Born in Toronto, David Smith was educated in Toronto, Victoria and
Peterborough before attending university in Ottawa. Senator Smith earned a B.A.
in Political Science from Carleton University in 1964 and an LL.B from Queen's
University in 1970. He was called to the Bar in Ontario in 1972. Throughout his
legal career, Senator Smith became a leading practitioner in municipal,
administrative and regulatory law.
David Smith became an active member of the Liberal Party in the 1960s, holding
such positions as National President of the Young Liberals. In addition, he
served as National Youth Director and assistant to Keith Davey, who was the
National director of the Liberal Party. David also served as Executive Assistant to
the Hon. Walter Gordon and the Hon. John Turner during the administration of
Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson.
In 1972, David Smith was elected to Toronto City Council and re-elected
in 1974 and 1976. In 1976 he was also appointed President of Toronto City
Council and Deputy Mayor of Toronto. From 1980 to 1984, Senator Smith sat in the
House of Commons as Member of Parliament for the riding of Don Valley East and
also served in Prime Minister Trudeau's cabinet as Minister of Small Business
and Tourism in 1983 and 1984.
After the 1984 election, David Smith returned to the practice of law in
Toronto, and he became Chairman of the law firm Fraser & Beatty in January of
1994. He also continued to play an active political role, chairing election
campaigns for Prime Minister Chrétien in the 1993, 1997 and 2000 elections.
At the time of his appointment to the Senate in June 2002, Senator Smith was Chairman of Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP, one of Canada's oldest and largest law firms, with over 550 lawyers in seven cities. Senator Smith had also served as Chairman of FMC's predecessor firms, both Fraser & Beatty and Fraser Milner Casgrain. Although he is no longer a law partner and does not handle legal files, he is Chairman Emeritus of Dentons LLP, a large international law firm with over 2,500 lawyers.
In addition to having sat on several major corporate boards, including Deutsche Bank and ICICI Bank, Senator Smith has lent his time to numerous voluntary and philanthropic organizations. He has sat on the Board of Governors of Exhibition Place, as well as on the boards of the Salvation Army, Toronto General Hospital, Mount Sinai Hospital and George Brown College. He has served as Chairman of the Retinitis Pigmentosa Foundation, as Vice Chairman of the O’Keefe Centre for the Performing Arts, and as a member of the board of the Corporation of Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall.
Senator Smith and his wife, Heather, have raised three children: Alexander,
Kathleen and Laura. His wife, Heather, is Chief Justice of The Superior Court of
Ontario and has served on the bench since 1983.