Biography : David C. Onley

David C. Onley

David C. Onley

28th Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, Representative of Her Majesty the Queen

The Honourable David C. Onley was appointed Ontario’s 28th Lieutenant Governor following a distinguished career as a broadcaster.

His Honour has championed disability issues for many years, having served as chair of the Accessibility Standards Advisory Council of the Government of Ontario and as an accessibility council member for the Rogers Centre and the Air Canada Centre.

As Ontario’s first Lieutenant Governor with a physical disability, Mr. Onley has adopted accessibility as the overarching theme of his mandate. He defines accessibility as “that which enables people to achieve their full potential”, and believes that true accessibility occurs when disabled people can fully participate in the social, cultural, and economic life of Ontario.

Because accessibility includes equal access to opportunities such as education, His Honour is expanding the Aboriginal Youth Literacy Initiative to include computer literacy programs.

Mr. Onley was born in Midland, Ontario, grew up in Scarborough, and has been inducted into the Canadian Disability Hall of Fame and the Scarborough Walk of Fame. He serves as Colonel of the Regiment of The Queen’s York Rangers in his capacity of Lieutenant Governor, and personally as Honorary Colonel of 25 Field Ambulance. He is the recipient of the Rick Hansen Award of Excellence, the Courage to Come Back Award, and holds 11 honorary degrees.

Career highlights

  • Citytv: Science and weather specialist, 1984–1989
  • Citytv: Anchor, Breakfast Television, 1989–1995
  • Citytv: Education specialist, 1994–1999
  • CP24: Anchor, 1999–2007
  • CP24: Host and producer, Home Page, 1999–2007
  • Accessibility Standards Advisory Council (Ontario): Chair, 2005–2007


  • Knight of Justice of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem
  • Member of the Order of Ontario (postnominal letters: OOnt)
  • 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada Medal
  • Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal

Academic achievements

  • University of Windsor: Doctor of Laws honoris causa, 2008
  • University of Guelph: Doctor of Laws honoris causa, 2008
  • University of Western Ontario: Doctor of Laws jure dignitatis, 2008
  • Nipissing University: Doctor of Education honoris causa, 2009
  • University of Toronto: Doctor of Law, honoris causa, 2009
  • York University: Doctor of Laws honoris causa, 2009
  • Wycliffe College, University of Toronto: Doctorate of Sacred Letters, 2010
  • Lakehead University (Orillia Campus): Doctor of Laws honoris causa, 2010
  • Loyalist College: Honorary Diploma, 2010
  • Carleton University: Doctor of Laws honoris causa, 2011