Dr. Sheela Basrur – Health and Science
(d. 2004) Toronto’s first medical officer of health, spearheaded once controversial public programs like a ban on smoking in bars and restaurants, a ban on cosmetic pesticide use, and a rating system for restaurants. Became the face of public health during SARS outbreak.
Dr. Sheela Basrur, a longtime resident of Scarborough, was Toronto’s first medical officer of health who became the face of public health during the SARS outbreak of 2003. Dr. Basrur died June 2, 2004 after a two-year long battle with a rare form of cancer. Dr. Basrur, had stepped down from the position of Ontario’s medical officer of health just 18 months earlier, to aggressively fight the cancer. She was widely regarded as the province’s most respected and well-known public health official – a profile that former colleagues and friends say was earned in the trenches of post-amalgamation Toronto.
There, Dr. Basrur presided over the amalgamation of six public health units and then took on key and often controversial new public health programs: a ban on smoking in bars and restaurants, a ban on cosmetic pesticide use, and a rating system for restaurants.
It was finally her handling of the SARS crisis of 2003 that killed 44 people and started in Scarborough Grace Hospital where Basrur emerged as a pre-eminent voice of public health.
Earl Campbell – Education
Local, provincial and national education leader. 36-year career in Scarborough and Toronto School Boards. Recipient of countless awards for education including Ontario Institute for Studies in Education’s Distinguished Educator Award.
Earl Campbell has been an educational leader not only in the Scarborough education system, but provincially and nationally as well. His 36 year career with the Scarborough Board of Education and the Toronto District School Board included the role of CEO and Director of Education of the Scarborough board from 1992 to 1998.
As Superintendent of Student and Community Services, he was responsible for the development of the school system’s Race Relations and Multicultural Policy. His long list of accomplishments and accolades include: member of the Minister’s Advisory Council for Special Education, past president of the Ontario and Canadian offices of The Council for Exceptional Children and member of The International Executive Committee, recipient of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education’s Distinguished Educator Award, the Donald G. Warren Outstanding Achievement Award from The Canadian Council for Exceptional Children and the A.S. Taylor Award for Outstanding Educator from the Scarborough and Toronto boards.
Deborah Cox – Entertainment
Multiple Juno-winning Rhythm & Blues vocalist and actress. Currently touring in Broadway production of The Bodyguard.
A native of Scarborough, Deborah Cox is a multiple Juno-winning Rhythm&Blues vocalist and actress, who is often compared vocally to Whitney Houston.
Cox began singing for TV commercials at age 12 and as a teenager, she performed in nightclubs. Around the same time, she began to write her own material with the help of writer, producer, and future romantic interest Lascelles Stephens.
Like Whitney Houston, Cox was also discovered shortly after graduating from high school by Arista Records president Clive Davis, who recruited some of the top names in R & B to provide her with material for her 1995 debut including Babyface, Dallas Austin, and Keith Crouch. But Cox herself co-wrote her first hit single, “Sentimental,” with Austin and bass player Colin Wolfe, along with three other tracks on the album. One Wish followed in 1998, launching the R&B chart-topper “We Can’t Be Friends.” Her 2002 album The Morning After made a bigger impact in the clubs with the singles “Absolutely Not,” “Mr. Lonely,” and “Play Your Part,” all topping the U.S. dance charts. A 2003 remix collection was followed in 2007 by the ambitious and stylish Destination Moon, a tribute to the legendary singer Dinah Washington.
Ben Heppner – Entertainment
One of the world’s finest contemporary, dramatic tenors. Recipient of countless distinctions including the Order of Canada (promoted to Officer and Companion). Laureate of the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards with a Lifetime Achievement Award in Classical Music. Hosts two regular programs on CBC radio.
Ben Heppner is recognised world-wide as the finest dramatic tenor before the public today.
Born in Murrayville, B.C. in 1956, Heppner has been a long time resident of Scarborough. Acclaimed in music capitals around the world for his beautiful voice and incredible dramatic sense, his performances on the opera stage, in concert with orchestra, in recital and on recordings have set new standards in the genre.
In 1974 Heppner began studies at the University of British Columbia Music School and won the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Talent Competition five years later. In 1988 he received the first Birgit Nilsson Prize at the Metropolitan Opera Auditions, making his United States debut at Carnegie Hall in a Command Performance for the King and Queen of Sweden and his U.S.opera debut as Walther von der Vogelweide in Tannhäuser at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.
His European debut came one year later as Lohengrin at the Royal Swedish Opera, followed by his debut at La Scala, Milan in 1990 as Walther von Stolzing in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, and his Japanese debut with Das Lied von der Erde in 1991. Heppner has won numerous awards and distinctions, including several honorary doctorates from Canadian universities, the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Music Award 2005 and Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee Medal 2002.
In 2001 he was made an Officer within the Order of Canada. His recordings have received a wealth of prestigious awards.
Rick Middleton – Sports
NHL Hockey player, left winger for New York Rangers and Boston Bruins. 448 goals, 540 assists for 988 in 1005 games.
Scarborough native Rick Middleton began his professional hockey career as the first-round draft pick for the New York Rangers in 1974. He finished off the season with a flourish as rookie of the year in the American Hockey League, and then played left wing with the Rangers for two years before he was traded to Boston in 1976, where he scored a hat-trick in his first-ever game as a Bruin. By 1985, Middleton had earned his place as captain of the team. Middleton, who was recognized as one of very few players in the NHL who was strong on both the power-play and as a penalty killer, credits much of his success in hockey to Don Cherry, who very early in his career encouraged him to work on his defense.
Middleton also credits his wife and family for nurturing him after he suffered a serious injury in mid-career after getting hit in the head with a puck in the days when not many NHL players wore helmets.
In 1981 and 1984 Middleton was a member of the Canadian team in the Canada Cup. But his biggest success in international hockey, he claimed, happened in 1984 while he was a member of coach Scotty Bowman’s team when he played on a line with Wayne Gretzky and Gilbert Perreault. In 1987-88 Middleton played his last of his 12 seasons with the Bruins. He retired from the game after recording 448 goals, 540 assists for 988 in 1005 games.
John Wimbs – Community
Founded The Robbie International Soccer Tournament, the world’s largest annual charitable youth soccer tournament raising funds to fight Cystic Fibrosis and Muscular Dystrophy.
Participants in The Robbie should be proud to take part in the world’s largest annual charitable youth soccer tournament. Since 1967, The Robbie has donated over $1 Million dollars to the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and Muscular Dystrophy.
In 1967, a group of soccer enthusiasts met in John Wimbs’ living room to organize a small soccer tournament for boys. Upstairs, they heard three-year-old Robbie Wimbs receiving treatment for Cystic Fibrosis. CF is an incurable disease that in 1967 took most of its victims before the age of five. There and then the organizers decided to dedicate their tournament, not just to soccer, but to fighting the disease. The Robbie was born.
Since 1967, youth teams from around the world have been coming to Toronto to play soccer and, through entry fees and various activities, raise money for children who suffer from CF. The introduction of the Girls’ division several years later prompted organizers to recognize another cause – Muscular Dystrophy. Thanks to the Robbie and other organizations, CF victims are living longer and with greater hope. Robbie Wimbs survived until he was 33. He lives on in the tournament he inspired.