Recent News

“What would you do with 32?”

For immediate release
(PDF version)

CivicAction invites GTHA residents to actively imagine a better life through better transportation

CivicAction Chair John Tory and CEO Mitzie Hunter share their answers to "What would you do with 32?"

TORONTO – October 10, 2012 – It’s time to take bold action to accelerate investment in the transportation network serving the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA). That’s the message the Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance and the 40+ members of its Regional Transportation Champions Council delivered today as they launched a campaign asking GTHA residents what they would do with 32 extra minutes a day.

At, CivicAction invites residents to answer a simple question: “What would you do with 32?” and imagine a better quality of life fueled by a better transportation network. On average commuters will save that much time daily if The Big Move regional, multi-modal transportation plan is funded and built in the next 25 years.*

By responding, residents are saying “I care about getting from point A to B more easily”, and “we need greater investment in our transportation network”.

See selected answers below to the question “What would you do with 32?”.

“With a commute time amongst the worst in North America, our transportation system is not working, and we do not have to accept it the way it is,” said John Tory, Chair, CivicAction. “It can be so much better, and we want people to talk about how they would benefit from greater investment to make it better.”

To participate in the campaign:

  1. Visit and tell us “What would you do with 32?”
  2. Share the link with friends
  3. Be a local champion – sign up through the site to lead a conversation about this with your own community.

Campaign driven by Champions: Forty plus rising and established leaders have signed on to CivicAction’s Champions Council. They represent a wide variety of interests from business, labour, non-profit, academic, and community organizations from across the GTHA, and will engage their employees, members, students, suppliers, and customers in this discussion. They all rely heavily on the region’s roads and transit system to move people and goods, and are highly motivated to make the system better.

“We’re taking this issue to the highways, subways, buses and sidewalks,” said Mitzie Hunter, Chief Executive Officer, CivicAction.

“Everyone needs to be part of the conversation – road and transit users, taxpayers, businesses, students,” Hunter said. “We’ll take their feedback to governments to drive action that will deliver the transportation network we need to prosper and thrive.”

Whether it’s time saved, better health and air quality, a boost to productivity, or easier access to jobs, schools, and other opportunities, the benefits of a regional transportation system that is efficient, accessible, affordable, and fully connected are indisputable. The GTHA aspires to be world class, and our transportation system needs to reflect that. 

Provincial agency Metrolinx will submit an Investment Strategy to the province and the region’s municipal governments by June 2013 with its recommendations on how to pay for an improved network to serve the GTHA. For governments to act boldly, they’ll need to see that the region’s leaders and residents are calling for greater investment in our regional transportation system, and agree that governments need to find sustainable ways to pay for it.

The campaign builds on the work of the Transportation & Other Infrastructure Working Group that informed CivicAction’s Greater Toronto Summit 2011, and the work of such organizations as the Toronto Board of Trade, Evergreen, University of Toronto’s Cities Centre and Institute on Municipal Finance & Governance, the City Institute at York University, the Federation of Urban Neighbourhoods of Ontario, Transport Action Ontario, The Pembina Institute, and Toronto Environmental Alliance. The campaign will reinforce the activities of these and other groups across the region that are championing a better transportation network.

– 30 –

About CivicAction

The Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance convenes civic leaders from across all sectors and the region to catalyze change on the tough issues and big opportunities facing the Toronto region.

For more information, visit or @CivicActionGTA. For information on CivicAction’s regional transportation initiative, please visit

Media contacts:

Marcus Staviss                  416-505-2851 (cell) or 416-920-0716 x210     

Dorenda McNeil               416-920-0716 ext. 216                                          

*Thirty-two minutes is the difference between the average commute time if the regional transportation plan, The Big Move, is built (77 minutes), and the commute time if no comprehensive system is built over the same time (109 minutes). Source: Metrolinx.

Selected answers to the question “What would you do with 32?”

