The Hon. Alan Redway, BCom '58
Member of Parliament (1984-93)
Mayor, East York (1977-82)
A graduate of Victoria College, Alan Redway’s professional path took him from law to politics and back again. Redway served six years as the mayor of East York, before entering federal politics as MP for the riding of York East. He was re-elected in 1988, and was appointed as Minister of State (Housing) in Prime Minister Brian Mulroney’s cabinet. Upon his departure from federal politics in 1993, Mr. Redway returned to private practice as partner of his own firm, Redway & Butler, where he worked until his retirement in 2010. Since exiting politics, Mr. Redway has served on the boards of Toronto’s Daily Bread Food Bank, Flemingdon Community Legal Services, Toronto’s special working group on affordable housing, and the Leaside Property Owner’s Association. In 2000, he acted as co-chair of a lobby group devoted to putting housing back on the public agenda.
Mr. Redway currently writes a column for Leaside Life News, and was recently honoured with East York’s Agnes Macphail Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to community life. He is the author of the forthcoming book, The Real Common Sense Revolution: De-amalgamation.
In his own words:
“My most vivid and fondest memories of my years in Commerce and Finance 5T8 revolve around my professors and what was then called the Economics Building where I took the vast majority of my classes. The Economics Building formerly called McMaster College before it moved to Hamilton now the Royal Conservatory of Music, had in those days an old and well used feeling about it. The stair treads had been worn down by generations of former students. But for me it was my home away from home.
To this day I can still see in my mind’s eye our Professor of Commerce C. A. Ashley, formerly the General Manager of the Shanghai Power Company in China, rushing to class up Philosopher’s Walk from his apartment at Trinity College wearing his formerly black academic gown faded to a yellow green colour by too much exposure to the sunlight. As he lectured our class Professor Ashley would slowly and carefully tear off thin strips of paper from his lecture notes, roll them into tight tiny balls and fire them across the classroom never once stopping his lecture while doing it.
Then too I can still hear Professor of Accounting Fred Crocombe carefully explaining to us that the difference between a debit and a credit was that the credit was the closest to the window.
One early morning class as some of us were finishing breakfast and others were rattling their Globe & Mails, Professor of Medieval Economic History Karl Helleiner angrily declared that he demanded a modicum of respect. He had no interest in students, he said . He was at U of T for research which he made quite clear, as he stormed out of the room leaving the class in shock. One of those students was his son Gerry our C&F classmate. Gerry went on to become a Professor of Economics as did Gerry’s son Eric, Karl Helleiner’s grandson.
Three others made an indelible impression on me. Lorne Morgan who taught Labour Economics gave me a deep and lasting appreciation and respect for organized labour which I put to good use as a municipal Mayor negotiating with public service unions. Harry Eastman Professor of International Economics, the class I most enjoyed in my four years in C&F, gave me an understanding of the implications of international trade that I truly needed during the Free Trade debate and election of 1988. Finally Professor of American Economic History W.T. Easterbrook taught me how to write a proper essay something all my High School English teachers had strived to do and failed.”