Leslie Woo leads innovative and award-winning urban planning initiatives transforming urban development in one of the world’s most liveable city regions, the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, Canada.
As Metrolinx’s Vice President of Policy, Planning and Innovation, Leslie is a driving force behind the region’s first ever regional transportation plan – The Big Move – a comprehensive 25 year mobility plan envisioning transportation that will meet the needs of an additional one hundred thousand new residents every year for the next twenty years. The Big Move is the regional transportation authority’s blueprint for delivering over $16B in rapid transit expansion in the next 10 years. Leslie is the executive champion for driving innovation and design excellence and leads Metrolinx’s network for women in management.
Leslie’s strategic expertise in addressing complex urban challenges is evidenced in her leadership role, from discovery to delivery, of the provincially legislated Greater Golden Horseshoe Growth Plan (2006). Over the last five years this growth plan has resulted in urban intensification totalling an 18% increase in multi-family residential development and a two-thirds reduction of greenfield lands consumption and, conserving about 800 square kilometres of agricultural and rural land.
Formally trained in architecture, environmental studies and urban planning at the University of Waterloo, Leslie’s career portfolio includes senior roles with the Toronto 2008 Olympic Bid and Toronto Waterfront Regeneration Trust.
Leslie is a 2011/12 Fellow of the International Women’s Forum, a global association of more than 4,500 women leaders from over 24 countries. She is a member of the Scientific and Strategy Council of the Institut pour la ville en mouvement (IVM), the Urban Land Institute – Toronto Advisory Board, the Transportation Association of Canada’s Urban Transportation Council Executive, the American Planning Association, and a retired member of the Ontario Association of Architects. Leslie has been a volunteer board director with the YMCA for the Greater Toronto Area since 2009.
Born in Port of Spain, Trinidad, Leslie is a mother of two and an active community volunteer.