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May 6, 1947 – January 4, 2017

Born in Rochester and predeceased by his life partner, Helen Rykens, and his parents, William (Bill) and Ruth McDermott.

Dan and Helen were the love of each other's lives and enjoyed travelling in Europe, Canada and the USA. Members of the Bruce Trail Conservancy and the Art Gallery of Ontario, they hiked on numerous paths and followed the art world in Toronto and on their travels.

Dan is well known for his more than 35 years of work on numerous campaigns to curb environmental destruction. In 1979, he made a parachute jump over the building site for the Darlington reactors to protest nuclear power plants. Dan has climbed smokestacks, and later organized climbs, to support scrubber technology and to encourage the phase out of coal power generation. He worked on the anti-sealing campaigns with Greenpeace and later with IFAW. Dan worked with Newfoundland fisherman to reduce off shore over-fishing, in particular drag nets used on the ocean floor. Dan was instrumental in establishing the White Bear conservation reserve in the Temagami district of Ontario. He worked tirelessly to end dependence on fossil fuels, recognizing early the dangers of human induced climate change. Dan's dedication to expanding Green Belt protection and cleaning up the Great Lakes (while protecting the watershed) are his most recent campaigns. Through his work at the Sierra Club of Canada, Earthroots and Greenpeace, and by working with broad coalitions of environmental activists, Dan strove to get industry, government and all of us to clean up the planet.

In lieu of flowers, donations to the Sierra Club Canada Foundation – Ontario Chapter (http://www.sierraclub.ca) and The 519 Community Centre (http://www.the519.org) would be appreciated. There will be no funeral, and a memorial event will be announced at a future date.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Toronto Star from Jan. 7 to Jan. 8, 2017.
Memories & Condolences
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4 entries
January 13, 2017
Dan in his element
Jamie Kirkpatrick
January 12, 2017
Besides his acumen as an environmental activist and strategist, besides his support of the arts, Dan was a wonderful, loyal friend. He will be missed.
Mary Davison
January 10, 2017
I met Dan as a young animal rights activist at the offices of the Society for Animals in Distress, Toronto (where I was working/volunteering) while we were both a part of the anti-sealing campaign in the 70s. He was only about 6 or 7 years older than I was, but his dedication left a lasting impression on me. I watched with admiration all that he did as an environmental activist throughout his life. Few people accomplish so much in their lifetimes.
Ingrid Conrod
January 7, 2017
At least now you are with the love of your life...thanks for being my enviro hero and dear friend, Christine
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