Toronto Community Housing announces executive appointments

Toronto Community Housing announces executive appointments

July 25, 2012

TORONTO, July 26, 2012 Eugene E. Jones, Jr., president and CEO, today announced the following appointments to Toronto Community Housing's executive team.

  • Jason Gorel as Chief Financial Officer, beginning in September. Mr. Gorel has more than 15 years of strategic financial experience, with exposure to the real estate, not-for-profit, telecommunications, manufacturing, entertainment, banking, and insurance sectors. Mr. Gorel has resigned from Toronto Community Housing's board of directors commensurate with his acceptance of the Chief Financial Officer position.
  • Anand Maharaj as Vice President of Human Resources, effective immediately. Mr. Maharaj joined the company in the fall of 2011 from Garda Canada, where he served as national director, labour relations. He had been appointed to the position on an interim basis in June 2012.
  • Greg Spearn as Chief Development Officer, starting in September. Mr. Spearn is a real estate industry expert and innovator, and brings more than 20 years of executive leadership experience in real estate development for public and private sector organizations in Canada and the United States.
  • Michelle Wong as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, effective immediately. Ms. Wong has been a legal counsel with the corporation since 2007 and had been appointed to the position on an interim basis in June 2012.


With the full executive team in place, Toronto Community Housing is now poised to move forward with our goal of being a landlord of excellence, delivering better housing and services to tenants and providing value to our shareholder, the City of Toronto.

Eugene E. Jones, Jr., president and chief executive officer, Toronto Community Housing

Hiring Gene Jones as the new CEO and putting in place the full executive team has been part of the board's plan to rebuild Toronto Community Housing's credibility with tenants and the public.

At a time when we are creating greater transparency around the company's finances, Gene Jones and I strongly agreed that Jason Gorel brings the right skills and experience for the role of Chief Financial Officer. The board appreciates the valuable contributions Jason has already made to Toronto Community Housing, including by leading the year end audit, and looks forward to working with him in this new role.

Norman W. (Bud) Purves, chair, board of directors, Toronto Community Housing


Jason Gorel
Chief Financial Officer

Jason Gorel will join Toronto Community Housing as Chief Financial Officer in September 2012.

Mr. Gorel has more than 15 years of strategic financial experience with exposure to the real estate, not-for-profit, telecommunications, manufacturing, entertainment, banking and insurance sectors. He is currently the Director, Financial Reporting at Cinram International Income Fund, a multinational company with operations in North America and Europe, with 7,000 employees, involved in the manufacturing, replication and distribution of Blu-ray, DVD, CDs and video games.

Mr. Gorel has held finance positions with public real estate companies, such as Canadian Apartment Properties REIT and InnVest REIT, where he gained exposure to treasury, capital management, financial reporting and acquisition activities. He was also the Chief Financial Officer for BCS Global Networks Ltd., a U.K.-based private international videoconferencing services company with offices in North America, Europe and China.

Mr. Gorel articled with KPMG LLP, an international accounting firm. He also serves as a board member and finance committee chair of the Hearing Foundation of Canada, an organization committed to eliminating the devastating effects of hearing loss on the lives of Canadians, and serves as past president and board member of the Etobicoke Chartered Accountants Association. He previously served on the board of the Etobicoke Community Concert Band, and as treasurer and a board member of the Brampton Concert Band. In 2012, Mr. Gorel received a Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition of his community service.

Mr. Gorel holds a Chartered Accountant, Chartered Financial Analyst, and Certified Public Accounting designation.

Anand Maharaj
Vice President, Human Resources

With more than 12 years experience in human resources and labour relations, Anand Maharaj is a professional with a proven track record of delivering objectives on time and within budget. He has managed a team of human resources professionals responsible for labour relations, health and safety, training and development and recruitment; and partnered with business leaders to align human resources and organizational objectives and achieve performance targets. 

Anand joined Toronto Community Housing in November 2011 from Garda Canada, a Montreal-based Canadian company with 25,000 employees worldwide, where he served as the company's senior human resources professional. Since September 2007, he has been National Director, Labour Relations and Director, Human Resources for Garda Canada, where he was administrator and chief negotiator on 27 collective agreements from Ontario to British Columbia.

Greg Spearn
Chief Development Officer

Greg Spearn is a senior real estate executive with over 20 years of executive experience in the public and private sectors in Canada and the United States.

Spearn will join Toronto Community Housing in August 2012 after serving as the Director of Real Estate at Seven Springs Mountain Resort in Pennsylvania, where he has driven multimillion-dollar returns on investment as a leader of highly complex, mixed-use construction projects. Spearn has also been Senior Vice President at Intrawest Corporation, the Polygon Group, Bramalea Limited, and the American Skiing Company.

In the early 1990s, as a Senior Consultant for the Waterfront Regeneration Trust, Spearn worked on the redevelopment plan for Toronto's waterfront. He served as the President of York University Development Corporation from 1986 to 1990, where he prepared and implemented a Master Plan for the university's real estate assets.

Spearn was born in Barrie and moved to Toronto as a child. He is a graduate of Ryerson University, where he obtained an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Urban Planning, and attended the University of Waterloo Urban Planning Program.

Michelle Wong
General Counsel and Corporate Secretary

An entrepreneurial executive with extensive experience in the private and public sectors, Michelle Wong leads the Toronto Community Housing legal team and oversees all of the legal affairs of the company. The Legal Services team provides legal advice and representation with respect to all of the corporation's services and activities.

Michelle has been with Toronto Community Housing since 2007. She served as Senior Legal Counsel, providing legal and strategic advice across a broad range of matters including commercial contracts, regulatory compliance, procurement, labour and employment, construction, and litigation. She has a proven track record of delivering results for residents and the company, delivering a wide range of strategic leadership initiatives including managing the litigation unit to minimize risk and introducing and managing a Compliance and Ethics Unit.

Prior to joining Toronto Community Housing, Wong served as an Associate Lawyer with Heenan Blaikie and with Miller Thomson, with a practice that focused on corporation/commercial litigation, commercial transactions, anti-trust, international trade and government procurement, and regulatory matters (including electricity, gas, telecommunications, transportation and securities).

Michelle completed her undergraduate studies in Business Administration at the University of Ottawa prior to studying law at Osgoode Hall Law School. Wong has over a decade of call with both the Law Society of Canada and the New York State Bar.


About Toronto Community Housing
Toronto Community Housing ( is Canada's largest social housing provider and home to more than 164,000 tenants with low and moderate incomes about six per cent of Toronto's population. Toronto Community Housing and its subsidiaries employ more than 1,300 staff, who work together in a broad range of jobs to provide affordable housing, connect tenants to services and opportunities, and build healthy communities.


Media contact:
Sara Goldvine, 416-981-4252,