You may think of this as Halloween, the day kids in costumes get candy, but this year it is also the day we all get John Candy, especially in East York where the comic actor was raised.
Mayor John Tory yesterday proclaimed Oct. 31, 2020 as John Candy Day in Toronto on what would have been Candy’s 70th birthday.
“John Candy is a Canadian treasure who brought great joy to so many through his humour, acting and contributions to the entertainment industry and beyond,” Tory said.
“I had a chance to get to know him when he was an Argo owner. He was a decent humble man in the fashion of many famous Canadians and it is my privilege to honour his humour, his legacy and the pride he brought to our city.”
Candy died in 1994 after a two-decade run as a comic actor. He was born in Newmarket but moved to Toronto at an early age and lived on Woodville Avenue in the Old East York area. He attended high school at Neil McNeil Catholic High School, on the Scarborough side of Victoria Park Avenue next to the Beaches.
He rose to fame in Toronto’s Second City sketch troupe and as a founding cast member of the Canadian television series SCTV, where he created several well-known characters, perhaps most notably one of the polka duo musicians, the “Schmenge Brothers,” with Eugene Levy.
His star rose even higher when, starting in 1973, he became a lovable character actor in more than 40 comic movies, including “Stripes,” “Splash,” “Cool Runnings,” “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” (playing arguably his most memorable role), “Uncle Buck” and “Canadian Bacon.”
John Candy an Argos fan — and owner
He won several prestigious acting and comedy awards, including two Emmys, and was nominated for many more.
Somehow he also fit in being a co-owner of the Toronto Argonauts, and promoted the football team in ads, from 1991 (when they won the Grey Cup) until his death in 1994.
In 1998 he was given a star on Toronto’s Walk of Fame. You can find it on King Street West in the Theatre District.
“His sudden death was felt deeply in our city and around the world,” according to the civic proclamation.
“His legacy lives on through his family, his iconic performances and his induction into Canada’s Walk of Fame and the East York Hall of Fame.”