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  • "As a fellow Vic Grad and Hyperion Club member, I wish to..."
    - Donald Pocock
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JAMES DITSON SERVICE 1926 - 2014 Peacefully with family by his side on Friday, August 1, 2014 at the age of 88. Dearly beloved husband of Jo (Josephine) for 63 years. Dear father of Judy, Joanne (Wes), Jill (Bruce) and Jackie (Renzo). Proud grandfather of Heather, Colleen, Tyler, Spencer, Michael, Nicole and Danielle. Son of James and Edna Service. Brother of Joan Roberts (Pete). Jim was born in Toronto, a graduate of Allenby Public School, North Toronto Collegiate and Victoria College, University of Toronto. He went to Osgoode Hall Law School and was called to the Ontario Bar in 1954. He practiced Law for the next 44 years in Toronto and North York with partners Cliff Demaray and Brian Stark and later was a sole practitioner. He was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1983 and received his LLB from Osgoode Hall in 1991. In 1948 Jim and Jo met at Victoria College, U of T. They married in 1951 and had four daughters. Jim was elected Councillor for Ward 7, North York, in 1958 and re-elected in 1960. In 1963 he was the Ontario Provincial Liberal candidate. In 1964 he was elected the last Reeve and in 1966 was elected first Mayor of North York. As Reeve and Mayor he was Chair of Council, Chair of the Board of Control and Chief Executive Officer. He was proud that throughout his leadership, the Board of Control negotiated new contracts with union representatives without strikes. In his final year, the Budget he placed before the Board and was adopted by Council reduced the mill rate for the first time in many years. Jim was a member of the Metropolitan Toronto Council (MTC) and a Member of its Executive Committee. In his first term he was the only North York representative on the MTC when the Spadina/University subway and the extension of the Yonge subway to Finch were constructed. Jim and Frank McLaughlin built 50 town houses in London and rezoned a property in St. Catharines. They built and rented a 10-story, 103-unit apartment building. Jim and Nick Angellotti built 110 town houses at Sheppard Avenue and Don Mills Road. Jim and Nick also purchased the land, planned, serviced and registered a 35 two-acre-lot subdivision in Aurora. Jim was a partner with Johnny Lombardi when they bought Ted Roger's dawn-to-dusk radio station, which became CHIN. Jim drafted their application for a new FM station and won approval from the CRTC. Jim and Doug Maxwell (Canada's "Mr. Curling"), Bruce Smith (Toast and Jamboree on CJBC), Bill Kitchen (Lansing Buildall) and 16 other shareholders bought land in Etobicoke and built a 16-sheet curling club in 1961. Jim was responsible for the construction and was the first Club President. The group operated Humber Highland Curling Club for 30 years. They won more Canadian national curling titles over the years than any other curling club in Canada. Jim was a member for 55 years and a founding Past President of the Hyperion Club. The Club was formed by Past Presidents of the Progress Bible Class of St. James Bond United Church. The members remain lifetime friends. For 37 years, Jim and his family owned a 100-acre farm near Collingwood, from where they enjoyed skiing at Blue Mountain. For many summers, Jim and his family enjoyed their swimming pool in Bayview Village and Jo's family cottage at Cedar Point, Georgian Bay. Visitation will be held at Marshall Funeral Home, 10366 Yonge Street, Richmond Hill, 905-884-1062, on Thursday, August 7, 2014 from 7-9 p.m. and Friday, August 8, 2014 from 10-11 a.m. Funeral Friday, August 8, 2014 at 11 a.m. Reception to follow and private interment for immediate family at Aurora Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Heart & Stroke Foundation or Alzheimer Society. For more information on Jim Service, please refer to www.marshallfuneralhome.com

Funeral Home
Marshall Funeral Home
10366 Yonge Street
Richmond Hill, ON L4C 3B8
(905) 884-1062
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Published in the Toronto Star from Aug. 5 to Aug. 6, 2014