Toronto

Long-time city councillor Pam McConnell remembered at church service

Pam McConnell, a seven-term city councillor, was remembered by dignitaries and colleagues, including Mayor John Tory, at a church service on Sunday.

Pam McConnell, 71, died Friday after falling ill with a lung condition

City Coun. Pam McConnell was a respected anti-poverty advocate who found admiration among her constituents in Toronto Centre-Rosedale. (John Rieti/CBC)

​Pam McConnell, who served seven term as a city councillor, was remembered by dignitaries and colleagues, including Mayor John Tory, at a church service on Sunday. 

McConnell died Friday after falling ill with a lung condition. She was 71. 

Considered a fierce ally in the fight against poverty in Toronto, McConnell earned respect from her constituents and peers during her time as a school trustee and while at city hall, where she also served as deputy mayor.

"This has been something that was a shock to me and to the community," said Sandra Jones, who spoke to CBC Toronto after signing a condolence book for McConnell that is still open for public remembrance.

Jones said she signed the book as a representative of the Muriel Collins Housing Co-operative, where she lives. She said McConnell would often lend her support, both politically and logistically, to black history programs initiated by residents of the downtown co-op.

"She will be dearly missed," Jones said.

The church service for McConnell was held in Riverdale at the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto on Simpson Avenue, near Gerrard Street and Carlaw Avenue.

The councillor for Ward 28 Toronto Centre-Rosedale was a key figure in Toronto's poverty reduction strategy. She cultivated an image among supporters as a "real person," not a typical political operator. 

"Sincere and always caring about other people," is how constituent Nancy Snare remembered her earlier this week. 

McConnell is survived by her husband, two children and five grandchildren. 

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