Robert Spencer Short History:




As Community Organizer

  • Organized tenants to buy and renovate seventeen houses to form the Beverley-Sullivan Non-Profit Housing Cooperative
  • Organized tenants to buy a downtown apartment building and sell “air rights” to create the Sultan Street Non-Profit Housing Cooperative
  • Organized the Scadding Court Community Centre funding partnership
  • Founded the Beach community Energy Cooperative to put parent-community ownership of a shared school solar array on the policy agenda- an Ontario first.


As Chairperson of the Toronto Board of Education

  • Chaired a city-wide committee of trustees overseeing an annual budget of more than a billion dollars
  • Initiated the first integrated heritage languages programs in Ontario
  • Implemented policies to improve race relations and fight discrimination
  • Initiated the first alternative school programs
  • Initiated the first parent-controlled school daycare policy


As Executive Director Ontario Association of Food Banks

  • Raised funds to increase food distribution, job training and food recovery staff from three to twenty-four
  • Organized the first coordinated province-wide food drive
  • Developed and built the first production kitchen for province-wide food distribution
  • Created a cook training program for traditionally disadvantaged youth
  • Joined Toronto Food Policy Council


Professional memberships:

  • Founding Director, Glassworks Community Cooperative
  • Vice President, Beach Community Energy Cooperative
  • Corporate Secretary, Federation of Community Power Cooperatives