Ottawa developer Bill Teron, who played a major role in shaping the community of Kanata, has died at age 85.
Teron had been receiving care at the Queensway Carleton Hospital in recent weeks and died Monday.
Known as “the father of Kanata,” Teron was born in Manitoba and made a name for himself as an award-winning urban planner, philanthropist and Order of Canada recipient.
He moved to Ottawa in 1951 at the age of 18.
Locally, he is known for building the Talisman Hotel and several communities including Kanata’s residential Beaverbrook community, McKellar Park, Lynwood Village and Qualicum-Graham Park.
“In 1970 his decision to turn over derelict industrial lands in Toronto to the federal government at cost in return for a commitment to create a public park inspired the 1972 announcement of Harbourfront by [former] prime minister Pierre Trudeau — a decision that had a major impact on the city,” reads an online obituary posted Tuesday.
Ties to former PM Trudeau
The following year, then prime minister Pierre Trudeau asked him to serve as president of the Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation, and later became the corporation’s chairman. He also served as secretary deputy minister in the Ministry of State for Urban Affairs.
“At CMHC, he was especially proud of the assisted home ownership program, assisted rental program, rural and native housing, programs for non-profit and co-op housing, and the inner-city redevelopments in Montreal, Quebec City, Granville Island in Vancouver, and Marketplace in Saint John,” reads the obituary.
“When he left CMHC … he devoted his time to research and development of building technologies. He wanted to create a self-help technology to allow people in other countries to build affordable housing of North American quality standards, using local labour and materials, following their local cultures and design. This led to many new, patented technologies for residential and commercial buildings, which he used to build over four million square feet of buildings in Canada, United States and Wales, and do consulting work in 13 other countries.”
The acclaimed developer and designer earned a host of awards over his lifetime, including seven awards from the Canadian Housing Design Council, the Jane Jacobs Lifetime Achievement Award, a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and a Doctor of Laws honoris causa from Carleton University. He was also a founding trustee of the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.
Teron is survived by his wife, Jean, his four children, his sister, and seven grandchildren.
The family is holding a private memorial and interment for Teron at Pinecrest Cemetery and are asking those who wish to honour his memory to make a donation to the Queensway Carleton Hospital Foundation, “where Bill received excellent loving care in his final weeks.”