Infrastructure Ontario’s Eric Tilley says he always wanted to use his legal skills in a way that would allow him to drive down the road and point to something tangible, like a building, that he helped create. During his nearly three years at IO, a crown agency based in Toronto that uses public-private partnerships (P3s) to finance infrastructure within the province, Tilley has risen rapidly from legal counsel, to senior legal counsel, to his current position as vice president. Along the way, Tilley, whose background is in commercial real estate, has helped create some pretty tangible things to point to: hospitals, courthouses, railways, even one of the roads he might use to drive to one of his projects. Not bad for someone who had never worked on a P3 project prior to his arrival at IO in 2010.

As the world’s eyes turn to Toronto and the 2015 Pan American Games, the 35-year-old Tilley and IO will be under the gun to deliver a rarity: a major international sporting event that comes in on budget and on time. And, in the process, he hopes they can demonstrate quiet Canadian efficiency. Tilley, who worked at the now-defunct firm of Goodman and Carr from 2005 to 2007 before joining McMillan for two years, is confident that the P3 model and IO’s track record will ensure that the city and province stay in the black as they build athletic facilities, an athletes’ village, and sports stadiums.