Obituary: Radio host Cam Gardiner is remembered as Mr. Windsor

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He was the voice of Windsor.


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Cam Gardiner, known as much for his charitable activities as for his popular co-host of the morning show AM800, died after being rushed to the hospital Tuesday night.

“He was a man of great quality who touched the lives of so many people,” said longtime friend Kevin Shea. “I will miss him immensely, as my best friend, but also as one of the most important people in my life over the years.”

Gardiner, who had suffered for many years with health problems such as diabetes and kidney disease, would have turned 72 on October 27.

Cam was Mr. Windsor

Shea said Gardiner, whose radio shows made him a local celebrity, started the business “as a kid” on CKWW. He hosted an evening show and then the morning show before moving to Ottawa around 1983 to work at a station there.


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When his father became ill, Gardiner returned to Windsor and began his work at AM800. He co-hosted the popular morning show Cam & Lisa for over 16 years.

Kevin Shea, Brian Wilson and Cam Gardiner at Massey Hall in Toronto.
Kevin Shea, Brian Wilson and Cam Gardiner at Massey Hall in Toronto. jpg

His mounting health problems forced him to retire, Shea said. Gardiner’s last on-air appearance before his retirement was on the afternoon show, Live Today, in October 2003.

Nearly two decades later, Gardiner’s professional and charitable endeavors were still so highly appreciated that Mayor Drew Dilkens presented him with the Key to the City on October 1.

It was also a personal event for Dilkens, who spent Sundays when she was nine years old and attended the children’s show that Gardiner hosted. Starting at the age of 16, he also worked with Gardiner at CKWW for five years reading news and organizing telethons.


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“Cam was Mr. Windsor,” Dilkens said. “Everybody knows that. He was Mr. Windsor not only because of what he did on the radio, but because of what he did in the community. Of course he was on all kinds of radio shows and everyone knew him as a local celebrity of that. But he was also the host, he was the master of ceremonies, he raised funds for so many local charities and nonprofits. He was just a champion to anyone who asked him for help. “

Cam Gardiner and his friend Kevin Shea at the last game at Maple Leaf Gardens in 1999.
Cam Gardiner and his friend Kevin Shea at the last game at Maple Leaf Gardens in 1999. Photo by Kevin Shea /Windsor Star

Even despite poor health, Gardiner continued his charitable efforts.

“He was there to support them, to be a voice and to be a very positive voice,” Dilkens said. “That was one of the best things about Cam. It was always positive. He could always find a light at the end of the tunnel. Even in some of the darkest moments, I would find a way to motivate people to give them hope and feel optimism that tomorrow will be better than today. “

Shea, who was 14 when she met Gardiner through the Junior Achiever program, said the radio host was also a dedicated mentor to many young people.

“He was on staff and I was an achiever,” Shea said. “He was really interested in radio and at the time he was doing the all-night show on CKWW. We became soul mates even though there was an age difference there. Over the years, we became best friends, until the end. “

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