Waterfront Toronto Announces William Fleissig as its New President and CEO

Corporate Logo, Waterfront Toronto

Waterfront Toronto’s Board of Directors today announced the hiring of Will Fleissig as its new President and CEO, after the retirement of John Campbell. Mark Wilson, Chair of Waterfront Toronto’s Board of Directors, announced the hiring after a year-long international search.

Will Fleissig has over thirty years experience in real estate development, urban design and planning, public finance and environmental stewardship. He has successfully managed the planning, financing, and construction of diverse community and real estate development projects in Boston; Washington, DC; Denver; Boulder; San Francisco; San Jose; and Los Angeles.

“On behalf of the entire Board, I am confident in Will’s ability to lead Waterfront Toronto and am delighted that he has chosen Toronto as his new home for himself, his wife, Wendy, and his two daughters,” said Mark Wilson. “We know Will brings deep experience, tremendous energy and fresh ideas to build on John Campbell’s great legacy and take Waterfront Toronto through the second half of its mandate.”

“The Waterfront vision, the continued commitment to that vision by all three government partners, and the significant milestones already achieved by Waterfront Toronto’s staff presented a compelling opportunity,” said Will. “I am honoured to undertake this world-class city-building effort, and am committed to add to this great city rich, diverse, and vital new communities that all Torontonians will be proud to bestow to future generations.”

“Will understands the vision for the waterfront, and I’m totally confident he will continue to put that vision into action,” said outgoing CEO John Campbell. “He has the experience and expertise to lead Waterfront Toronto and to ensure that the waterfront becomes an asset for Toronto, Ontario and Canada.”

As part of the selection process, Will met with Mayor John Tory and Brad Duguid, Ontario Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure.

“I’m pleased that Waterfront Toronto has selected Will Fleissig as the new CEO to lead it into the next phase of the revitalization of Toronto’s waterfront,” said Minister Duguid. “These are critical times for investing in infrastructure across the province, and I look forward to continuing our work with Waterfront Toronto to build the waterfront up, create jobs, and ensure this region remains an economic hub.”

“The future of Toronto’s waterfront is important to everyone in this city, and that’s why the City will ensure we continue to transform our waterfront into great new places to live, work and play,” said Mayor Tory. “And with Will Fleissig leading Waterfront Toronto, I’m confident that the waterfront is in good hands.”

“I offer my congratulations to Will Fleissig as Waterfront Toronto’s new CEO,” said Amarjeet Sohi, Canada’s Minister of Infrastructure and Communities. “I look forward to working closely with Waterfront Toronto and my provincial and municipal partners to ensure the successful next phase of waterfront revitalization work.”

About Will Fleissig

Will is currently the President of Communitas Development, a real estate development and advisory company in San Francisco that leads and advises on community-oriented urban developments. He has overseen multiple award-winning, mixed-use, large-scale urban projects.

Will has served in the public sector as the Director of Planning and Development for the City of Boulder, Colorado, and as the Director of Downtown Planning and Development in Denver, where he led the city’s efforts to revitalize several historical areas of the city.
Previously, Will directed the planning of many prominent transit-oriented development projects including Boston’s North Station Development Plan, Kendall Square/Cambridge Center Master Development Plan and Denver’s Union Station Master Development Plan.

Will is well-known nationally as a development and thought leader, building new and existing communities into sustainable, accessible, vibrant and beautiful places. His experience in community engagement, district-scale sustainability, building equitable and inclusive communities, and transit-oriented development serves as an ideal match for Waterfront Toronto’s overall approach and vision for community- and city-building.

Will holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pennsylvania; a Bachelor of Architecture in urban design from the City College of New York, and a Master in Public Administration with an emphasis on public finance from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He is a licensed architect in the State of California.

Will, who currently lives in San Francisco, will be moving with his family to Toronto in early 2016. He will start as CEO in January. His compensation package is a net zero increase from that of John Campbell's CEO compensation package with an annual salary of $350,000 and a performance-based bonus component. As with other Waterfront executives and senior staff, the complete compensation package will be disclosed in the annual provincial sunshine list.

About the Hiring Process

After John Campbell informed the Board of his plan to retire from Waterfront Toronto in 2015, the Board started the search process in mid-2014. A Nominating Committee of Board Directors was formed, which includes Directors representing all three governments. After a competitive procurement process, Amrop Knightsbridge was hired in autumn of 2014 to lead the search. The process included interviews with more than 30 Waterfront Toronto stakeholders in order to develop a detailed and focused job profile, including key requirements such as real estate development experience, public sector experience, community engagement, proven leadership, and commitment to, and passion for, Waterfront Toronto’s vision.

The job description was first posted in December, 2014 and a global market search started in January 2015. More than 300 people applied for the job, of which 11 were selected for consideration by the Board Nominating Committee. After further interviews with shortlisted applicants, Will Fleissig was identified unanimously as the preferred candidate.

About Waterfront Toronto

The Governments of Canada and Ontario and the City of Toronto created Waterfront Toronto to oversee and lead the renewal of Toronto's waterfront. Public accessibility, design excellence, sustainable development, economic development and fiscal sustainability are the key drivers of the waterfront revitalization. Toronto's new waterfront communities will use technology to enhance quality of life and create economic opportunity for the citizens of Toronto, helping to keep the city competitive with major urban centres around the world for business, jobs and talent.


media contact

Andrew Hilton
Director of Communications and Public Engagement
Waterfront Toronto