CreateTO Announces Appointment of New Chief Executive Officer

January 30, 2019 in News Releases

CreateTO, the City of Toronto’s new real estate agency, is pleased to announce Toronto City Council has appointed real estate industry executive Brian Johnston as the agency’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

With more than 8,000 properties, the City has one of the largest and most complex real estate portfolios in all of North America. As the CEO of CreateTO, Johnston will lead a team of strategists, planners and real estate experts who are continually looking for new and better ways to use those assets while ensuring a balance of both community and economic benefits.

"I look forward to working with Brian and the CreateTO team as the agency partners with the City on important initiatives like Housing Now and works to create more livable and inclusive communities across Toronto," said Toronto Mayor John Tory.

Johnston is an executive with more than 30 years of management experience in the residential real estate industry. He has held professional board roles across a variety of organizations including the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and the Ontario Home Builders’ Association.

Reporting to the CreateTO Board of Directors, Johnston will be accountable for creating and executing a vision, strategy and business plan for the agency that is aligned with the direction of City Council.

“In conducting the search for a permanent CEO, the CreateTO Board was seeking an individual with a deep understanding of the real estate industry combined with extensive involvement within the public sector, and most importantly, a proven ability to rally diverse partners,” said CreateTO Board Chair Dino Chiesa. “The Board and I are pleased Brian has chosen to join the agency. His expertise and industry leadership will be an asset in the continued growth and evolution of CreateTO.”

From 2012 to 2018, Johnston served as Chief Operating Officer of Mattamy Homes, Canada’s largest homebuilder. Prior to joining Mattamy, he worked in several management roles at Monarch Corporation from 1984 to 2012, serving as President from 2000 to 2012.

“I look forward to working with the Board and the talented team at CreateTO. The opportunity is unprecedented given the multi-faceted property holdings that CreateTO has been given as its responsibility. There is no shortage of everyday issues to address but perhaps the most pressing is responding to the City’s need for affordable housing. CreateTO will be a major participant in the Housing Now Initiative. In addition, I look forward to leading the agency in ensuring that there are creative and thoughtful approaches to better use the City’s real estate assets,” Johnston said. “It is my belief that CreateTO, working with stakeholders, will have a major and positive impact on the City and its residents in helping to build a more livable City during this exciting time in its evolution.”

Johnston, a Chartered Professional Accountant, currently serves as a Director of the Bruce Trail Conservancy, the C.D. Howe Institute, the Mortgage Company of Canada, and is a member of the Board of Regents at Victoria University in the University of Toronto.

About CreateTO
CreateTO was formed in 2018 as the City of Toronto’s new real estate agency. The organization brings together stakeholders, partners and community members to ensure the best use of the City’s real estate assets for today and tomorrow. CreateTO manages the City’s $27 billion real estate portfolio, develops City buildings and lands for municipal purposes and delivers client-focused real estate solutions – ensuring a balance of both community and economic benefits. For more information, visit

For more information, please contact:
Susan O’Neill
Director, Communications and Marketing
D 416-981-3759
C 647-801-5526 | @_CreateTO