Gordon Meredith Lightfoot died in Toronto on May 1, 2023, at the age of 84, and ever since, the nation, and many in the larger music industry, have been mourning his loss.
Lightfoot was a superlative songwriter and singer, one of the early stars of the fledgling Canadian music scene who connected to his audiences through the stories he told in his songs. He leaves behind an impressive and iconic body of work, with many songs that went on to become international hits many times over.
He was both the world’s and Canada’s own.
There’s been an outpouring of condolences and memories of Lightfoot from music industry leaders and many others in the media. But, his music struck a chord with so many because it came from a sensibility that was both universal in appeal, and uniquely Canadian. It’s in the hearts of his fans that he will be remembered.
His millions of fans extend across the world, but his connections to his roots in Orillia, and to the city of Toronto where his career got its start in the cafés of Yorkville, and where he made his home, are especially deep. Fun fact: Lightfoot served as honorary captain of the Maple Leafs in 1991-92.
Lightfoot’s funeral is set for Sunday, May 7 at St. Paul’s United Church in Orillia, his home town. The ceremony will be private, and limited to family.
- Fans can pay their respects at a separate service at St. Paul’s United between 1 p.m. and 8 p.m.
- Messages of condolences can also be left here.
- Memorial donations to the United Way (Simcoe County Area) can also be made via the Mundell Funeral Home.
In Toronto, a book of condolences will be available for fans to add their messages of respect and memories at the newly renovated Massey Hall, where Lightfoot performed about 170 times over the course of his storied career.
- Massey Hall doors will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, May 7 to sign the book of condolences.
May he rest in peace.
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