I love using bricks as a metaphor when it comes to impacting communities. I immediately fell in love with the idea when I first read how Roger Martin used the metaphor in his book “Fixing the Game: Bubbles, Crashes, and What Capitalism Can Learn from the NFL”. Bricks represent the different ways through which we can become positive leaders, adding to our communities as we go. This thinking has helped guide my personal approach to philanthropy.

Philanthropy: “The desire to promote, the welfare of others, expressed especially by the generous donation of money to good causes”. Synonyms include humanitarianism, social conscience, brotherly love, and compassion.

What can you personally do to add bricks? Quite a lot. You can volunteer, coach a little league team, join a charity, mentor youth, fundraise for a special cause, or even get involved in political campaign.

My favourite bricks are:

Time Icon


Money Icon


Voice Icon



I strongly believe there is a personal ROI (return on investment) in dedicating your time to giving back. You learn, you contribute, you have fun, and you develop a network that might just help you during the rest of your career. In my book “21 Leadership Lessons” I encouraged young leaders to invest time in their communities. Over the years I have given my time to many organizations, like the United Way, Dellcrest Centre, Children's Aid Foundation, Toronto Foundation and, long after graduation, continue to be very active at the University of Windsor.


Not everyone is in a position to donate money. I was fortunate to do very well in business over my career. When I retired from MLSE my friends and MLSE owners funded the Richard Peddie Leadership Initiative at the University of Windsor. And Colleen and I created a foundation aimed at city youth. Donating money is one way to approach philanthropy but it is not the only way. The volunteers that give their time and ideas to work with charities and causes are also very critical to successful philanthropy.


I do not have a problem raising my voice when it comes to commenting on what communities are doing right or not-so-right. My speeches, this website, and my twitter account are proof. I am going to work even harder to make sure my voice is heard during the time leading up to our 2018 civic election. You too can have a strong voice if you are prepared to do your homework and are not shy about speaking up.

I’ll continue to share great causes that you may wish to help with your time, voice and maybe even your money.

Stay tuned.

For a Better Toronto.