City of Toronto pays tribute to Councillor Cynthia Lai

Cynthia Lai

Councillor Cynthia Lai (Scarborough North), member of Toronto City Council, passed away earlier today.

Councillor Lai was elected to Council in 2018. She served on the Budget and Economic and Community Development Committees and represented the constituents of Scarborough North on the Scarborough Community Council. Councillor Lai was also a TTC Commissioner and served as the Mayor’s designate on the Toronto Zoo Board of Management.

As a member of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities Board of Directors, Councillor Lai participated in standing committees focused on anti-racism and equity, increasing women’s participation in municipal government and international relations.

Councillor Lai immigrated to Canada from Hong Kong in the 1970s, making Toronto her home. Prior to entering public service, she had an accomplished real estate career, including being the first Chinese-Canadian woman elected to the position of President of the Toronto Real Estate Board. She is a recipient of the Duke of Edinburgh Silver medal and the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal.

Flags at Toronto City Hall and all civic centres, including the Scarborough Civic Centre, will be lowered to half-mast in Councillor Lai’s honour. The Toronto Sign will also be dimmed tonight.

Condolence books will be placed in the City Hall rotunda, 100 Queen St. W., as well as in the Scarborough Civic Centre, 150 Borough Dr., as of this Sunday, October 23. Condolences can also be emailed to to be shared with Councillor Lai’s family. Funeral arrangements will be shared when available within the City’s online tribute to Councillor Lai:


“I was so saddened to learn that Councillor Cynthia Lai had passed away. My thoughts are with her family, including her husband C.K. Fung, and her sons, Derrick and Darren Fung, as they mourn her loss. They will be joined in mourning by many friends and by the many people she served so well over the years. I have known Cynthia for more than 20 years and was always impressed by her strength and professionalism whether in politics or as the first Chinese-Canadian woman elected to the position of President of the Toronto Real Estate Board. She was a good person who was a cheerful optimist while at the same time being professional, respectful and good at whatever she did. I am proud to have had the opportunity to serve with her. For the last four years, Cynthia represented the people of Ward 23 Scarborough North with such elegance and distinction. She was such a friendly and warm presence at City Hall and I know I speak for her City Council colleagues when I say she will be deeply missed. On behalf of all Toronto residents, we extend condolences to Cynthia’s family and friends and we pray for them during this difficult time.”
– Mayor John Tory

SOURCE City of Toronto

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