News Toronto

Tory taps Toronto Sun editor as new spokesman

By Antonella Artuso, Toronto Sun

Amanda Galbraith, Mayor John Tory's outgoing director of communications, and Don Peat, Tory's incoming director of communications. (Toronto Sun files)

Amanda Galbraith, Mayor John Tory's outgoing director of communications, and Don Peat, Tory's incoming director of communications. (Toronto Sun files)

Toronto Mayor John Tory is welcoming a strong new voice to his office as he enters the second half of his mandate.

Don Peat – that's Pistol Peat to his former Toronto Sun coworkers – will become the mayor's director of communications and chief spokesperson, replacing Amanda Galbraith in the pivotal role.

Peat takes over his new position on Monday. Tory announced the change-up to councillors in an email Thursday morning.

"There are few people who are irreplaceable; Don is one of them,” Toronto Sun Editor-In-Chief Adrienne Batra said. “His reporting contributions are unmatched and culminated into an anthology of some of the most important events in Toronto.

“Don has been such an integral part of the Toronto Sun family and will be missed. Our loss is definitely the city's gain,” she said.

Galbraith - who is taking a job at PR firm Navigator - said Peat’s experience covering municipal government will be crucial in the mayor’s office.

"Don is no stranger to City Hall, and the Mayor and the entire team look forward to working with him in this new role,” Galbraith said. “Between Don's reputation as an early riser to his long hours in the office I know he will be more than ready to hit the ground running."

Peat, who arrived from the Peterborough Examiner almost a decade ago, quickly shone at the Toronto Sun as one of the very best of a new breed of multimedia journalists who could do it all.

In 2010, he was promoted to City Hall Bureau Chief where he followed the roller coaster ride that was Mayor Rob Ford's time in office, providing exclusive after exclusive article despite the intense media competition.

His extraordinary work ethic and reporting skills twice earned him the title of “Sun Media Journalist of the Year.”

Last year, Peat became the assistant city editor where his political insights and speedy, bright writing style improved the overall quality of the Sun's paper edition and website.

"I will always be grateful for my time at the Sun. I feel truly lucky to have worked with a lot of amazing reporters, photographers, columnists and editors," Peat said.

He is looking forward to working in the mayor's office.

"Mayor John Tory is working hard to keep property taxes low while building the city up - I'm honoured to join that effort," he said.