November 1, 2002 – Mayor Mel Lastman and Toronto City Council are pleased to announce the re-naming of Lower Portland Street to Dan Leckie Way. Dan was a former City Councillor, former chair of the Cycling Committee and a great friend to cyclists. You are invited to the ceremony on Friday November 1, 2002 at 10:30 AM on the north-east corner of QueenÃƒÂs Quay and Lower Portland Street.
A Friend Remembered
by Shannon Thompson, November 1998 issue of Cyclometer
Former Toronto City Councillor Dan Leckie did not dress up very often. But there was one night he had to rent a tuxedo for some fancy event. “Do you want me to arrange a city car?” our administrative assistant asked. The answer was always the same: “No thanks, I'm going to ride.”
Not surprisingly, Dan's choice to use a bicycle as his mode of transportation led him to put a lot of energy into improving cycling conditions in the city. Long before he was a City Councillor himself, Dan played an important “behind the scenes” role while Councilors like Jack Layton chaired the Toronto City Cycling Committee in the 1980s. (Dan was Jack Layton's executive assistant). While Dan was a City Councillor (1994-1997), he co-chaired the TCCC and helped secure much of the bicycle infrastructure we now enjoy.
Last fall, a cyclist came to our office with a plan. He wanted the city to buy an abandoned
railway track to begin a network of cycling paths that would link all of Metro. Within a month, Dan had a team of city staff working on buying the land, Council approval to do so, and the cyclist who suggested it was involved and learning how to make it happen.
But Dan was much more than just an effective and articulate advocate for cycling. He was a thinker and visionary who was most interested in what long-term and structural changes could be made to change the way we build communities. Every cycling discussion with Dan ended with ideas for the 5-year plan, and although few could keep up with him, he was already fashioning the 20-year plan in his head.
Those who knew Dan can all remember seeing him riding around town – always smiling, optimistic and kind. And always planning a project that he'd try to interest you in. With Dan's death, we have lost a very precious member of our city. Thank you, Dan, for nurturing the cycling community through its infancy. We will miss you.
Dan Leckie was a Toronto City Councillor who died of a brain aneurysm on May 30th at age 48. Shannon Thompson is a cyclist and was Dan Leckie's Executive Assistant.