Cover photo for David Gavan Baxter's Obituary
David Gavan Baxter Profile Photo
1954 David 2023

David Gavan Baxter

November 5, 1954 — November 4, 2023

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of David Gavan Baxter on November 4, 2023, one day shy of his 69th birthday. David will be deeply missed by his son Serge (Darcie), his sister Elaine (Don), his brother Michael (Barbara), his nieces Meaghan (Chris) and Laura (Matthew), his nephew David Gareth (Stephanie), as well as many cousins, dear friends and countless members of his “music family” in Toronto, across Canada and beyond.   

He will be remembered as a songwriter, guitar player, producer, performer, teacher and mentor, and as a kind and gentle spirit and a true friend.

David, aka Bax, was an invaluable member of the Toronto music community for nearly 50 years. Starting in the mid 70’s as a protégé and band mate of legendary guitarist David Wilcox, Bax went on to form The Sharks with Sherry Keane and original Blue Rodeo rhythm section Bazil Donovan and Cleave Anderson, before continuing to work with Sherry as she pursued a solo career. In his own long and varied career, he also worked as a band member with artists like Justin Rutledge, Corin Raymond, Treasa Levasseur, Catherine MacLellan, Lori Yates and Hey Stella. He was an accomplished songwriter and remarkable band leader in his own right, who could lead a band through a set of songs they’d never played before and make it sound like they’d been playing them for years. He was a seasoned record producer and engineer at his own studio, and spent several years working for music publisher Peer Music. It was always a joy to play, listen to and hang out with him. He has left us much too soon, but the influence he had on his peers and the beautiful music he made will live on and on.

Thank you, Bax, for the brilliant and magical music you created.

Rest in peace, now . . . “Step lightly as you go.”


Thanks to the dedicated staff of the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre and the Palliative Care Team at the Toronto General Hospital for their compassionate and loving care.

A celebration of David’s life will be held in Toronto at a future date.

To order memorial trees in memory of David Gavan Baxter, please visit our tree store.


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