The Agnes Macphail Award is an annual award that recognizes an individual(s) from the East York community who has exemplified the causes that Agnes Macphail championed in her long and distinguished career.
Agnes Campbell Macphail (1890-1954) was once described as “the most important woman in public life that Canada has produced in the 20th century.”
In 1921, Agnes Macphail blazed a path for women as the first female to be elected to the federal House of Commons. In 1943, she became the first woman elected and sworn to sit in the Legislative Assembly, representing York East (which included the Borough of East York and the surrounding rural area). For further information about her life and accomplishments, please visit the Related Links section on this page.
On March 24, 1993, former East York Mayor Michael Prue proclaimed the first annual Agnes Macphail Day in the Borough of East York, to honour the 50th anniversary of her election to the Legislative Assembly at Queen’s Park.
In addition to the Agnes Macphail Award, her legacy is recognized across Toronto with the naming of : Agnes Macphail Public School, Agnes Macphail Square, Macphail Avenue, and the Agnes Macphail House, which has been designated as a property of cultural heritage value under the Ontario Heritage Act.
In 2017, as part of Canada’s 150th anniversary, her image was featured on a $10 bill. The 100th anniversary of Agnes Macphail’s election to Federal Parliament was commemorated in 2021.
The Agnes Macphail Award was established in January 1994 by the former Borough of the East York Council. The award recognizes the connection of the East York community to the causes Agnes Macphail championed in her long and distinguished career. The recipient is recommended to Toronto City Council by the East York Agnes Macphail Recognition Committee.
The annual award is presented to an East York resident who has made outstanding contributions as a volunteer in one or more of the following areas:
The nominee must be a resident of the former Borough of East York who lives by Agnes’ motto, “Think Globally, Act Locally”.
Nominees from previous years are eligible for re-nomination. Previous recipients are ineligible.
The purpose of the award is to recognize the importance to the East York community of the issues that Agnes Macphail espoused in her long career:
An annual award is presented to a resident of the former Borough of East York who has made outstanding contributions as a volunteer, advocate, contributor to community life and leader in one or more of the above fields as well as in other fields. These contributions should be over considerable periods of time. The ideal candidate will live by Agnes’ motto, “Think Globally, Act Locally”.
All residents living in the boundaries of the former Borough of East York are eligible, with the exception of federal, provincial & municipal elected officials, and judges while in office. Posthumous nominations are not accepted. Previous nominations can be resubmitted for consideration however award recipients from previous years are not eligible to be nominated again.
Please submit all information requested on the nomination form. Kindly note that anything that submitted will not be returned. The deadline for receipt of the nomination package is midnight, Friday, January 12, 2024.
The following details must be included as part of the nomination package:
Note: Only information actually submitted as part of the nomination package will be considered. The Committee is not permitted to contact the nominator to receive further information from them.
Nominations must be sent to:
Agnes Macphail Recognition Committee
Strategic Protocol and External Relations, City of Toronto
City Hall, 100 Queen Street West, 2nd Floor, Toronto, ON M5H 2N2
The nomination form is located below.
The Agnes Macphail Award Ceremony will be held on Sunday, March 24, 2024 on Agnes Macphail Day.
The recipient will be recognized with a medal, framed certificate of recognition and their portrait on an honour wall in the East York Civic Centre along with previous recipients.
Each year, the Agnes Macphail Fund receives donations from citizens to a registered charity of the recipient’s choice, where is presented by the Award recipient at the ceremony.
Please send your contribution to the Agnes Macphail Fund
c/o The East York Foundation
50 Merritt Road
East York, ON M4B 3K6
A charitable income tax receipt will be issued for donations over $20.
The ceremony to award the 2024 recipient of the Agnes Macphail Award will take place at the East York Civic Centre on Sunday, March 24, 2024.
More information on the ceremony will be made available in early 2024.
|Carol Burtin Fripp||2018|
|Rev. Jim Parker||2017|
|Muhammad Masood Alam||2015|
|Elisabeth and Robert Lister||1998|
|Eileen Morris Adams||1995|
|J. Edna Beange||1994|
**The 2020 Award Recipients were chosen in 2020 and their awards were presented in 2021.