January 22, 2020

Welcome Lon LaClaire, Vancouver’s New City Engineer/General Manager of Engineering Services


In the very good news department,  Sadhu Johnston the City Manager of the City of Vancouver has announced the new City Engineer and General Manager of Engineering Services. That individual  is Lon LaClaire, who has been Director of Transportation in Vancouver since 2015.

Lon is taking over the position vacated by Jerry Dobrovolny who is now the Chief Administrative Officer of Metro Vancouver.

For people that have worked with Lon, he is extremely forthright and has a collaborative approach to working across civic departments and within communities. He’s a proponent of active transportation and was part of the team that so successfully convinced Vancouverites to walk, bike and take transit during the 2010 Olympics. Changing the way people in Vancouver move to be less car intensive and more active transportation and transit related is echoed in Vancouver’s transportation plan.

You can listen to a Vancouver transportation related podcast between Gordon Price and Lon LeClaire recorded last November here.

How transportation ties in with active transportation, health, sociability  and the role of cities is changing in the region, with progressive mayors like City of North Vancouver’s Linda Buchanan and City of New Westminster’s Jonathan Cote leading the conversation.

All of us at Price Tags welcome Lon’s leadership, and look forward to his stewardship in Vancouver and in the region.

Below is the text that was distributed to City of Vancouver staff by the City Manager.


“I am pleased to announce that after an extensive recruitment process for City Engineer and General Manager of Engineering Services, Lon LaClaire is the successful candidate for the role.

I am very happy that Lon is taking on this position permanently to head up Engineering Services at the City. Lon has a deep understanding of our priority areas of work in Engineering Services, and having been part of the department for 23 years, I know he is keen to continue the great work planned and underway in the department.

Lon comes to the role with extensive experience in transportation, having started with the City working on the Millennium line, the Downtown Transportation Plan, the Canada Line and transportation planning for the 2010 Olympics. Lon has connected the department’s work to the transportation component of the Greenest City Action Plan, as well as the Transportation 2040 Plan.

In 2015, as Director of Transportation, Lon led ground-breaking projects such as the Arbutus Greenway, Burrard Bridge upgrade and implementing new parking strategies. Experience with major projects like this puts Lon in a strong position as he begins his new role as GM. His cooperative approach and ability to make connections to how our work interacts internally as well as with major partners across the city and the region will be invaluable. I know he will bring his experience and appreciation of collaborative projects to the wider department.

Lon will be starting in the role immediately. Please join me in congratulating and welcoming him as City Engineer and General Manager of Engineering Services.”


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  1. A great choice! Continue doing great things, Lon. And, oh, remember to include the Planning Department in doing them!

  2. Yes! Congratulations to Lon who I know will carry on with some of the most forward-looking transportation policies and creative implementations of any Engineering Dep’t world-wide. Elimination of the Viaducts is only one of numerous transformative innovations.

  3. Will those forward thinking transportation policies include the bus bus lanes that are needed for an efficient transit system ?

  4. Lon will do an excellent job as GM.

    I recall struggling with an issue regarding how many trees should we have in Deva Plaza…of course most argued as many as possible or at least replace the street trees. The BIA argued that the Plaza needs to be a sunny place in the afternoon so suggested not replacing two trees. After two months of no consensus on this at the staff level, we finally engaged Lon and he wisely advised regarding trees in a plaza…”it’s not a street or park..it’s a plaza” and a different approach on trees should be considered. I’ve quoted him a number of times in presentations on plazas and public spaces.

    Engineering Services management should also be complimented in their succession planning. It’s a Department that supports the growth of its younger staff preparing them for more senior jobs. So let’s also congratulate Engineering Services on the stellar job they do supporting their staff and coaching and supporting them to take leadership positions in their Department.

  5. Congratulations to Lon – and kudos to Sadhu for making an excellent choice. Lon has all the skills needed for the leadership role and it will be really interesting to see what he accomplishes.

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