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Donald K. Johnson, O.C.

Mr. Johnson holds an MBA from the University of Western Ontario Graduate Business School in 1963, where he was the gold medalist.

Mr. Johnson is currently a Member of the Advisory Board of BMO Capital Markets. Previously, Mr. Johnson was appointed Vice Chairman of Nesbitt Burns in 1989 after a long career at Burns Bros. and Denton Limited (a predecessor firm of Burns Fry).

Mr. Johnson serves on the boards of two public companies. He is Chairman Emeritus and a Director of goeasy Ltd. (TSX: GSY), a leading financial company that provides no-prime leasing and lending services that improve the lives of everyday Canadians. He is also a Director of Murchison Minerals (TSX: MUR).

Mr. Johnson serves on the Advisory Board of the Ivey Business School at Western University. He is a Board Member of the UHN Foundation; Chairman of the Eye Institute Fundraising Campaign at Toronto Western Hospital; a member of the 2022 Major Individual Giving Cabinet of the United Way Greater Toronto and is a Director and Chairman Emeritus of Business/Arts.

In January 2002, Mr. Johnson announced a $1.3 million donation to the Ivey Business School at Western University. In 2019 he donated $2.5 million to Ivey to fund scholarships for students. The Toronto Campus of Ivey has been renamed “The Donald K. Johnson Centre.”

In 2007, Mr. Johnson made a $5 million donation to the Toronto Western Hospital Eye Institute. In 2015 he donated an additional $10 million to create the Donald K. Johnson Eye Institute at the Toronto Western Hospital. In September 2021, Mr. Johnson pledged a further $50 million to recognize the work done by those committed to advancing eye health, and to provide the Institute with the funds required to attract top international talent so that it can continue this important work. The Donald K. Johnson Eye Institute at the Toronto Western Hospital is the leading Eye Institute in Canada and one of the top five in North America.

Mr. Johnson led a team of volunteers from the charitable sector on a 12-year campaign that was successful in convincing the federal government to eliminate the capital gains tax on gifts of listed securities to registered charities in 2006. He is now leading a new campaign to convince the government to expand the capital gains tax exemption to include gifts of private company shares and real estate.

Mr. Johnson was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in June 2005 and an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2009. He has received several awards including the Order of the Falcon (Iceland) in 2019, the Lifetime Achievement Award, Canadian Association of Gift Planners (CAGP) in 2018 and Donor’s Distinction Award (CAGP) 2022.

Mr. Johnson is the author of a book in Business Biography and Autobiography, LESSONS LEARNED ON BAY STREET, subtitled “The Sale Begins When the Customer Says NO”.


  • LLD '07

MBA '63

Ivey Business School

Donald K. Johnson, O.C.

Donald K. Johnson, O.C.

Member, Advisory Board, BMO Capital Markets

Toronto, ON

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