From accomplished athletes and entertainers, to those who dedicated their lives to public service, here is a look back at some of the notable Canadians who died in 2015.
Don Harron September 19, 1924 – January 17, 2015
Don Harron, who entertained generations of Canadians with his comic alter ego Charlie Farquharson and helped bring the Canadian classic novel Anne of Green Gables from the page to the stage, died at the age of 90 on Jan. 17.
He passed while surrounded by family at his Toronto home. He had been suffering from cancer.
Michel Guimond, former Bloc Quebecois MP, died Jan. 19 at the age of 61 from heart failure.
Toller Cranston April 20, 1949 – January 24, 2015
Canadian figure skating legend Toller Cranston, a bronze medallist at the 1974 world championships and 1976 Olympics, died at his home in Mexico from an apparent heart attack at the age of 65.
Joseph Rotman, philanthropist and business world trailblazer, died Jan. 27 at the age of 80.
Claude Ruel, hockey coach who guided the Montreal Canadiens to a Stanley Cup in 1969, died Feb. 9 at the age of 76.
Alison Gordon, a pioneer for women in sports journalism, died at the age of 72 on Feb 12.
Allan Rowe October 16, 1956 – March 16, 2015
A Global News journalist turned Nova Scotia MLA, Allan Rowe died at the age of 58, weeks after suffering a brain aneurysm.
His funeral was attended by the province’s lieutenant governor and premier, politicians, journalists, friends and neighbours.
Alberta Watson March 6, 1955 – March 21, 2015
After a battle with cancer, actor Alberta Watson passed away at the age of 60.
Watson was an accomplished TV and film star, appearing in La Femme Nikita, 24, The Newsroom and Away from Her.
Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte, who spent 22 years as the Archbishop of Montreal, passed away Apr. 8 after a lengthy illness related to diabetes at the age of 78.
WATCH: Funeral in Montreal for Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte
Jonathan Crombie, Anne of Green Gables actor died Apr. 15 at the age of 48 after suffering a brain hemorrhage.
Pierre Claude Nolin, Speaker of Canada’s Senate died Apr. 23 after a battle with cancer at the age of 64.
Elizabeth Whittall, legendary swimmer, died May 1 at the age of 78.
Esther Ghan Firestone, the first female cantor in Canada, died May 28 at the age of 90.
Jacques Parizeau August 9, 1930 – June 1, 2015
Jacques Parizeau, one of the most influential Quebecers of his generation, hailed from a prominent family in the upscale Montreal suburb of Outremont.
An outspoken sovereigntist, he nearly led the province to independence in 1995 while serving as Quebec premier.
He died at the age of 84.
Archie Alleyne, legendary jazz drummer and Member of the Order of Canada, died June 8 at the age of 82.
Jean Doré December 12, 1944 – June 15, 2015
Jean Doré was elected mayor of Montreal in 1986, and during his tenure he oversaw the renewal of the Old Port and the parks and beaches of Île Ste-Hélène. Doré was also the mayor of the city during the École Polytechnique massacre — his family’s babysitter was one of the victims.
He was a founding member of the Montreal Citizens’ Movement (MCM) and was mayor of Montreal until 1994.
He passed away at the age of of 70 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.
Jon Vickers, an opera singer nicknamed “God’s tenor”, died July 10 at the age of 88.
Flora MacDonald June 3, 1926 – July 26, 2015
Canada’s first female foreign minister, Flora MacDonald was heading the department during the Iranian hostage crisis.
A senior cabinet member in two Conservative federal governments, she made a run for the party’s leadership in 1976. She died at the age of 89.
Rowdy Roddy Piper April 17, 1954 – July 31, 2015
Born and raised in the Prairies, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper rose to fame in the wrestling world, making a name for himself in high profile bouts with the likes of Hulk Hogan and Mr. T.
Piper died of cardiac arrest at his California home at the age of 61.
WATCH: Remembering Rowdy Roddy Piper
Christopher Hyndman March 3, 1966 – August 3, 2015
An interior designer and animated television host, the untimely death of Chris Hyndman at the age of 49 was a shock to many.
Found in the alleyway behind his penthouse condo, Hyndman plunged to his death Aug. 3. His mother says she believes he was sleepwalking. Police determined no foul play was involved.
WATCH: “Christopher had a big problem with sleepwalking”
Arnold Scaasi, fashion designer who dressed the likes of Elizabeth Taylor and Barbra Streisand, died Aug. 3 at the age of 85.
Todd Ewen, former NHL enforcer called ‘The Animal’ for his rugged play, died Sept. 19 at the age of 49.
Michael Burgess, a tenor known for his stage work as Jean Valjean in Les Miserables and for his rendition of “O Canada”, died Sept. 28 at the age 70 after a cancer battle.
Ken Taylor October 5, 1934 – October 15, 2015
The former Canadian ambassador to Iran, Ken Taylor was known for his role in the so-called “Canadian Caper” during the U.S. hostage crisis.
Taylor and the story of his involvement in the rescue of six Americans from Tehran, following the seizure of the U.S embassy in 1979, was the basis for the 2012 Academy Award-winning film Argo. Many said his role was largely under-portrayed in the film, but his legendary status as the quintessential diplomat would not be shaken.
WATCH: Archives: Ken Taylor speaks after Iran hostage crisis
“Ken Taylor was a great ambassador and a true Canadian hero for his lifesaving actions during the Iranian revolution. He’ll be missed.” Tweeted Justin Trudeau.
“Ambassador Taylor’s courageous actions exemplify the enduring nature of the special relationship between the United States and Canada,” said U.S. ambassador Bruce Heyman.
Taylor died, surrounded by loved ones, at the age of 81 after a cancer battle.
WATCH: “Canadian Caper” hero Ken Taylor laid to rest
Ron Hynes, Newfoundland and Labrador folk singer-songwriter, died at the age of 64 from complications due to cancer on Nov. 19.
Dan Halldorson, golfing legend, died Nov. 19 at the age of 63 after suffering a major stroke.
Manmeet Singh Bhullar March 1, 1980 – November 23, 2015
His family said Manmeet Bhullar died doing what he loved — helping others.
The Alberta MLA was struck and killed by a vehicle after he stopped to help a motorist after their vehicle rolled over.
Bhullar was just 35.
WATCH: Condolences pour in for MLA Manmeet Bhullar
Bill Bennett August 18, 1932 – December 4, 2015
British Columbia premier from 1975 to 1986, under Bill Bennett’s leadership the Coquihalla Highway was built, as was the drive to Expo 86 in Vancouver, including the building of the Vancouver Trade and Convention Centre and SkyTrain.
Bennett, who had been in ill health for several years with Alzheimer’s disease passed away at the age of 88 at his home in Kelowna.
Dickie Moore, January 6, 1931 – December 19, 2015
Montreal Canadiens hockey legend Dickie Moore played with the Habs for 12 seasons, and won six Stanley Cups with the team.
Described as a humble and loyal family man, Moore later started a successful construction equipment rental business.
He passed away at the age of 84.
WATCH: Honouring the life of Montreal Canadiens great Dickie Moore
Allan Sapp, celebrated and much-honoured Saskatchewan artist, died at the age of 87 on Dec. 30.
Howard Pawley, former NDP premier of Manitoba, passed away Dec. 30 at the age of 81.
With files from The Canadian Press and Global News
© 2015 Shaw Media