U of T philanthropists James Temerty and Heather Reisman, and A&S alum Barbara Frum among the newest inductees to Canada’s Walk of Fame

February 6, 2023 by Coby Zucker - A&S News

The 2022 Canada’s Walk of Fame Awards Celebration in early December saw 10 new inductees, three of whom are closely connected to U of T.

James Temerty and Heather Reisman are generous philanthropists whose donations have left a tremendous impact on the University. Temerty was given the National Hero Honour for his lifelong commitment to renewable energy, technological advancements and community engagement. Reisman, the founder, chair and CEO of Indigo, was honoured for her philanthropy and entrepreneurship.

The late Barbara Frum is an A&S alum whose face and voice became known to millions of Canadian during her long career with the CBC. She earned her bachelor of arts in history from Arts & Science in 1959. Frum was inducted as a Legend for her illustrious career in journalism.

“The University of Toronto is deeply proud to be associated with tonight’s inductees and honourees, who represent the best of what Canada has to offer the world,” U of T President Meric Gertler says.

James Temerty

James Termerty.
James Temerty at the Canada’s Walk of Fame 2022 celebration.

Temerty was introduced by two U of T alumni, Samantha Nutt, founder of War Child Canada, and Mayor John Tory, who received his bachelor of arts in political science in 1975 while at Trinity College.

“Your generosity, your loyalty, your business sense and your immense compassion all constitute an example, a role model for everyone in this country,” Tory says.

Gertler also attended the award gala to thank Temerty for his years of outstanding giving, including a $250-million gift in 2020 to the Temerty Faculty of Medicine, a $3.2-million gift in 2022 to welcome 200 Ukrainian students and faculty to the University, as well as donations to countless other causes within Canada and abroad.

Gertler spoke alongside Ukraine’s Ambassador to Canada, Yuliya Kovaliv, who read a letter from Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. In recognition of Temerty’s continuous support of Ukraine, Zelenskyy praised his “commitment to freedom, independence and democracy” and “tireless effort to strengthen Ukraine’s statehood, to drive positive changes in my country and to support the people of Ukraine.”

Temerty thanked Tory, Gertler, Kovaliv and Zelenksyy, and used his platform to reaffirm the need for Canada to stand with Ukraine.

“Let us not tire in our support for Ukraine’s fight for freedom. Slava to Canada and Slava Ukraine,” Temerty says.

Heather Reisman

Heather Reisman.
Heather Reisman at the Canada’s Walk of Fame 2022 celebration.

Reisman was recognized for her legacy of remarkable philanthropy and for promoting Canadian childhood literacy, using her platform at Indigo to establish the Canadian Children’s Literacy Foundation in 2017.

Reisman and her husband, Gerry Schwartz, are also close supporters of U of T. Together, they established the Schwartz Reisman Institute for Technology and Society, and the Schwartz Reisman Innovation Campus, which will be Canada’s leading hub for innovation and entrepreneurship when it opens next year.

Reisman was introduced by Ontario’s first Poet Laureate, Randell Adjei, and one of Canada’s most important novelists and U of T alum, Margaret Atwood. Atwood, who earned her bachelor of arts in 1961 while at Victoria College, said Reisman “helped to give innumerable children the gift of literacy, the opportunity to find their own special stories, the ones that validate them by mirroring their world back to them.”

“It is within our reach to unleash huge childhood untapped potential, and in the process transform the social and economic reality of this country forever,” Reisman says.

Barbara Frum

Barbara Frum.
The late Barbara Frum is honoured at the Canada’s Walk of Fame 2022 celebration.

Frum was one of Canada’s most noteworthy journalists until her death in 1992. Frum joined CBC and quickly rose to national attention as the host of radio program As It Happens. She later became the host of CBC Television’s The Journal, where she interviewed influential figures like Margaret Thatcher and Nelson Mandela.

At the Walk of Fame celebration, Frum was honoured by the former host of CBC’s The National, Peter Mansbridge, journalist Amanda Lang and former host of the CTV National News, Lisa LaFlamme.

“Her secret was simple,” Mansbridge says. “She listened. She didn’t tell us who we were. She asked us and we told her.”

Frum was represented at the celebration by her two children, David and Linda Frum.

“In her mind, the only star was the truth,” David says. “And that’s why all these years later, we gather at Canada’s Walk of Fame to award her the star that she would never have taken for herself.”