Civic Leader – Patricia McKay


When did you join the Junior League? 1945

Name some of your Junior League projects and committee work.
My first Junior League of Toronto experience was working on a CBC children’s radio program. It was written and performed by Leaguers and won an award in the US. I also chaired the Community Advisory Council and the Education Committee. From 1959 to 1961, I served as the League President.

Describe some of your community work outside of the Junior League.
The Junior League functioned as a catalyst for me. It focused on collaboration rather than competition. I can trace almost everything I have done to my experience in the Junior League. From chairing a meeting or a conference to “modus operandi” in encouraging co-operation and joint action, it is all Junior League- based. The Junior League’s training helped me become an informed citizen, enabling me to contribute to the community in a much more effective way.

How has the Junior League enabled you to become a better civic leader and impacted your life in other ways?
Over the years, the Junior League introduced me to areas of learning and experience that I doubt I would ever have encountered on my own. I worked in corrections, first with Elizabeth Fry House, later with the Training Schools Advisory Board and eventually as a community member of the National Parole Board. I worked in mental health as result of the League’s support of the C.M. Hincks Treatment Centre, as well as physical disabilities through the Cerebral Palsy Centre (now called Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital) and the Easter Seals Society of Ontario, which I chaired. I also spent 15 years as a Trustee of the Hospital for Sick Children and two years on the Princess Margaret Hospital Board. I chaired the Alliance for Children, which brought together government, professional and not-for-profit agencies to address the needs of children provincially, and the Canadian Council on Children and Youth.