Prominent Torontonians share their predictions, hopes and dreams for 2017

As the insanity of 2016 comes to a close, Toronto Life asked 10 prominent Torontonians what they think 2017 will bring. Despite November 8, and no end of trouble around the world, everyone was weirdly optimistic. (We’ll see how long that lasts.) Here’s what they said.


“I predict continued progress for Toronto in 2017. We’ll be moving forward on building transit, keeping taxes low, and making sure we have affordable housing.”
—John Tory, mayor



“2017 will be the year that self-driving cars first ferry passengers. (Unfortunately they won’t be flying... yet!)”
—Ian Black, Uber Canada general manager



“Toronto is in a global competition for talent, and I hope 2017 will see our welcoming, multicultural city continue to make positive gains in that area. Transit and housing will remain the two issues of greatest concern, but I believe we can and will make gains in these areas by supporting smart and strategic measures.”
—Mohamed Lachemi, Ryerson University president



“Even higher graduation rates and improvement in math test scores.”
—Robin Pilkey, Toronto District School Board chair



“With global conflicts unfolding in rapid contrast, our beautiful social experiment in Toronto will continue to exceed expectations. ‎Diversity is the most powerful engine for social innovation, and I predict that in 2017 we will truly embrace this extraordinary attribute to strengthen our economy and global competitiveness.”
—Kristyn Wong-Tam, city councillor



“Black Lives Matter Toronto will continue to set the national stage on pushing back against anti-Black racism, police brutality and, locally, pouring our efforts into an overhaul of the SIU.”
—Janaya Khan, Black Lives Matter Toronto co-founder



“My prediction for 2017 is more open access to knowledge, creativity, and data to drive more equity and innovation. Openness is the best antidote to ignorance, propaganda, exclusion, intolerance and inequality.”
—Ryan Merkley, Creative Commons CEO



“My prediction is that Desmond Cole will shake up Toronto by challenging, as he does so well, our notions of being a fair and just city.”
—Ratna Omidvar, senator and founder of Lifeline Syria



“My hopes for the year are simple: a National Housing Strategy! For the first time in almost 25 years I hope to see a federal plan to end homelessness, tackle the challenge of housing on and off reserve and in urban communities and make living in Toronto more affordable.”
—Adam Vaughan, MP for Spadina-Fort York



“In light of uncertainty around the world, I predict that, in true Toronto spirit, members from all communities will come together to further advance equity, inclusion and fairness while continuing to reject the notions of fear and division.”
—Mitzie Hunter, Ontario education minister


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