Biography

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Photo of Al McDonaldAl is serving his second term as Mayor of the City of North Bay after receiving 84% of the vote. It is not uncommon for citizens of North Bay to say “he is everywhere.” He works 14-16 hours a day, 7 days a week for his city and after is heard saying, “I love my city.” Al truly believes it is an honour to be Mayor and believes public service is the greatest way to give back.

Al was born in Marville, France. His father was a pilot and Colonel in the Canadian Armed Forces, and they moved often when Al was younger. From Comox, British Columbia to Goose Bay, Labrador, and everywhere in between, AI has had the pleasure of living in a variety of places. In 1976, Al moved to North Bay, and decided to make the Bay his home.

Moving often gave AI the opportunity to meet wonderful people and experience Canada from a unique perspective. Although having lived in many lovely places, North Bay is truly home for Al and his partner of 23 years, Wendy Abdallah.

Through the years, Al has served the community as a Deputy Mayor and Councillor, as Member of Provincial Parliament, as Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Enterprise, on numerous boards, agencies and committees and through thousands of volunteer hours on community projects both big and small.

A graduate of Widdifield High School, Al has been a successful entrepreneur and has founded and owned many successful businesses. Al has also mentored young entrepreneurs who have gone on to create successful businesses of their own. But it is through community involvement that Al has made his most significant contributions and has found his greatest rewards.

Al is a hard working, approachable guy who has served as:

  • Co-Chair – Gathering Place Capital Campaign
  • Co-Chair – 6M MRI Capital CampaignAl on a dock
  • Co-Chair – Regional Robotics Competition
  • Co-Chair – ONE PLEDGE Campaign
  • Co-Chair – Coldest Night of the Year Fundraiser
  • North Bay’s Newsmaker of the Year 2010
  • North Bay’s Citizen of the Year 2010
  • North Bay's Newsmaker of the Year 2002
  • President - North Bay Humane Society
  • President - North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce
  • Chair - North Bay Heritage Festival
  • Member - The Learning Library Capital Campaign
  • Chair - Save the Cents Committee
  • Chair - Save the Ski Hill Committee
  • Chair and Founder - North Bay Walk of Fame
  • Chair - North Bay Citizen of the Year
  • Director - Kiwanis Club of North Bay
  • Co-Chair - "Top Secret" Fundraiser for the Capitol Centre
  • Co-Chair - "Live on the Red Carpet"
  • Member - North Bay Economic Development Commission
  • Member - North Bay Police Services Board
  • Founder - Lacrosse North Bay
  • Director - Halfway House North Bay
  • Lead Donor - Gathering Place Soup Kitchen
  • Co-Chair - North Bay in a Box
  • Member - North Bay Millennium Committee
  • Co-Chair - MRI Capital Campaign

Al is especially proud to have Chaired the “Save the Cents” and the “Save the Hill” Committees, both of which generated significant community support and involvement. In fact, Al led a volunteer group that took a bankrupt and closed community ski hill and in one year, turned it around and ended with a $450,000 surplus.

As a founder of the Nipissing Lakers Hockey Club, Al derives tremendous pleasure knowing high-caliber hockey is available in North Bay once again. Al partnered with Nipissing University to bring a high profile varsity sport to Nipissing University and the City of North Bay. In 2009, the Lakers were named North Bay's newsmaker of the year as well as the sports story of the year.

Al on skatesCharitable contributions and volunteering are important to Al; in fact, Al donated the use of a building and paid all utilities to help start The Gathering Place, a local soup kitchen.

As a catalyst for returning Lacrosse to North Bay, Al has introduced Canada’s true national sport to hundreds of local youth.

Al is very active playing hockey during the winter months and competing in triathlons, 5K and 10K runs, and sports of all kinds and can be seen running on the main Streets of North Bay. When asked why he runs on the main throughways instead of the scenic waterfront, he will reply “I want people to see that as busy as a Mayor can be, even the Mayor takes 45 minutes to get exercise everyday” It is well known in the community, that the Al supports physical activity and a healthy active lifestyle by his actions. In fact, one of the priorities of the City of North Bay is healthy community.

Al’s partner, Wendy, works with victims of crime in the Ministry of Attorney General's office at the North Bay Courthouse. Al and Wendy love to spend time with their daughter Khouri, son-in-law Marc, and their three grandchildren – Kaedyn, Briir and Khov who are active in many sports.

Whether through amateur sport, business, community volunteering, fundraising for charity or worthy causes, Al remains dedicated to the City he calls home, North Bay.