Staff Announcement – John Monahan, Warden, Hart House

From: Sandy Welsh, Vice-Provost, Students
Date: September 14, 2022
Re: Staff Announcement – John Monahan, Warden, Hart House

It is with mixed emotions that I am writing to share the impending departure of John Monahan, Warden of Hart House, University of Toronto. John has served as Warden since 2015 and his last day in the role will be Friday, October 28.

John leaves U of T to take up his new role as President & CEO of the Mount Pleasant Group, a statutory trust, not-for-profit organization that operates multiple cemeteries and funeral centres across the GTA.

During his time as Warden, John inspired and led transformational change at Hart House. He introduced two comprehensive 5-year strategic plans and guided the development of Hart House’s Infrastructure Renewal Project that is slated to break ground in Spring 2023. In 2019, John led Hart House in marking its 100th anniversary at U of T. To honour the occasion, Hart House commissioned artists Rebecca Belmore and Osvaldo Yero to create a permanent metallic sculpture for the north wall of the Great Hall, Waabidiziiyan doopwining (to see yourself at the table). The sentiment of this piece speaks to John’s approach to the programming and spaces at Hart House.

John has overseen the creation and delivery of innovative tri-campus programming for students such as the Hart House Global Commons, the Hart House Mentorship Program, Changemakers, Hip Hop Education, and Black Futures. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic John and his team launched the “Virtual Hart House,” an online hub that was soon providing students around the world with 140+ hours/month of programming focused on the arts, dialogue, and wellness. Under John’s leadership, Hart House has developed ongoing collaborations with community agencies serving youth, professional organizations, and other student-focused units of the University such as the Waakibiness-Bryce Institute for Indigenous Health.

John’s commitment to accessibility and inclusion has resulted in major changes in communication strategy, branding and online reach, as well as to major space renovations for the Arbor Room, the Hart House Theatre, and the Hart House Farm in Caledon.

Outside of Hart House, John has contributed to the U of T community in many ways, including as a member of the Steering Committee for the University’s Response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, the Anti-Islamophobia Working Group, and as an appointed Chair of the University’s Academic Appeals Committee.

On behalf of the University, I thank John for his dedication and wish him all the best as he embarks on this new opportunity. Community members will be invited to celebrate John’s contributions at an event held later this fall.

More details will be shared on the appointment of an Interim Warden in the coming weeks.