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Waterfront Toronto welcomes Helen Burstyn as Chair of its Board of Directors

Helen was appointed to the Board of Directors by the Province of Ontario in February 2016 and is excited to lead Waterfront Toronto’s Board of Directors until such time as a Chair is appointed by the three levels of government, in accordance with the provisions of the Waterfront Toronto Act. She brings a diverse range of experience and knowledge to the position following a 35-year career in government, business, academia, broadcasting and community service.


Currently, Helen is the Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Social Venture Zone at Ryerson University and the co-host of Toronto Files on RogersTV. She was the former Chair of the Ontario Trillium Foundation, and served for several years as the Government of Ontario’s Special Advisor, Social Enterprise and Chair of the Partnership Forum.


Helen is also a director of many non-profit and charitable organizations, and sits on a number of advisory boards. She continues to serve as Chair of Evergreen and The Walrus Foundation, and she is a board member for several organizations including the Canadian Opera Company, Luminato, the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), and the Toronto Public Library Foundation. She is also an accomplished author and the recipient of the YWCA Women of Distinction Award for Community Leadership and the Ontario Citizenship Award for Volunteer Service.

Four new directors were also appointed to the Board of Directors at the December 12 meeting. Appointed on behalf of the Government of Canada are Janet Rieksts-Alderman, Sevaun Palvetzian and Mazyar Mortazavi. Meric Gertler was appointed on behalf of the Province of Ontario. Mr. Mortazavi will be commencing his term effective January 1, 2017.

Janet Rieksts-Alderman is a partner at Examine Construction Consultants Canada, a team of engineers and construction consultants who provide expertise on project execution and construction. Ms. Rieksts-Alderman has more than 18 years of experience, is a Certified Professional Accountant, Certified Management Accountant and is a specialist in project governance and audit practices.

Sevaun Palvetzian is the CEO of CivicAction, an organization that engages with leaders from all sectors to address urban challenges in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton region. Ms. Palvetzian is an engaged member of the Toronto community and has several years of experience working as a senior executive in the public service.

Mazyar Mortazavi has been in the development business for 16 years and is the CEO and President of TAS, an urban development company that is a leader in design, development and construction, and has twice been awarded the Green Developer of the Year award.

Meric Gertler is the President of the University of Toronto and previously served as the Dean of Faculty of Arts and Science. He is widely regarded as an expert on innovation, creativity and culture as drivers of the economic dynamism of city-region.

As we head into 2017 with these new appointments, we would like to express our heartfelt thanks to Mark Wilson for his many years of dedication, enthusiasm and hard work at Waterfront Toronto. For highlights of his time serving as the Chair of our Board of Directors, visit our recent  blog post.

About Waterfront Toronto
The Governments of Canada and Ontario and the City of Toronto created Waterfront Toronto to oversee and lead the renewal of Toronto's waterfront. Public accessibility, design excellence, sustainable development, economic development and fiscal sustainability are the key drivers of the waterfront revitalization. Toronto's new waterfront communities will use technology to enhance quality of life and create economic opportunity for the citizens of Toronto, helping to keep the city competitive with major urban centres around the world for business, jobs and talent.


media contact

Andrew Hilton
Director of Communications and Public Engagement
Waterfront Toronto
Telephone: 416-214-1344 x263
Mobile: 416-427-4613
E-mail: ahilton@waterfrontoronto.ca

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Waterfront Toronto welcomes Helen Burstyn as Board Chair
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