“I’d spend more time with my grandchildren.” John Tory, Chair, CivicAction

“I’d get to my pilates class.” Mitzie Hunter, Chief Executive Officer, CivicAction

“32 minutes equals 5 readings of Dr. Seuss’ “The Lorax” with my kids (they never get tired of it and neither do I).” Gerald Butts, President and CEO, World Wildlife Fund Canada

“I’d walk down Queen Street with my toddler chasing puppies and fire trucks.” Eva Wong Scanlan, Co-Chair, Toronto Homecoming, and CivicAction Emerging Leaders Network member

“Go for a walk to a neighbourhood cafe with my wife and friends and just hang out.” Ken Greenberg, Architect and Urban Designer, Greenberg Consultants Inc.

I’d exercise more.” Melissa Raghurai, President, Mayfair Clubs

“I would focus more on the DO in my TO DO list and less on keeping the list.” Jim Curran, Former traffic reporter for CBC Radio One in Toronto

Members of CivicAction’s Regional Transportation Champions Council

  1. Kevin Adolphe, President and Chief Executive Officer, Manulife Real Estate
  2. Paul Bedford, Adjunct Professor, Urban & Regional Planning, University of Toronto and Ryerson University
  3. Joe Berridge, Founding Partner, Urban Strategies
  4. Gerald Butts, President and CEO, WWF Canada
  5. Bob Chant, Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Communication, Loblaw Companies Limited
  6. Michael Cooper, Chief Executive Officer and Vice-Chairman, Dundee REIT
  7. David Crombie, President, David Crombie & Associates
  8. Patrick Dillon, Business Manager, Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario
  9. Kirk Dudtschak, Senior Vice President, Strategy and Human Resources, Canadian Banking, RBC
  10. Howard Eng, President & CEO, Greater Toronto Airports Authority
  11. Phillip Haid, Co-Founder and CEO, Public Inc.
  12. Abdul Hai Patel, Director – Interfaith and External Relations, Canadian Council of Imams
  13. Wayne Hanley, National President, United Food and Commercial Workers Canada
  14. Mitzie Hunter, Chief Executive Officer, Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance
  15. Blake Hutcheson, President and CEO, Oxford Properties
  16. Johnnie-Mike Irving, Managing Director, Toronto, TELUS
  17. Duncan Jackman, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, E-L Financial Corporation
  18. Bob Kinnear, President, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 113
  19. Tracy Leparulo, Student Leader and Executive, Ryerson Entrepreneur Institute
  20. Faye Lyons, Government and Stakeholder Relations, CAA South Central Ontario
  21. Rob MacIsaac, President, Mohawk College of Applied Arts and Technology
  22. Yohan Mahimwala, Product Manager, FedEx and CivicAction Emerging Leaders Network member
  23. Graeme McKay, Vice-President, Ontario Government, Healthcare & Higher Education, IBM Canada
  24. Tim McTiernan, President and Vice Chancellor, University of Ontario Institute of Technology
  25. Peter Menkes, President, Commercial/Industrial, Menkes Developments
  26. David Naylor, President, University of Toronto
  27. Mike Pedersen, Group Head, Wealth Management, Insurance & Corporate Shared Services, TD Bank Group
  28. Melissa Raghurai, President, Mayfair Clubs
  29. Paulette Senior, CEO, YWCA Canada
  30. John Sullivan, President and CEO, Cadillac Fairview Corporation
  31. Jose Tamariz, President and CEO, 407 ETR
  32. Frank Techar, President and CEO, Personal and Commercial Banking Canada, BMO Bank of Montreal
  33. Jim Thomson, President and CEO, Thomson Terminals
  34. John Tory, Chair, Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance
  35. Mark Tullis, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Intact Financial
  36. Catherine Vlasov, Secondary School Student Leader, University of Toronto Schools
  37. Mary Webb, Senior Economist, Scotiabank
  38. Carol Wilding, President and CEO, Toronto Board of Trade
  39. Geoffrey Wilson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Toronto Port Authority
  40. Eva Wong Scanlan, Co-Chair, Toronto Homecoming and CivicAction Emerging Leaders Network member
  41. Jeff Zabudsky, President and CEO, Sheridan Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning
Appeared In (Publisher):

Media release

Share this page: