Many of us cheered and clicked recently as Carmilla web series star and LGBTQ advocate Natasha Negovanlis won the 2017 Fan Choice Award at the Canadian Screen Awards. Natasha grew up on Tivoli Court, honing her performing chops as an active member of Scarborough Music Theatre.
Also from the Guild is Liam Folkes, an NCAA forward for Penn State Nittany Lions men’s ice hockey team. Liam and his twin Tre set the pace as track stars from an early age at Elizabeth Simcoe Public School. This year, Liam helped his team capture its first Big Ten Tournament Championship and was selected for the All-Tournament Team.
They’re not alone. Guildwood has nurtured many celebrities, who grew up here or attended our neighbourhood’s schools. Others moved here, as their stars rose or set.
Sir Wilfrid Laurier Collegiate Institute alumni include athletes who’ve made the ‘big time’ in various sports, including swimming, basketball, football and particularly hockey, as well as performers/on-air personalities.
A list of these notable alumni and others from ‘the hood’ includes:
Dianne Buckner – TV journalist and host of CBC’s Dragon’s Den and Venture
Carol Klimpel – Olympic free-style swimmer, who ‘medaled’ at the 1978 Commonwealth Games and the 1979 Pan Am Games
Gary Levy – Big Brother Canada Season 1 Runner-up, as well as LGBT activist
Dave Lumley – Retired National Hockey League (NHL) Edmonton Oilers and Hartford Whalers player, who helped the Oilers win a Stanley Cup.
Daniel Mullings – Current basketball player for Kataja of the Finnish Koris
Shaquille Murray-Lawrence – Current Canadian Football League (CFL) running back for the BC Lions
Gloria Elizabeth Reuben – Award-winning ER actress, who currently plays Dr. Krista Gordon on Mr. Robot and Mayor Pamela Clayborne on Saints & Sinners
Denis Simpson (half-brother of Gloria E. Reuben) – Actor, Polka Dot Door personality and singer with The Nylons.
Joel Randal Ward – Current NHL San Jose Sharks right-winger, who also distinguished himself off the ice for his work as a Big Brother.
Famous folks, who ‘adopted’ Guildwood as their home, include: Bobby Ash (aka children’s performer Uncle Bobby); Arthur Hailey (best-selling author of Hotel and Airport, among others); George ‘Punch’ Imlach (NHL hockey coach and Toronto Maple Leafs GM); Dave Keon (retired NHL centre for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Hartford Whalers and World Hockey Association teams); and Anita Scott (Pearly Queen on the Pig & Whistle TV show).
But these lists only skim the surface of Guildwood’s ‘walk of fame.’ Do you know of others? As the GVCA approaches its 60th anniversary, please help us identify stars who once were, or still are in our midst.
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us about Guildwood talent so we can celebrate them with our milestone anniversary.
By Leslie Hetherington