Joannah and Brian Lawson Centre for Child Nutrition


Achieving the Lawson Centre's mission of improving the health of children of all ages in Canada and around the world would not be possible without the generosity and dedication of its supporters.

Joannah and Brian Lawson's Inaugural Donation 

The Joannah & Brian Lawson Centre for Child Nutrition (Lawson Centre) would not be what it is today without Joannah and Brian Lawson's vision and commitment to advancing the health and well-being of children.

Their generous inaugural donation of $5 million helped to establish the Lawson Centre and support several of its key initiatives and programs. Their most recent gift, which brings their total contribution to $10 million, is further accelerating the Centre's impact.

As University of Toronto alumni, Joannah and Brian realized the potential of a network of Toronto's researchers, doctors, policymakers, and advocates to enhance child nutrition and health worldwide.

“The U of T Faculty of Medicine is uniquely positioned through the excellence and scale of its activities to undertake cutting-edge research, deploy the results in the field, and lead strong advocacy — all of which should lead to improved lives for families in Canada and globally.”

— Brian Lawson


"As a registered nutritionist working with clients, I see first-hand how life-changing good nutrition can be to physical and mental health. We urgently need to support initiatives that work to ensure that everyone has access to healthy, sustainable food."

— Joannah Lawson

Brian Lawson is a member of U of T’s Governing Council. He is senior managing partner and chief financial officer at Brookfield Asset Management Inc. In 2013, he was named Canada’s CFO of the Year. Joannah Lawson is a registered nutritionist in private practice specializing in nutrition curriculum design and delivery, and improving the nutritional value of foods in school settings.

Their funding partially supports the Chair in Patient Engagement in Child Nutrition and the Lawson Family Chair in Microbiome Nutrition Research. As well, Joannah and Brian Lawson's donation facilitates an expendable fund to advance the cause of good nutrition as a public policy priority and help revolutionize the way we understand nutrition and health. It will also help to further incorporate nutrition into the core undergraduate curriculum at the Faculty of Medicine.


Our supporters are making it possible to prevent and reverse the decades-long decline in the health of children through nutrition research, education and knowledge translation.

Since 2014, early investments from individuals, foundations and corporate donors have helped the Lawson Centre to grow. We continue to welcome all levels of philanthropic giving from a diverse group of donors with a desire to stem the growing tide of poor nutrition that is threatening the well-being of our children and families.

Thank you to the following supporters who have donated to the Lawson Centre:

Individual, Foundation and Corporate Donors (represent 95% of total donated funds raised)


  • Joannah and Brian Lawson

$100,000 - $999,999

  • Anonymous (1)
  • Brookfield
  • The Sprott Foundation


  • G. Harvey Anderson
  • Stewart and Gina Burton
  • Christina Eaton
  • The Donald F. Hunter Charitable Foundation
  • Melissa and Tim Hylton
  • Patrick and Barbara Keenan family
  • RBC Foundation
  • Cynthia  and Craig Thorburn

Food Industry Donors (represents <2% of donated funds, established at the formation of the Centre and entirely used to provide unrestricted scholarship support to nutrition students being supervised by faculty members of the Centre)

  • The Coca-Cola Company
  • General Mills
  • Nestlé Canada
  • Pepsi