News Release
May 11, 2022

Mayor John Tory has honoured the late John Honderich with a Key to the City awarded posthumously to his family in his memory.

John Allen Honderich (1946-2022) was an accomplished journalist who dedicated much of his life to building a better Toronto. As Editor and Publisher of the Toronto Star, he brought attention to social justice causes and created a space for marginalized people to share their stories. As a devoted United Way Board member, he focused his attention on new ways to revitalize underserviced parts of the city.

Honderich was committed to building a better and fairer city and received numerous accolades in recognition of his life’s work. He was appointed a member of the Order of Canada in 2003 and the Order of Ontario in 2005, named to the Canadian News Hall of Fame in 2014 and presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Canadian Journalism Foundation in 2019.

The Mayor awards the Key to the City to inspiring individuals from diverse backgrounds who embody the spirit and potential of Toronto and who have contributed significantly to civic life. The Key to the City is the highest honour that the City of Toronto grants to an individual or a group.


“John Honderich was one of Toronto’s pre-eminent storytellers, a city builder who dedicated himself to building a better and fairer city at every opportunity. John truly believed in Toronto, our city’s promise and its unique place in the world. As a larger than life Torontonian, he was always motivated by a desire to make Toronto a better place to live, a place where everyone is included. A giant of journalism, his career went from copy boy to reporter, editor and publisher, leading the Toronto Star to many awards and a Pulitzer Prize. Not only did he care about the future of newspapers in a strong democracy and about the future of Toronto, he also had a deep love for his country. His was dedicated to a society that valued humanity above all. The Key to the City is our way of recognizing John’s incredible accomplishments and their lasting mark on Toronto.”

– Mayor John Tory

Toronto is home to more than 2.9 million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s leading economic engine and one of the world’s most diverse and livable cities. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a global leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture and innovation, and consistently places at the top of international rankings due to investments championed by its government, residents and businesses. For more information visit the City’s website or follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

Media Relations