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Hon. David C. Onley

28th Lieutenant Governor of Ontario (2007-2014)

Following a career in television broadcasting, the Hon. David C. Onley was Ontario’s 28th Lieutenant Governor from 2007 to 2014. As Ontario’s first physically disabled viceregal representative—Mr. Onley contracted polio as a child and became partially paralyzed—he has sought to raise awareness of accessibility issues and increase opportunities for persons with disabilities.

Besides representing the Queen and acting to fulfil constitutional obligations, Mr. Onley undertakes hundreds of engagements each year, travelling around the province to meet with citizens, listening to their concerns, encouraging service, and recognizing excellence.

To keep up with Mr. Onley, visit or find him on Twitter.
Charles Pachter

Commemorating the First World War Through the Power of Art

As the war recedes even farther into the past, the experience of the Great War risks sliding out of our collective memory. The centenary of WWI challenges us to renew our understanding of the conflict and reconsider its contemporary meaning. In that same spirit, my office is hosting Lest We Forget, an exhibition of WWI-inspired paintings by celebrated contemporary artist Charles Pachter.
06/20/2014 01:00 EDT
Janice Lin via Getty Images

Raise A Glass To Fine Ontario Wines

Today, viticulture is thriving in Ontario, with more than 180 wineries responsible for just over 70 per cent of total Canadian wine production, contributing an estimated $3.3 billion to the province's economy in 2011, many thousands of direct and indirect jobs, as well as $644 million in tourism and tourism employment, according to the Ontario Winery and Grower Alliance of Ontario.
06/10/2014 05:59 EDT

Saving Mr. Mowat: An Art History Mystery

When the opportunity arose to play one of my predecessors in my favourite TV drama, I seized the moment. In the The Ghost of Queen's Park episode of the CBC's Murdoch Mysteries, I was cast as one of m...
04/03/2014 02:27 EDT
Mark Bowden via Getty Images

The Amazing Power of Giving Back

Whether you're a billionaire, a small business owner, a student, or a retiree, I hope that you will make it a New Year's resolution to volunteer in your community. I can promise you that the personal benefits will be at least as great, and probably more long-lasting, than giving up chocolate or joining a gym!
12/21/2013 02:12 EST

Reimagining Accessibility: Competition Results and Lessons Learned

The quest for a more inclusive accessibility symbol continues. The re-worked designs will be featured at next year's DEEP Conference -- which will be held in conjunction with The Accessibility Conference hosted by Guelph University -- for the delegates' input.
11/14/2013 12:42 EST

The Wheelchair Is Just One Small Part of the Picture: Why It's Time to Reimagine Accessibility

The nub of my and others' unease with the current International Symbol of Access is that it excludes over 97 per cent of people with disabilities, because it is all about wheelchairs, rather than accessibility. To those who fear that the competition I've launched is aimed at throwing the proverbial baby out with the bathwater and getting rid of the wheelchair symbol altogether: this is definitely not the case. What I'm asking is for designers to reimagine the concept of accessibility and to come up with a revised symbol or set of symbols that will be more inclusive.
10/20/2013 10:47 EDT

Happy Birthday to a Woman of Honour

Mrs. Maryon Pearson, famously witty wife of Canada's 14th Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Lester B. Pearson, once said: "Behind every successful man, stands a surprised woman." Mrs. Pearson disliked politics and the demands public service placed on her husband and family. I wish she could have met my wife.
10/03/2013 08:05 EDT

Reimagining Accessibility and the Wheelchair Symbol

In 1969, the universal symbol for accessibility -- a blue square overlaid in white with the stylized image of a figure in a wheelchair -- made its first appearance. But the symbol is still built around a stick figure -- not a person. But the most important problem with the International Symbol of Access is this: it is exclusionary. The symbol is all about the wheelchair -- even though the majority of disabilities are not mobility-related. That is why, with the enthusiastic co-operation of the Ontario College of Art and Design University, I have launched an international competition to find a contemporary symbol.
09/27/2013 01:03 EDT

How I'm Working With First Nations in Ontario

Living conditions on some reserves are now so dismal that they are routinely likened to those of the Third World. Needless to say, youth literacy and education have not thrived in this environment. Working together will not only hasten progress, but elevate the relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Ontario to a new level of friendship and respect.
07/26/2013 05:21 EDT
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A Day Like No Other: Recalling the Coronation of a Queen

Sixty years ago, Coronation Day was celebrated around the world. In Canada, it was declared a national holiday, marked with parades, concerts, and fireworks. Even in wartime Korea, Canadian soldiers marked the day by firing red, white, and blue-coloured smoke shells at a thoroughly confused enemy, followed by toasts to the Queen with rations of rum!
06/05/2013 10:33 EDT