City declares Halloween as “John Candy Day”

Buck up, Toronto. This is all treat and no trick.

The city has proclaimed Oct. 31 — Halloween — as John Candy Day in Toronto, celebrating what would have been the Uncle Buck star’s 70th birthday.

“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,” Mayor John Tory said in a statement Friday.

“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.”

Toronto Sun Front page for Saturday March 5, 1994. JOHN CANDY. 1950-1994. Canada’s big funnyman dies at 43. (TORONTO SUN FILES) Photo by TORONTO SUN FILES

Candy was born Oct. 31, 1950 in Newmarket, according to But he lived in East York as a child and attended Neil McNeil Catholic High School in Scarborough where the John Candy Visual Arts Studio is now dedicated in his honour.

He died at 43 of a heart attack on March 4, 1994 while filming Wagons East, a Western parody, in Durango, Mexico.

He was also co-owner of the Toronto Argonauts from 1991 until his death. The Argos won the 1991 Grey Cup while he was part owner.

“Wherever you go in the world, you just have to say you’re Canadian and people laugh,” Candy once said.

His contributions to the Canadian entertainment industry have made him one of Canada’s greatest and funniest character actors with a career spanning more than two decades.

John Candy carries Raghib Ismail on his back and the Grey Cup — which the Argos won in 1991 — in his arms. (TORONTO SUN FILES) Photo by TORONTO SUN FILES

He rose to fame as a member of Toronto’s Second City sketch troupe and then as a cast member of the Toronto-based television series SCTV alongside comedy legends Andrea Martin, Catherine O’Hara, Eugene Levy, Martin Short, Dave Thomas and Harold Ramis.

When he hit it big in Hollywood, he played charming and memorable characters in classic movies such as The Great Outdoors; Planes, Trains and Automobiles; Uncle Buck; Home Alone; Cool Runnings; and Canadian Bacon.

“John Candy would have turned 70 (Saturday). His sudden death was felt deeply in Toronto and around the world,” reads a statement released by the city. “His legacy lives on through his family, his iconic performances, and his many accolades, including his induction into Canada’s Walk of Fame and the East York Hall of Fame.”

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