Remembering Joseph L. Rotman, one of Canada’s greatest civic entrepreneurs

Joseph L. Rotman was both a city-builder and a country-builder who passionately believed in bringing business, government and academia together to solve complex issues in society.

He was relentless in his commitment to excellence, and had high aspirations for Canada. He firmly believed we had the opportunity and obligation to be leaders in innovation. Canada could bring important discoveries to the world and create a vanguard of entrepreneurs that would improve society for future generations and make a difference beyond our borders.

John Evans and Joseph Rotman
Dr. John Evans and Joseph Rotman, MaRS founders.

We are enormously grateful for Mr. Rotman’s tremendous commitment and vision as a co-founder of MaRS. He provided critical leadership from the start and remained an active Board member transforming MaRS from a bold idea to reality.

Joseph Rotman
Joseph Rotman addressing the audience at a 2009 tribute to civic entrepreneurship and MaRS founding Chair, Dr. John Evans.

As a community and business leader he saw untapped potential in fostering collaboration between our premier research institutions and entrepreneurial talent, because he believed “innovation, competitiveness and prosperity will rise out of a fertile environment that nurtures relationships between disciplines.”

Jack Rabinovitch and Joseph Rotman
Former MaRS Board members Jack Rabinovitch and Joseph Rotman.

He stepped up, built bridges and worked tirelessly—setting an example for others to follow. He was an integral part of our journey—we will miss him. In his own words: “The dream is if MaRS can be the catalyst to ensure that our culture changes so our whole system works together.”

We will continue to honour his memory and vision by following the path he helped carve.