John Honderich, legendary former publisher of the Toronto Star, has died

John Honderich, the legendary former publisher of the Toronto Star, died of a heart attack, this past weekend. He was 75 years old.

“I went for dinner with him (Friday) night and he was in great spirits and full of verve and energy and talking about all the latest comings and goings,” his son Robin Honderich said.

Honderich leaves behind his sister Mary, his brother David, his son Robin, his daughter Emily and his two grandsons, Sebastian and George.

Honderich, who served as chair of Torstar Corp. until its sale to NordStar Capital in 2020, was a member of the Order of Canada, the Order of Ontario and was recognized by the Canadian Journalism Foundation in 2019 for lifetime achievement in journalism.

Honderich started his newspaper career as a copy boy with the Ottawa Citizen in 1973.

He joined the Star in 1976 as a reporter, eventually becoming chief of the Star’s Ottawa and Washington bureaus. After serving as deputy editor, he was appointed business editor in May 1984.

In 1986, he moved to England to study at the London School of Economics. At the same time, he wrote the book Arctic Imperative, published in the fall of 1987 by the University of Toronto Press, in which he outlined the serious dangers threatening Canada’s North.

He was editor of the Star from 1988 to 1994 before becoming publisher.

The Star has posted a ‘memories’ page on its website that contains many touching tributes to the journalism icon. You can read them here.