Toronto’s 50 Most Influential: #9, Jennifer Keesmaat
9When politicians say we can’t afford nice things, Keesmaat fights for them anyway. She has shattered the traditional role of bureaucrat as behind-the-scenes advisor, replacing it with strident advocate and social media powerhouse. She won the mayor’s backing for an eight-hectare Rail Deck Park covering the rail lines downtown and for the one-stop subway to Scarborough, which should leave enough cash for a 17-stop LRT connecting the Eglinton Crosstown to U of T’s Scarborough campus. Last summer, she revved up her 30,000 Twitter followers to rally for the demolition of the eastern part of the Gardiner.
She wants cars off King Street so streetcars, cyclists and pedestrians can move more freely.