Toller Cranston (1949 – 2015):
- Internationally acclaimed figure skater
- Painter, Illustrator and Lithographer
- Published Writer
- Stage and Television Skating Choreographer
- Member of the Order of Canada
- Broadway Star
- Television Personality
- Member of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame
- Canadian and International Award Winner
Born in Hamilton, Ontario on April 20, 1949, Toller began figure skating at the age of seven. As an amateur and, later, a professional skater, Toller’s striking and innovative style captured the imagination of skating enthusiasts around the world. Often described as “the skater of the century”, Toller’s presence and impact have been compared to that of Nijinsky and Nureyev.
Concurrently, his temperament found another expression in painting, shaped by attendance at L’Ecole des Beaux Arts in Montreal from 1965 through 1967.
Toller retired from skating in 1997 and moved to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico to pursue painting full time.
His development as a painter led to numerous one-man exhibitions in Europe and North America, and inclusion of his work in many prestigious collections.
One aspect of Toller’s unique view of art was his co-founding of the Canadian School of Mystic Symbolism and his assembly of Canada’s largest private symbolic painting collection.
Toller’s extraordinary duality as athlete and artist prompted Harvard University, in 1986, and the University of Maine, in 1985, to include Toller as a Performer in Residence in various seminars exploring performance and art.
As both athlete and artist, Toller supported many charitable organizations and promoted Canadian figure skating.
Figure Skating Milestones:
1976 – Bronze Medal, Olympic Games, Insbruck, Austria
1970-1976 – Six times Canadian Men’s Singles Champion
1972-1975 – Three times World Freeskating Champion
1973/1975 – Gold Medal, Skate Canada
1967 – Gold Medal, Canada Winter Games, Quebec City
1964 – Canadian Figure Skating Junior Champion
See more skating milestones
Toller Cranston Podcast on Open Kwong Dore – March 2013
Toller Cranston: Internationally Renowned Artist
More Toller Cranston
Learn about the Toller Cranston Memorial Fund on the Canadian Olympic Foundation website (opens new window)