Sharon Johnston began her working career in Kingston, Ontario, as a psychiatric occupational therapist with young adults at Kingston General Hospital, and then as a therapist at Beechgrove, a treatment centre for young children with learning and behavioural problems. When the Johnston family moved to Toronto, she worked at the Crippled Children’s Centre in Occupational Therapy.
In 1966, Mrs. Johnston completed her studies in physical and occupational therapy at the University of Toronto. Later, she completed a Bachelor of Science at the University of Western Ontario, a Master of Science at McGill University, and obtained her Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Science at McGill University. She also wrote an autobiographical essay for inclusion in a collection on notable women of Montréal.
Mrs. Johnston is an avid horse-riding enthusiast. She ran a horse-training centre for 12 years out of Chatterbox Farm, in Ontario, which she shared with her husband. She recently published her first novel Matrons and Madams, a fictional account of life in southwestern Alberta during a colourful, post-Great War era, based on her grandmother’s experiences. In June 2016, Mrs. Johnston was appointed Honorary Captain (Navy) for Military Personnel Command of the Canadian Armed Forces.
Mrs. Johnston was born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. She and Mr. Johnston have five adult daughters and 14 grandchildren.