- Voted Best MPP three times by NOW Magazine readers
- Grew up in Trinity-Spadina and has lived here most of his life
- Fought for communities with his Bill 20 to free Toronto from the OMB
- Defended waterfront by saying No to jets at Toronto Island airport
- Protected condo residents with four bills to update the Condominium Act
- Proposed corporate tax increase to fund transit fairly
Rosario Marchese was born in Italy and immigrated to Canada when he was nine years old. He grew up in Trinity-Spadina, attending school at Ossington/Old Orchard, St. David, St. Raymond and Harbord Collegiate. For most of his life, he has lived on Shaw Street.
Education has been a lifelong passion for Rosario, who started his career as a teacher and then served as the area’s School Trustee for eight years before entering provincial politics.
He has represented Trinity-Spadina as MPP since 1990, serving with a spirit of social justice and activism inspired by mentors like Dan Heap and Stephen Lewis.
Trinity-Spadina is ground zero for Toronto’s recent condo boom, and Rosario has earned a reputation as the area’s “longtime champion of condominium law reform” (Toronto Star). He introduced four private member’s bills to modernize the outdated Condominium Act and protect condo residents from shoddy condo construction and falling glass, rogue condo boards, and incompetent building managers.
Rosario is Queen’s Park’s fiercest critic of the unelected and unaccountable Ontario Municipal Board, which has the extraordinary power to ignore the planning policies of Toronto’s elected council and make up new rules that benefit developers instead of communities. Last year, he introduced Bill 20 to free Toronto from the OMB, and put authority over local planning policy into the hands of local communities and its elected representatives. In April, the Toronto Star endorsed Rosario’s bill, writing, “It should become law.”
A long-standing defender of Toronto’s waterfront, Rosario opposed attempts to sell off parts of Ontario Place to condo developers and made sure Las Vegas billionaires didn’t build a big box mega-casino on the shoreline that would have killed local businesses, caused traffic jams, and destroyed neighbourhoods. He has also strongly opposed plans to bring jets to the Toronto Island airport, calling on the provincial government to take a stand and defend Ontario’s interests on the waterfront.
In the Legislature, Rosario is well known for his debating skills, using humour and an encyclopedic memory to destroy bad arguments while earning the respect and friendship of even his political opponents. “In the land of the droning script readers, he stands as Cicero,” said the Toronto Star’s Jim Coyle.
Rosario is a former Minister of Culture who provided the largest-ever funding increase to artists through the Ontario Arts Council and increased government support to the film and publishing industries. He is currently the NDP critic for Urban Transportation.