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Remembering Councillor Jaye Robinson: A Passionate And Kind Advocate

junho 27, 2024

Toronto Councillor, Jaye Robinson passed away peacefully on maio 16 at the age of 61 surrounded by her family. A passionate and kind resident of Don Valley West, she was surrounded by her loving husband “William Crossland “Billy, her three sons Jackson “Jake,” Samuel “Sam,” and William “Will,” daughter-in-law Brooke, and her faithful dog, Sadie”, according to her website.

“She is survived by her mother, Shirley, and her siblings Elizabeth “Brandy,” Robin, Kelly, and John.”

Robinson has represented the ward of Don Valley West since 2010 and served on the Economic and Community Development Committee. She was a four-term city councillor in Ward 15 for almost 14 years in addition to serving time as chair for the TTC; and on the Board of Directors for the Art Gallery of Ontario, Leaside Memorial Gardens Arena, and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

Councillor Jaye Robinson attended to commemorate the planting of a new tree in memory of a big beloved tree that was cut down in E.T. Seton Park named “Cricket.” Robinson gave a moving speech about this new tree and her commitment to the community of Don Valley’s natural green space. 

“Councillor Robinson was dedicated to improving the lives of Torontonians, spending approximately 20 years of her career in public service, first with the former City of North York and post-amalgamation, with the City of Toronto, where she was the Director of Special Events before running for municipal office. She played an integral role in launching a vibrant roster of events including Nuit Blanche, Summerlicious, Winterlicious and Moose in the City.” – City of Toronto

The memorable Moose in the City project included placing 326 moose sculptures decorated by local artists all around Toronto to raise money for charity. These famous moose were a hot topic for discussion and the subject of many Toronto themed photos. Businesses and individuals sponsored them, and the moose helped raise awareness for various causes in a fun way.

Robinson’s passion for community began while attending the University of Guelph. As Vice President of Activities, she organized multiple events on campus such as Frosh Week, Homecoming, and weekly concerts. She was so successful in this position that she was later elected President and represented 20,000 students.

Before finding success at University, Robinson grew up on a small farm near Grand Valley, Ontario. Perhaps her love of nature came from her early days of apple picking, maple syrup harvests, and the beloved vegetable garden.

Robinson had announced in 2019 she was undergoing extensive treatment for breast cancer, and would be staying at her job but taking time away. She returned to work during the pandemic and was instrumental in helping community members deal with challenging situations and circumstances. My son and I lived in her riding for over a decade and she always made herself available to help others, regardless of where they lived on the map.

Shortly before Robinson’s passing, I received her newsletter about the Community Environment Day she was organizing for junho which encouraged residents to bring used household items to avoid them ending up in a landfill. Robinson’s environment days were often the best-attended in all of Toronto and she was passionate about getting involved and advocating for the environment and sustainability initiatives. She worked hard to include strategies to reduce single-use plastics and textile waste and raised awareness on protecting and expanding Toronto’s tree canopy by strengthening the tree protection by-law. Robinson also created several new parks in Don Valley West and helped revitalize dozens more green spaces that community members and wildlife now benefit from.

“Jaye advocated for transparent governance and evidence-based decision-making. She championed hundreds of motions addressing planning reform, road safety, public transit, congestion management, environmental initiatives, improving Toronto’s fiscal health, and protecting trees and green spaces.”

Jaye was the first councillor to endorse the Plant Based Treaty and actively promoted environmental initiatives, including tree planting.

Robinson was the first councillor in Toronto to endorse the Plant Based Treaty. Following her lead, other Toronto councillors stepped up and signed it as well. It would be a beautiful tribute if the City of Toronto passed a motion in Jaye Robinson’s honour to build on her commitment to the environment and our planet, and endorsed the Plant Based Treaty.  

“In 2022 Don’t Mess With The Don co-organized an event with Toronto Climate Save promoting the Plant Based Treaty.  Councillor Jaye Robinson attended to commemorate the planting of a new tree in memory of a big beloved tree that was cut down in E.T. Seton Park named “Cricket.” Robinson gave a moving speech about this new tree and her commitment to the community of Don Valley’s natural green space.

“Our team spoke to Jaye about the climate crisis and she agreed to sign the Plant Based Treaty. I gifted her the book Food Is Climate and she was thankful for our outreach. Jaye told me, ‘This is a wonderful campaign and I support it fully. We need to eat [more] plants & plant trees.’” – Yarim Hinojosa, Plant Based Treaty Toronto

Anita Krajnc, Plant Based Treaty global campaign coordinator starts her deputation to the City of Toronto Board of Health with a tribute to Jaye Robinson.

Robinson was a beloved leader and mentor and will be deeply missed at City Hall and by her family. Her website states:

“If you were lucky enough to meet Jaye, or more likely see her in action, you would have experienced a kind, caring, creative, inclusive, fun, and funny individual – a visionary with an unprecedented passion for her community. She will be dearly missed, but her legacy will live on.”

Miriam Porter é um escritor premiado que escreve sobre veganismo, questões de justiça social, e viagens ecológicas. Miriam vive actualmente em Toronto com o seu filho Noah e muitos amigos peludos resgatados. Ela é uma activista apaixonada pelos direitos dos animais e fala por aqueles cujas vozes não podem ser ouvidas.