Remembering Toller Together: Second Anniversary

Published: January 23, 2017


Toller died two years ago today.

The loss was sudden and shocking.

He was only 65.

He was an artist, an Olympian, a raconteur, a character. He was much beloved as a friend, a colleague, an employer.

Over the past two years, the stories, tributes, and reminiscences that have poured in about Toller have been inspirational and deeply touching. They deserve to be shared.

We invite you to contribute to the Remembering Toller Together project.

Tell us what Toller means to you. A few words. A moment.

We also welcome photos and especially pictures of how you have incorporated Toller’s paintings, drawings or estate sale items into your home or garden.

Clearly, we all carry a little piece of Toller in our hearts. Always will. We carry the memories, the stories, the laughter, the outrageousness, and the colour in his life and art. Let us celebrate him together.

Please be sure to include your name, email, phone and contact information. All contributors will be gratefully acknowledged.

Thank you so much,

Phillippa Cranston Baran

Send Your Contributions via Our Contact Form

5 replies
  1. CJ Miller
    CJ Miller says:

    He was a friend and a fellow skater. Met him when I was about 8 years old in Montreal, but the friendship grew when both of us skated at the cricket club and I was living next door. I spend hours in Mrs. Burka’s basement watching him paint and discussing everything but skating. I learned so much about art and life. How he hated Lulu (Mrs. B’d dog) feeding him strawberries so the poor thing would get the “runs” in the house! He took me to gallery openings and I drove him to the framers and back and forth from various arenas. There were many times as I matured and he was winning that I despised him and his self absorbed attitude…but after a few months he would call, make me laugh and we were friends once again. I miss him sometimes and now I remember only the good times and most of all the laughter….that i miss most of all!!

  2. Birgit Jørgensen
    Birgit Jørgensen says:

    Hi I allways looked up to Toller and his skating. He gave me one of his books signed I was so prouded 🙂
    Than even better when he came to Holiday on Ice as a guest star and I did two numbers with him ….i will never forget the best time for me in Holiday on Ice and I was there 14 years skating.A great mann and love his paintings so much
    Love from Copenhagen Birgit Jørgensen

  3. Sandra Garrett
    Sandra Garrett says:

    As I live in England I didn’t see Toller much except on TV in the World Championships and his TV specials. I did see him skate at Robin Cousins’ AIDS benefit in Birmingham in 1993. I met him first in Toronto in 1984. After walking along Carlton St I asked the occupants of no 215 where Toller lived. They said “next door”. Toller answered my knock and I enquired about future skating plans. He said he had none but gave me his phone number. After joining the Facebook Fan Club Page in 2012 I attended the “Magnificent Obsession” exhibition in Calgary in 2013. Toller invited me to visit him in Mexico which I did in March 2014. After his death I attended the Toronto Memorial and the Ice Theatre of New York Gala in 2015 and the Figures World Championship in Toronto last month. The last two were to induct Toller into various Halls of Fame. I now have 8 original paintings, the Goebels plates 6 books and various prints, articles etc.

  4. Louise Campbell
    Louise Campbell says:

    I was never a figure skating fan but one morning I got up early and did not want to wake anyone else, so I turned on the TV. Not much was on but a figure skating show. So I started to watch it and Toller started to skate . I was totally mesmerized. That’s how it started, I became a fan. A few years later I moved to Toronto. One very hot summer day I went to the park, bought an ice cream cone and sat on a bench holding the cone away from me as it was melting. Suddenly this English Setter grabbed the cone and ate it. Then I heard this man saying something li “Lapis, come back here, oh my God don’t do that”. I looked up and there was Toller Cranston in all his glory. That’s how I met him. We lived in the same neighbourhood, I was doing astrology, he was very interested in that and we kept in touch, on and off through the years. He used to call me in the middle of the night to find out where the stars were. As inconvenient as some of those calls were sometimes, I miss them now. He died so suddenly and definitely too soon. It was a privilege to have knowned him and I hope that he is at peace, wherever he is.


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