Donald Ian MacDonald was chosen in the contemporary category, which means he was active in the latter half of the 20th century to present. Mr. MacDonald had a long and distinguished civil service career that often goes unheralded by virtue of the fact politicians get the limelight while civil servants tend to work quietly in the background. Nevertheless, the City’s first chief commissioner after it was amalgamated played a pivotal role in the Trizec development at Portage and Main, the development of the Forks, acquisition of river parkland, preservation of Assiniboine Forest, Munson Park development and the review of the City of Winnipeg Act in 1986.
He was also very involved and committed to Rossbrook House, and was there often to lend an ear and support to another Citizens Hall of Fame inductee, Sister Geraldine MacNamara. He very much shared her vision of a city where children would be safe and have equal opportunity. His wide breadth and depth of knowledge made him such an invaluable resource and confidant to many other organizations including the likes of Ducks Unlimited, the Manitoba Wildlife Federation and the Manitoba Golf Association. As Val Werier stated, “He used his position, in the absence of political leadership, to make Winnipeg a greener city.”
Mr. MacDonald had all of the citizens’ best interests at heart and did everything he could to make Winnipeg a more livable city and that included concern for aboriginals and the downtown.