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John C. Ross

John C. Ross

On October 4th, 2023, we lost a good one. John Cruickshanks Ross the 7th passed away surrounded by his loving family. Born on April 7, 1956, in Montreal, Quebec, John’s magnetic personality endeared him to all who were fortunate to know him. He married Brenda Inkster on December 29th, 1979, embarking on a loving journey that would span over four and a half decades. John Ross is survived by his beloved wife, Brenda Ross, his daughters Lindsay, Lauren, and Meg, his dear son-in-laws Eli Winterfeld and Scott Grundy, and his adored granddaughter, Abigail.

John’s influence extended far beyond his immediate family, as he touched the lives of countless others with his generosity and zest for life.

John was a visionary entrepreneur who dedicated his life to business excellence and community service. He was a proud Owner and Operator of Toolquip Agency Ltd, headquartered in Toronto. For over 40 years, he diligently nurtured Toolquip Agency to become a flourishing sales and marketing company. Through his unwavering drive, leadership and his extraordinary ability to connect with people, he earned a solid reputation of high regard in the business world.

Beyond his entrepreneurial achievements, John was a dedicated and passionate volunteer. For 18 years, he served as the Alpine Skiing Race Crew Chief at Georgian Peaks, overseeing and mentoring a dedicated team of 20 volunteers. More recently, he was on the Board of Directors for Canadian Adaptive Snowsports (CADS) for 6 years, assuming the role of President for two of those years. He played a pivotal role in forging important agreements with national and provincial sports organizations, showcasing his commitment to promoting inclusive opportunities. His legacy includes a profound impact on the CADS community and a lasting dedication to advancing adaptive sports for individuals with disabilities. His commitment extended to coaching with CADS Ontario Learn to Race program where he embraced the passion for developing athletes to the provincial and national teams. John loved being a coach. Athletes, parents and coaches loved having him work with them. He brought joy to the hill and it was always contagious. John also volunteered at various international Para Alpine events including the Sochi Paralympics, Vancouver Winter Olympics and several World Cups at Lake Louise. John also sat on the Board of Canada Sport for Life and Physical Literacy.  His contribution to sports has left an indelible mark across Canada.

John was a dog lover – to put it mildly.  For many years, John and Brenda have been committed to training guide dogs through Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides.  There was always a dog in the Ross house. They trained seven puppies who went on to serve as guide dogs to those in need except the last one, Avro, who is a breeder dog and was by John’s side until the end.

Above all, John was a family man.  His commitment and fierce love for his family was unsurpassed. He had an insatiable thirst for adventure, an innate curiosity, an incredible intellect, and genuine interest in the lives and cultures of others. This was deeply woven into the fabric of the Ross family and was evidenced through their extensive travel across North, South and Central America, Europe, Africa and Asia.

John lived and loved large in everything he did. He was fun and funny. He was a risk taker and was never afraid to try new things.  He lived life with a ‘can-do’ attitude. He was generous beyond compare, and would literally take the shirt off his back for another. He was never too busy to lend a hand. He was a mentor and role model for many, often described as a big-brother. He had a way of cultivating friendships and connections that were meaningful and long lasting. He was a “host with the most”, famous for hosting afternoon cocktails with Brenda at his favourite spot – Christie Beach on Georgian Bay. He was the life of the party being a fantastic story teller with a contagious laugh. He was a best friend to many.

John will be profoundly missed. His life, legacy and memory will live on in the hearts of all those who had the privilege of loving him and being loved by him.

A “Celebration of Life” to honour John will be held at The Boulevard Club (1491 Lake Shore Blvd W, Toronto, ON) from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Thursday October 26, 2023.  There will be reflections, stories and blessings beginning at 2:00 pm.  Please come whenever you can and stay as long as you would like.

In memory of John, donations may be made in John’s honour to the puppy program of

Canada Dog Guides

, or to the Learn to Race program of

CADS Ontario


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