Philip G. Givens, the son of Hyman and Mary Gevertz [Givens], was born in Toronto in 1922. He graduated from the University of Toronto in Political Science and Economics in 1945 and from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1949. He practiced law at Pivnick, Givens, and Chusid. Philip Givens was married to Minnie Rubin and they had two children named Eleanor and Michael.
Givens was first elected in 1951 as Alderman for Ward 5 in Toronto, serving in that capacity until he ran for Controller in 1960 and won. He was Controller until 1963, when he was appointed Mayor. He was re-elected Mayor in 1964, but was defeated in 1966.
In 1968, he was elected as a Liberal Member of Parliament for York West, and in 1971, he was elected to the Ontario Provincial Legislature for the riding of York Forest Hill.
In 1977, Phil Givens was appointed Provincial Court Judge and Chairman of the Metropolitan Toronto Police Commission. He served as Chairman until 1985, when he was appointed trial judge in the Civil Division. He retired from the judiciary in 1988.
Philip Givens was active in Jewish communal life. He held offices in many organizations, including the Canadian Jewish Congress, the United Jewish Welfare Fund, B'nai B'rith, the Zionist Organization of Canada, the Talmud Torah Eitz Chaim and Baycrest Centre.
He was also the founder and first president of the Upper Canada Lodge of B'nai B'rith. He was general chairman of the United Israel Appeal -Israel Emergency Fund in 1967 and the United Jewish Appeal -Israel Special Fund in 1968. From 1973 to 1985 he was national chairman for the Canadian Zionist Federation.
Philip Givens was the recipient of the Negev dinner award from the Jewish National Fund in 1968, the Human Relations Award of the Canadian Council of Christians and Jews in 1969, and the Award of Honour from B'nai B'rith and the State of Israel Bonds in 1972.
Scope and Content
Item consists of a studio portrait of Philip Givens.
Givens, Philip, 1922-1995
Copyright is not held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain permission prior to use.
22 photographs : b&w and col. ; 16 x 10 cm and 7 x 9 cm
Scope and Content
Accession consists of 22 copy photographs documenting the political and personal career of Philip White, former mayor of York, as well as one DVD entitled the Life of Philip White, produced by Knowledge Media Design Institute in the Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto. Several of the photographs also depict politicians such as Nathan Phillips, Phil Givens, Paul Godfrey, Pierre Trudeau, David Crombie, Bob Rae and Mel Lastman.
Philip Cecil White was a Jewish mayor of York, a borough of the pre-amalgamated Toronto, from 1970 to 1978. He was the longest serving mayor of the region since 1850. He was also a pharmacist and owned White's pharmacy with his brother Murray at Jane St. and St. Clair Ave. from 1950 to 1972.
Phil White was born in Toronto on October 23, 1923 to Harry and Sara (Steinhart) White, immigrants from Poland and Austria. He attended Harbord Collegiate and graduated from the University of Toronto in Pharmacy. He first served as alderman from 1959 to 1968, then as controller from 1968 to 1970 and again from 1982 to 1988. White was with partner Trudy Appleby from 1987 to 2013, following a first marriage to Helen Strachman from 1950 to 1978. He has four children, Bryon, Glenna, Lesley and Kevin. Philip White passed away on June 8, 2013.