We will be meeting in person at Bonar Parkdale Presbyterian Church, 250 Dunn Ave, just South of Queen Street West. Arrive after 6:30 PM for refreshments and socializing, the meeting starts at 7:30PM. We will also be holding the meeting through Zoom, assuming there are no technical problems. Members will be sent the link in the newsletter in the week leading up to the meeting.
Gil Penalosa is passionate about cities for all people. He advises decision makers and communities worldwide on how to create vibrant cities and healthy communities for all, regardless of age, gender, ability and social, economic, or ethnic background. His focus is on the design and use of parks and streets as great public places, as well as the promotion of sustainable mobility: walking, riding bicycles, using public transit, and new use of cars.
To read more about Gil and his dedication to parks, click here to read an interview done in January of 2022.
In 2022 Gil ran for mayor of Toronto. In 100 days, he got 100,000 votes, and changed the conversation, which was his objective. It was the second most votes of the over 20 municipalities in the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area. His focus was on how to create an equitable and sustainable city, a Toronto for Everyone.
Gil is the Founder and Chair of the successful Canadian non-profit organization 8 80 Cities. In addition, Gil leads a private international consulting firm - Gil Penalosa & Associates, providing services as an inspirational keynote speaker, instructor of Master Classes, and advisor to decision makers.
Throughout his career, Gil has been a strong advocate for improving city parks, making his first mark in Bogotá, Colombia, where he led the design and construction of over 200 parks - including Simon Bolivar, a 113-hectare park in the heart of the city. His team also radically transformed the Ciclovía / Open Streets – from a program of few kilometers to one that sees over a million people walk, run, skate and bike along 121 kilometers of Bogotá’s city roads every Sunday of the year, and today is internationally recognized and emulated.
Because of Gil’s unique blend of experience, pragmatism and passion, many cities and organizations worldwide seek his leadership and valuable advice. He has worked in over 350 different cities in all continents.
Gil was elected twice as chair of World Urban Parks and was its first ambassador. He holds an MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management, where he was selected as one of the “100 Most Inspirational Alumni” in the school’s history. Gil received a Doctorate Honoris Causa from the Faculty of Urban Planning at the prominent Swedish university, SLU. He is a Certified Professional Speaker by the US-NSA. Two years ago, he was in Planetizen’s Top 50 Most Influential Urbanists, and received in Australia the World Urban Parks Annual Distinguished Individual Award.
Gil (Guillermo) Penalosa, MBA, PhDhc, CSP
Founder and Chair, 8 80 Cities
President, Gil Penalosa & Associates
Creator, A Walk in the Park with Gil
Advocator, Toronto for Everyone