The Honourable David Onley was recently officially invested as a member of the Order of Canada.
The Honourable David Onley, seen here touring the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre, was recently officially invested as a member of the Order of Canada. (Photo by Ken Jones)
Monday, August 28 - 2017
Chris Garbutt

The Honourable David Onley, one of U of T Scarborough’s most distinguished alumni and a lecturer at the campus, has been officially invested as a member of the Order of Canada. 

Onley, who served for seven years as Ontario’s Lieutenant Governer, has been a passionate advocate for disability rights.

“Throughout his career, he has advanced the public’s understanding of people with disabilities, particularly during his tenure as Ontario’s lieutenant governor, where he made inclusion and accessibility the overarching themes of his mandate,” says a statement from the Order of Canada website.  “He continues to work toward greater accessibility in his province as a special advisor to the Government of Ontario.”

He was officially invested on Friday during a morning ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa.

The Honourable David Onley and Rick Hansen
The Hon. David Onley and Rick Hansen tour the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre. (Photo by Ken Jones)

Since 2014, Onley has taught classes at U of T Scarborough, bringing a unique perspective from his years at Queen’s Park. He also works with students on research projects, using papers from his term in office and works with staff of the UTSC Library to archive his papers. In 2015, Onley served as the University's Special Ambassador for the 2015 Pan Am & Parapan American Games. 

Onley, who graduated from U of T Scarborough in 1975, served as student council president at what was then known as Scarborough College. The early 1970s was a time of great student activism, and he remembers the administration reaching out to involve students—leadership that he considers enormously impressive.

Onley is a recipient of the Rick Hansen Award for Excellence and the Courage to Come Back Award, and holds 11 honorary degrees including an honorary Doctor of Laws from U of T, received in 2009.