ABOUT SARAH THOMSON
Sarah Thomson is a successful entrepreneur and strong civic leader. Since 2010 Sarah has dedicated her life to educating the public about the need for infrastructure and transit expansion. She has focused on the need for funding in the form of tolls on the Gardiner Expressway and Don Valley Parkway dedicated to building the relief subway line in Toronto. As CEO and Director of Civic Alliance (operating as the Transit Alliance) a not-for-profit organization, Sarah has grown it from a small advocacy group to a large membership organization with over 150 members and a strong voice on transit and infrastructure in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA).
The Transit Alliance has seen success in the form of a dedicated Transit Fund – The Trillium Fund – set up by the Provincial government to dedicate an additional beer tax to transit and infrastructure expansion in Ontario.
Sarah is working diligently to ensure a municipal transit fund is achieved.
The Transit Alliance has also worked to ensure that the Federal government create a transit strategy that includes the relief subway line in Toronto and investment in transit infrastructure across the GTHA
Sarah is a committed environmental advocate. She was Chair of Escarpment Biosphere Conservancy because of her strong belief in protecting the natural habitats in Southern Ontario. Through the Net Zero campaign Sarah is committed to ensuring that the building policy actively encourages builders to use environmental technologies and solutions that will make Toronto a world leader in environmental housing solutions.
At 18 years old Sarah became an entrepreneur. She began her career leasing gas stations, but soon recognized the need to provide convenience to her customers and expanded her business by launching retail stores in her locations across Ontario. It wasn’t easy; but Sarah struggled to change a culture that didn’t want change. With over 300 employees, she found her front-line workforce were the first to accept and promote the change. Tenacious, energetic and determined Sarah proved that under-performing service stations could be successful once reformatted and expanded to offer more convenience to customers. Her company grew into a multi-million dollar enterprise. In setting up the stores Sarah created a process that could be easily duplicated across Ontario and to this day she firmly believes that getting the process right is key to creating a successful organization.
In her twenties, Sarah Thomson became involved in restoring old homes. It is a hobby she still has today and is as comfortable with a hammer as she is in a boardroom.
After launching a community newspaper in Hamilton, the Hamilton Examiner, Sarah sold it and established the Women’s Post in 2002. The Women’s Post printed a bi-weekly newspaper that transformed into a monthly magazine. In 2012, it again transformed into an online daily publication with a community of over 500,000 mid- to high-income businesswomen.
In 2010, Sarah Thomson ran for mayor of Toronto. An April 2010 poll by the Toronto Star stated that Thomson had the support of 7% of respondents, but by June a poll showed her support had risen to 17%, putting her in third place. She was the first and only candidate to call for dedicated transit funding and the need for tolls to pay for subway expansion. Lack of funds forced her to drop out of the race.
In the 2011 Provincial election, Sarah Thomson ran for the Provincial Liberals in the riding of Trinity-Spadina where she finished a close second to the NDP incumbent.
Sarah lives in downtown Toronto with her husband and two sons.