Reggie Modlich – Leader, Feminist, Socialist, Comrade, Sister, Mother, Grandmother, Friend, and Ultimate Shit Disturber!

Reggie ModlichReggie was all of these things and so much more. On Sunday September 23, 2018 Reggie Modlich passed away after a battle with illness. She leaves behind her loving partner (and super supporter of Reggie in all her endeavours), two sons (also super supporters) and their partners, grand-daughters and many friends.

Reggie Modlich had an activist heart. She appeared indefatigable and was outspoken and angry about the injustice and inequality she saw in the world. She spoke and wrote eloquently about the rights and needs of women and other marginalized groups. Reggie was a force who was never willing to give up on ensuring that women’s voices were not only heard but that changes were made; locally at the City of Toronto and internationally. She was a fighter for women’s rights and for tangible gains.

She was a city planner and pushed for gender-responsive planning at the City of Toronto through her work with Women Plan Toronto (1985-2000) which she founded, and through Toronto Women’s City Alliance (TWCA), where she was also one of the founding members in 2004. She wrote and lobbied for creating safer cities, fighting for affordable and accessible housing and gender sensitive urban policy regulations, changes to by-laws, and ensuring that city services and plans also support women’s care work and responsibilities in the home and also at paid work outside the home.

Reggie wrote numerous articles for Women and Environments Education and Development (WEED) Foundation, Women in Toronto Creating Housing (WITCH), and Planners Network (PN). She challenged other planners in their narrow visions of urban planning and who often ignored spatial and structural inequalities.  Reggie was the core of Women and Environments International Magazine (WEI Mag). The Magazine is now over 40 years and she ensured its survival through the many shifts in the publishing world. Many Canadian feminist newspapers and magazines have gone under, but WEI Mag survives to this day ( This is a tribute to Reggie’s determination and commitment and to the support from her family too. Many of our lives were impacted by Reggie engagements and commitments and many of us worked alongside Reggie in these initiatives.

In 1995 she was the City of Toronto’s recipient of the Constance E. Hamilton Award for working to secure equitable treatment for Toronto women.  She was a great sister in our collective visions and organizing for feminist and inclusive cities. Even in her final months she wrote a letter to the editors of local newspapers to ensure that gender equality issues were not forgotten in the upcoming City of Toronto elections – which took place on Oct 22nd.

Reggie Modlich had an open heart. She had a generosity of spirit and a humble welcoming manner that put people at ease. This is a rare quality that allowed many to feel heard, accepted, and understood. Those who knew her feel fortunate to have had her in their lives.

We have lost a great friend, but her work lives on through us and we are committed to carrying it forward. There is so much more to keep fighting for women’s rights to cities and we know Reggie will be by our side.