Toronto City Council today approved the appointment of Paul Johnson as the City of Toronto’s Deputy City Manager, Community and Social Services, following a comprehensive search. Johnson will begin his new role on Tuesday, September 7, 2021 and will report to City Manager Chris Murray.
Johnson is taking on a huge department. City divisions that are a part of Community and Social Services include: Children’s Services, Court Services, Economic Development & Culture, Employment and Social Services, Housing Secretariat, Parks, Forestry & Recreation, Public Health, Seniors Services and Long-Term Care, Shelter Support & Housing Administration, Social Development, Finance & Administration, Strategic Partnerships and Toronto Paramedic Services.
Paul Johnson served for more than 10 years at the City of Hamilton, most recently as the General Manager of the Healthy and Safe Communities Department. There, Johnson led 4,300 City employees in delivering fire, paramedic, recreation, long-term care, public health and human services to Hamilton residents.
Some of Johnson’s notable achievements at the City of Hamilton include cost savings initiatives through continuous improvement, increasing affordable childcare options, leveraging private investment to enhance and expand oral health programming, and using innovative approaches to reduce the affordable housing waitlist. Johnson broadened the City of Hamilton’s community development efforts through the Neighbourhood Action Strategy, and was responsible for the development and implementation of the Age-Friendly initiative and the Urban Indigenous Strategy. During his time as Hamilton’s Director of Light-Rail Transit (LRT) Project Coordination, Johnson established the ”Community Connector” program to connect with property owners along the LRT corridor and used creative strategies to increase the potential for investment in affordable housing along the LRT route.
Prior to working at the City of Hamilton, Johnson was the Executive Director of Wesley Urban Ministries in Hamilton and served as Director of the Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction. As a volunteer in the community Paul served as Co-chair of the Hamilton Anchor Institution Leadership, member of the Toronto Implementation Panel – Moving on Mental Health; Chair of the Hamilton Best Start Network, Chair of the Human Services Planning Initiative and Chair of the Greater Hamilton Health Network. Johnson was also a past co-chair of the United Way of Burlington-Hamilton Campaign Cabinet, among many other volunteer posts. An avid basketballer, Johnson will continue in Hamilton, as President of the Fox 40 Referees Camp, longest serving camp in Canada since 1988. He will continue as President of the Hamilton Basketball Referees Board.
Commenting on Paul’s hiring, Toronto City Manager Chris Murray said, Johnson, “has a proven track record of creating efficiencies, increasing oversight, effective budgeting and inspiring his teams. I know having an experienced leader like Paul will help to achieve the City’s priorities and deliver services and programs to the public.”
For his part Johnson said, “I feel honoured to have the opportunity to take on this new challenge, working on behalf of Toronto residents. It is a privilege to be charged with working to enhance the quality of life for Toronto’s residents, particularly in a post-pandemic era.”