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This profile was last updated on 3/14/15  and contains information from public web pages and contributions from the ZoomInfo community.

Employment History

Board Memberships and Affiliations

132 Total References
Web References
As Ryerson Students' Union president ..., 14 Mar 2015 [cached]
As Ryerson Students' Union president Toby Whitfield prepares to head to his new job for the Canadian Federation of Students, his successor is another darling of the advocacy giant. For the past five years, RSU executive seats have been filled by CFS-friendly candidates.
Ryerson Students' Union - RSU Info > The Executive, 3 Feb 2011 [cached]
Toby Whitfield President: (416) 979-5255, ext. 2324
Name: Toby Whitfield, President Phone Number: (416) 979-5255, ext. 2324 Email
Ryerson Students' Union - RSU Info > The Board of Directors, 3 Feb 2011 [cached]
Toby Whitfield, President
Name: Toby Whitfield, President Phone Number: (416) 979-5255, ext. 2324 Email
Name: Toby Whitfield, President Phone Number: (416) 979-5255, ext. 2324 Email
Toby Whitfield: The man, the ..., 12 April 2011 [cached]
Toby Whitfield: The man, the president, the dancing fiend
Tobias Alexander Whitfield is a details freak. He gets really excited about graphs, charts, and anything Microsoft Excel. He used to bring a clear Tupperware box of document-filled hanging folders and sticky-notes to board meetings in case he needed to cite something.
"Toby does take positions in a lot of different issues, and by reaching out to those, we might be polarizing the campus in a way that might not be necessary."
Whitfield, however, finds it important to stay involved in issues - international or otherwise.
James Finlay, who ran for vice-president of external in that election, alleges Whitfield harassed him and other campaign volunteers.
Around that time, Whitfield had his now infamous run-in, immortalized on YouTube with over 3,300 views, with Antonin Mongeau, University of Toronto's then French club president.
In the video, Mongeau accuses Whitfield of tearing down the French club's posters.
As for the poster debacle, Whitfield said he got frustrated when he saw French club posters covering campaign posters.
"I would say that it's a very constructive, good relationship," Levy said, but added, "I think if you asked Toby or asked me you'd know where we disagree."
Whitfield seems to advocate dropping fees across the board, unsurprising to Levy who said the RSU presidents he's dealt with generally follow CFS direction. However Levy said he's more interested in only helping those who need it most.
On other issues, like the recent elimination of part-time student Metropasses, Levy and Whitfield have seen more eye-to-eye, and Levy said Whitfield has a knack for identifying common ground. On other issues, like the recent elimination of part-time student Metropasses, Levy and Whitfield have seen more eye-to-eye, and Levy said Whitfield has a knack for identifying common ground.
"I think Toby will look for those areas that we have common interest and try to advance it and I think that's smart politics."
In May, Whitfield will move to Ottawa to become the national treasurer of the CFS and oversee a budget of about $3 million, similar to the RSU's budget, not counting the income of the Metropass or the health and dental plan. He ran unopposed for the position in November. When he won, members of the crowd chanted "To-Bi-As! To-Bi-As!"
The job is a far cry from his childhood dream of being a double-decker bus driver. Whitfield was born in London, England, and then moved to an English town called Lymington. At age six, he moved to Oakville with his step-father, mother, older brother, and twin brother Henry. Whitfield goes to England, where his father still lives, once a year, and hints of his former accent come calling when he speaks of his "mum" or that he's "bean" somewhere rather than "been."
Whitfield credits his mom with always trying to get him involved in different activities, most notably the Air Cadets (a "nerdy level of Scouts") from ages 12 to 17. At one point he was responsible for leading the Cadets' marching band, which he likens to the Nick Cannon movie Drumline.
In high school, Whitfield moved up the ranks of the student council and obsessed over one day attending Ryerson for business, despite never having visited the campus until he made his first tuition deposit. He liked the idea of being downtown and in the hub of the business community. From there, he took the step onto Ryerson's political stage.
