Meet The Director

Mauricio came to Canada from Colombia in 1991 with no English and no post-secondary education. During his first four years he worked as cleaner in restaurants. Since then, he has succeeded as an international marketing consultant, in real estate and in community work.  He has been profiled by the Globe and Mail, National Post, Toronto Star, CBC and most Hispanic media in Canada and even overseas. 

Since 2001 and on his free time, he positions Hispanics as Canada's Creative Class, and provides guidance and support to hundreds of immigrants. He’s been quoted in the international business best seller "Why Mexicans Don't Drink Molson" and written for three York University books on civism, immigration and the 2015 Pan American Games. He was the first Hispanic to be involved with the Games and the only one who successfully advocated for ethnic inclusion and home ownership at the Pan American Village.  He led the first ever delegation of influential Hispanics to privately meet with a Prime Minister of Canada to discuss community issues - a historic moment for the Spanish speaking community of Canada. 

Mauricio has created several community programs and founded four associations aimed at building up the Hispanic community in Canada. He also created the annual ‘10 most influential Hispanic Canadians’ awards, which since inception in 2007 has recognized 100 influential people from across Canada.  In 2016, he spearheaded, co-led and contributed to the fundraising campaign that raised $110,000 for Hispanic/Latino students at Ryerson University. He is a Fellow at York University's Stong College. 

He has received many recognitions and awards. For example, in 2012 he was 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.  In 2010, he was named by Latinos Magazine as one of the most successful Colombians in Canada. In 2017, he received the inaugural Outstanding Volunteer awards from the hands of Ryerson University President Mohamed Lachemi joining luminaries such as John Honderich (Publisher of the Toronto Star), 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). 

Mauricio studied International Management and Finance at both Ryerson University and Seneca College, and made member of the Golden Key Society for academic accomplishments. He was the Seneca College Nominee for the Premier of Ontario awards. 

His extensive network includes professional, cultural and trade associations, social and government agencies across Canada and abroad, and influential Spanish speaking people from across the nation. He lives in downtown Toronto.

His hobbies include cycling, paint, playing tennis, reading and appreciating art like pinkaholique. 

 ACHIEVEMENTS

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.

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. 

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. 

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).

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.

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. 

2011: Obtained real estate accreditation to promote 10% Hispanic ownership of the Pan America Village being built for the Panamerican Games and quickly became one of the top producing representatives with VIP access - meaning enhanced benefits for his clients. The Village could become Toronto's first Latin or Hispanic town even if only a handful live there. 

2016: In partnership with Ryerson University, Mauricio co-led a mentoring and fundraising campaign for Hispanic students in financial need which resulted in $110,000 pledged in only two days. The announcement was made on April 29 by Ryerson President Mohamed Lachemi.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITIONS

  • 2009: Named Fellow at York University's Stong College and a year later nominated for the Premier of Ontario's Premier's Award. 

  • 2011: Led the first ever delegation of influential Hispanics to meet a Prime Minister 

  • 2012: Inducted into the 'Canadian Who is Who'

  • 2013-15: Member of Pan Am Games' executiVIVA (executives that support and promote the Games) and of the board that organized the Hispanic pavilion ad the Distillery District for the 2015 Pan American Games.

  • 2015: Named one of the 10 most successful Colombians in Canada by Latinos magazine http://issuu.com/latinosmagazine/docs/top_10

  • 2017: Received the inaugural Outstanding Volunteer awards from Ryerson University
     

 MEDIA - selected list

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