For the residents of Toronto, October 31st is officially a new holiday. Effective Friday, the City of Toronto has proclaimed October 31st as John Candy Day in honor of the late comedian. Born October 31, 1950, the news comes just in time for what would have been the beloved actor's 70th birthday. A Canadian native, Candy first rose to prominence as part of Toronto's The Second City troupe, an improv comedy company that's also spawned iconic comedians like Dan Aykroyd, Catherine O'Hara, Eugene Levy, Martin Short, and Mike Myers.
His time with Second City catapulted him to Hollywood stardom, where he went on to star in beloved features from Cool Runnings to Spaceballs, Uncle Buck, Home Alone, and Planes, Trains and Automobiles.
Candy died of a heart attack at the age of 43. At the time, he was filming Wagons East! and passed away during the final stretch and the production ended up going through script re-writes to complete Candy's scenes. Outside of acting, Candy was a co-owner of the CFL's Toronto Argonauts.
“John Candy is a Canadian treasure who brought great joy to so many through his humour, acting and contributions to the entertainment industry and beyond," Toronto mayor John Tory said in a press release from the city. "I had a chance to get to know him when he was an Argo owner. He was a decent humble man in the fashion of many famous Canadians and it is my privilege to honor his humour, his legacy and the pride he brought to our city on what would have been his 70th birthday.”
The city's full proclamation can be found below:
"WHEREAS John Candy was a beloved actor and comedian born on October 31, 1950. He rose to fame as a member of the Toronto branch of The Second City and the Toronto-based television series SCTV, where he was known for his creatively crafted characters and his humour.
John Candy’s career grew in Hollywood where he often played loveable characters. His breakout role came in the movie Splash playing Tom Hanks’ brother. He also starred in the movies The Great Outdoors, Summer Rental, Cool Runnings, Home Alone, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, Uncle Buck, and countless other films.
Today, on what would have been his 70th birthday, we remember that he had proud roots in Toronto, living in East York as a child, attending high school in Scarborough and becoming co-owner of the Toronto Argonauts from 1991 until his death in 1994. The Argos won the 1991 Grey Cup while he was part owner.
His sudden death was felt deeply in our city and around the world. His legacy lives on through his family, his iconic performances and his induction into Canada’s Walk of Fame and the East York Hall of Fame.
NOW THEREFORE, I, Mayor John Tory, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim October 31, 2020 as “John Candy Day” in the City of Toronto."