame is part of an economic development strategy to bring tourism into the community where there is a large Black business population,” said Davis who founded the York Caribbean Carnival Committee that produced the Eglinton Junior Carnival parade from 1994-2005. “This is in addition to helping young people know more about their history and share their culture with other people.”
A former Toronto Transit Commission vice-chair and Toronto Crime Prevention Task force co-chair, Davis is not supporting any candidate for mayor.
“My job as a city councilor is to work with the other political leaders that the public sends to City Hall,” said Davis who is a stockbroker by profession.
He’s running against political neophyte Josh Colle, the son of Eglinton-Lawrence Member of the Provincial Parliament, Mike Colle.
The younger Colle is an executive at an energy and infrastructure development firm and a former TCSB trustee. The 36-year old father of three supports the Eglinton Ave. light rail plan.