Andrew Arifuzzaman moved to Scarborough on his 19th birthday and made it his home. He’s passionate about the place for a lot of reasons – the amazing food, the magnificent Bluffs, being able to swim in Lake Ontario, the Toronto Zoo which he grew up visiting before doing research there and later visiting often with his kids. But it may be his interactions with people and in particular the youth in the community, that matter to Andrew the most.
He’s been active serving on the President’s advisory committee of YouthLinks, which helps young people who struggle with mental health and addiction issues. He serves on the Scarborough Walk of Fame board, promoting efforts to both honour individuals who bring pride to the community and to inspire tomorrow’s leaders.
Andrew sets a fast pace. And his kids are following in his footsteps, with one of his daughters serving on the Youth Council for a local MP.
“We’re a very Scarborough-centred family. We were active in creating a sustainable platform for Women’s Lacrosse in Scarborough. My family is even more integrated into the community as my kids enter secondary school.”
Andrew leads the anchor strategy for Scarborough-based institutions, leveraging large public-sector institutions to build economic capacity, in his role as the University of Toronto Scarborough Chief Administrative Officer. It is his calling.
“Lots of businesses have had the opportunity to move away. And they have stayed here. There is a real pride of place in Scarborough.”
He points to what he calls the amazing experience that was the coming together of the University, the City and high-performance sport to develop the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre.
“It was University of Toronto Scarborough students who said ‘we deserve world class.’ They were right.”