Well, not at first. Whitfield knew he wanted to get involved with campus life when he moved into his sixth floor ILLC dorm, but didn't quite know how. His ILLC-mates signed up for intramural rowing, and although most didn't attend, Whitfield continued rowing once or twice a week. A fellow rower suggested he help paint banners for the Drop Fees Campaign with her one day.
The banners were hung around campus - one reading "F$$k Tuition Fees. The Ryersonian ran a photo of a banner hanging across Lake Devo on its front page. Whitfield cut it out and taped it to his dormitory door.
From then on, Whitfield began his ascent of the RSU ranks. He was hired as membership coordinator, volunteered for the RSU when a conditional pass on his statistics course didn't allow work-study and became the vice-president of finance two times in a row before winning his term as president. Whitfield is one of only four people in RSU history to be in the executive for three years. During his years in the executive, he was paid over $78,000 in total.
But simply participating in the RSU campaigns isn't what really politicized Whitfield. In 2007, leading up to the Day of Action, Whitfield and a group of students crashed and shut down an Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities press conference, having signed in as reporters to gain access. The university charged him under the code of non-academic misconduct and threatened him with expulsion. He had to write an apology to the provincial Liberal Party, Ryerson's academic council, and the chair of the journalism program. He even hired a lawyer to help him write his letters when his first two tries were deemed not "apologetic" enough. The fallout lasted six months. Whitfield successfully campaigned to be on the committee to review the non-academic code of conduct so no student would have an experience like his again.
In his office (SCC311) - where he said he spends half his time - two anti-Stephen Harper posters hang on his bulletin board and old front pages of The Ryersonian and The Eyeopener line the walls. When he needs a little Toby-time, Whitfield will go to his office and light up a green Mediterranean fig-scented candle. He said his favourite band is likely Coldplay.
And when the music's playing, Whitfield has been known to dance. It's a sight few outside of his inner circle have witnessed. Caitlin Smith, RSU vice-president of finance and the succeeding RSU president, said, "Toby does a really funny dance where he puts his arms up and moves side to side.
Smith said Whitfield has a funny laugh as well.
Whitfield said he logs anywhere between 40 and 70 hours per week doing presidential duties. However, he has never slept in his office, since he lives two blocks away from campus with roommate Sean Carson, RSU vice-president student life and events. He grabs a drink once or twice or week but perhaps it's lonely at the top - he said he doesn't have a love interest right now and he can't even name a celebrity crush. As for whether this student president will turn true politician, Whitfield is leaving his options open.
"I don't really see myself running for office any time soon. I don't know," Whitfield said. "The reason I don't put too much thought into it these days is I find in the work we do there are so many different opportunities that come up."
He's recently been considering becoming an employment lawyer as well. Whitfield loves Toronto and said he would love to move back after his one-year term in Ottawa is complete.
Looking back at his term as president, Whitfield said his time spent at the RSU is what has really made him happy.
"There's definitely a need now more than ever . . . for students to be working together. No one does the work for students on our behalf," Whitfield said.
How much time have you spent with Whitfield?
Then there's Toby the defendant in lawsuits. Toby's a meddler alright.
Who could forget the sneaky Toby? He will scheme at a meeting, all the while feverishly punching away at his Blackberry, and attempt to violate Robert's Rules, and then giggle like a naughty schoolboy whether he fails or gets away with it. To Toby, anything is worth trying if it will give him an edge.
Oh...what of the Toby who will not answer questions from the Ryerson press, but is quite happy to be available for a piece of fluff journalism written about him?
Really, the School of Journalism should be ashamed of this article. Whitfield has no accomplishments as President except impressing people with his evasions, "intensity" and lack of devotion to his job and the students at Ryerson. Leave a Comment
RSU vice-president finance Toby ..., 6 April 2010 [cached]
RSU vice-president finance Toby Whitfield says there are no real implications for this.
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