Tara Walton/torstar news service


David Onley and wife Ruth Ann arrive at Scarborough’s Variety Village yesterday.


David Onley, Ontario’s next lieutenant-governor, plans to use his five-year term to improve accessibility for the disabled.

But first, the longtime Citytv broadcaster will have to find a way around the 22-step stone staircase at the official entrance to his suite of offices at Queen’s Park.

Onley, whose legs were paralyzed by polio when he was a child, uses a scooter.

“Most Ontarians already understand the importance of improved accessibility but they’re looking for both direction and encouragement — well, here it comes,” Onley, 58, said yesterday at Variety Village in Scarborough.

As for the outside entrance to his Queen’s Park suite, Onley said: “I’ve got plans.”

Onley never hid his disability and television viewers saw his leg braces and watched him conduct interviews from his scooter.

His new job comes with a $110,000 salary and a title: Your Honour.

“None of them have called me that yet,” Onley said, joking, with his wife Ruth Ann and three sons standing beside him.

The lieutenant-governor is the official representative of the Queen in Ontario, signs provincial legislation, meets dignitaries and also has the ability to be a high-profile advocate for causes.


  • Onley has long been involved with church, community and disabled organizations and was appointed to chair the Accessibility Standards Advisory Council.