Mauricio came to Canada from Colombia in 1991 armed only with a high school diploma and zero English.
He worked as a cleaner for four years, studied, and became a Senior International Marketing Consultant leading U.S. export initiatives, and a successful real estate agent-investor. Despite his professional success, he’s never forgotten his community.
He is the reference point and pioneer uniting Hispanic professionals and businesspeople across Canada. His many recognitions include being inducted into the 'Canadian Who is Who' - leading biographical reference that for over a century has listed the most prominent Canadians.
Since 2001 and on his free time, Mauricio founded four professional/business associations, led national census initiatives, created the annual ‘10 most influential Hispanic Canadians’ awards to date with 110 influential winners from six provinces, helped hundreds of immigrants, and raised money ($220,000 in the past two years alone for community scholarships). He’s privately meet with Prime Ministers, Ministers, and influential figures from Canada’s society to help our community. He was the first Hispanic to be involved with the 2015 Pan-American Games, and the only one who successfully advocated for ethnic inclusion in procurement and in home ownership at the Pan-American Village.
Mauricio was quoted in the international best-seller "Why Mexicans Don't Drink Molson" and written for three York University books. He’s been profiled by CBC, Globe and Mail, National Post, Toronto Star, most Hispanic media in Canada and even overseas.
Mauricio lives in downtown Toronto and loves to cycle, paint, play tennis, and read.
2017: Recipient of the inaugural Outstanding Volunteer awards from the hands of Ryerson University President Mohamed Lachemi joining luminaries such as John Honderich (Toronto Star publisher), Harry Rosen (founder of the high-end clothing company), and John Craig Eaton (former Ryerson Chancellor and a member of the esteemed Eaton’s family).
2015: Named one of the most successful Colombians in Canada by Latinos Magazine.
2013-15: Member of Pan Am Games' executiVIVA (Canadian executives with influence to promote the Games) and of the board of directors for the Hispanic pavilion at the Games.
2012: Inducted into the 'Canadian Who is Who', which for over a century has recognized past Prime Ministers and other notable Canadians for their contributions to the country.
2009: Named Fellow at York University (Stong College) and a year later nominated for the Premier of Ontario's Premier Award.
2018: Led the $100,000 ILAC English scholarships for ten women from Spanish speaking countries who are making positive changes within their own communities.
2016: In partnership with Ryerson University, Mauricio co-led a mentoring and fundraising campaign for Hispanic students which resulted in $120,000 ($110,000 pledged in only two days). The announcement was made on April 29, 2016 by Ryerson President Mohamed Lachemi.
2011: Obtained real estate accreditation to promote 10% Hispanic ownership of the Pan American Village built for the Panamerican Games and quickly became one of the top producing representatives with VIP access - meaning reduced prices for his clients.
2010: Along with the heads of the Canadian Aboriginal & Minority Supplier Council and the Diversity Network, Ospina successfully advocated on business diversity for small ethnic suppliers to the Games; he was the first Hispanic to be involved with the Games.
2010: With the CEO of Waterfront Toronto as co-keynote, presented to 300 people at Toronto City Hall the results if his 400 page study (2 years in the making) on why there is no Latin or Hispanic town in Toronto and how to achieve one; the study researched 12 successful ethnic towns across North America.
2008: Co-founded Hispanotech.ca, first association of Hispanics in technology, and Factor Hispano, first magazine for professionals and business people. Ospina was a key supporter of the Government Declaration (Toronto and Ontario) recognizing April as Hispanic Month.
2009: Founded the Canadian Hispanic Business Alliance (formerly known as Association).
2007: Created the "10 most influential Hispanic Canadians", only annual program within the community with a national presence that every year recognizes 10 outstanding Hispanics from across the nation.
2006: Member of the steering committee that lobbied Statistics Canada for the "2008 Profile of the Hispanic community in Canada", a landmark study based on the census 2006 demonstrating the presence of 741,760 Hispanics in Canada - double the initial count of 350,000; it also showed that Hispanics are five years younger and more likely to be university-educated than other Canadians.
2001: Founded and led for 3 years the still existing Canadian Colombian Professional Association, supported the creation of several others and led or co-led several fundraising campaigns.
MEDIA - sample only
“The community’s significance has also benefited from several recent Free Trade Agreements between Canada and Latin American countries, as well as the 2015 PanAm Games to be held in Toronto, and the Canadian Hispanic Business Association’s 10 Most Influential Hispanic Canadians, an annual awards program that has been held since 2007”. National Post
“Mr. Ospina studied Canada's Korean community in comparison with the Hispanic, and found that while both groups arrived here within the past 40 years, the former was able to develop more influence and economic clout by buying dry cleaning and convenience stores and developing a "Little Korea" in Toronto's west end. Hispanics, on the other hand, focused on a variety of menial jobs, and failed to establish a 'Little Bogota' or 'Little Havana' in any one area of the city”. Globe and Mail
“The Hispanic community also has to do a better job of marketing itself to others, says the publisher of Factor Hispano magazine [Mauricio Ospina], a Spanish bi-monthly he started two years ago to engage the city's fastest growing ethnic community”. The Toronto Star