As we build the Finch West LRT, we cannot help but think of the history of the neighbourhoods where we’re building and the people who live, work, and play there. The Subbans are one of Canada’s most notable families with a deep connection to the NHL, education, and multiple communities along the project corridor.
When asked about the source of his family’s success, Karl Subban, father of five says simply in his book (How We Did It), we gave them love, our time and encouragement to reach their potential. Known as an incredible community leader, Karl is a former principal of Finch West schools, including Brookview (on Driftwood) and Humber Summit Middle Schools, on Driftwood Avenue and Duncanwoods Drive respectively. In 2012, he received an Excellence in Education Award at the African Canadian Achievement Awards and in 2018 he was recognized as a Canadian Men’s Health Foundation (CMHF) Champion for taking a stand for men’s health and supporting CMHF’s mission to inspire men to make small changes and live healthier lives. By the way, both Driftwood and Duncanwoods are the names of future stops on our LRT line.
Karl and his wife Maria raised five successful children. Their daughters are both teachers, one a former basketball star and the other a well-known visual artist. The oldest daughter Nastassia teaches at Westview Centennial Secondary School (located at future Norfinch Oakdale stop). She also works closely with students from Jane and Finch (name of another future stop on the Finch West LRT line) through a Pathways to Success program called ACE at York University.
Although they have a strong connection to the east half of the project corridor, the Subbans are a Rexdale family. Karl’s first son, Pernell Karl (better known as P.K.) started his career in ice hockey playing for the Etobicoke Bulldogs, and later helped Canada win two world junior hockey gold medals before playing for the NHL’s Montreal Canadiens, then Nashville, and now for the New Jersey Devils.
The younger sons Malcolm and Jordan followed in P.K.’s footsteps. Malcolm is a goaltender for the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights while Jordan is a defenceman with the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League and is under contract to the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Subbans make us #FinchWestProud!
(Karl Subban’s comments have been edited and condensed)