Ray Biggart was the first city editor of the Toronto Sun

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The first city editor of the Toronto Sun has died.


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Ray Biggart, one of the original 62 Toronto Sun “Day One” employees in 1971, died on Remembrance Day.

He was 79 years old.

After opening the first Queen’s Park office for the Toronto Sun, Biggart left the newspaper to engage with the entire city, working for the Toronto Metropolitan Government.

He was a true friend of GTA throughout his working career.

According to his biography in the Toronto Sun Blog Site Biggart ran the city’s ambulance department at one point, served as president of the Toronto Press Club, and later was head of the Metro Parks and Culture Department.

“I hired him away from The Sun to be my executive assistant when I was president of Metro Toronto,” said Postmedia president Paul Godfrey, explaining that Biggart worked with him for the 11 years Godfrey was in that role.


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Noting that “Ray was always there,” Godfrey describes his friend and colleague as dedicated, helpful, and fully involved with running the city.

“He had a great nose for sniffing out potholes on the political road and always gave good advice on how to fix them.”

Godfrey said Biggart was closer to him than anyone else on city hall.

“He was a constant guide, whether we were chasing a big baseball team or looking for daycare or solving police problems, Ray was always there.”

In fact, Biggart was instrumental in helping bring the Blue Jays to Toronto and, later, getting the SkyDome approved and built.

And, Godfrey said, Biggart was part of the team that saved the Santa Claus parade in Toronto.

In 1982, Eaton Department Store decided not to sponsor the parade any more, having done so since 1905.


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Fred Eaton, who then ran the company, announced to the world at large that Paul Godfrey was the man who was going to save the Santa Claus parade, which was a first for Paul Godfrey.

“There were 30 or 40 reporters waiting for me when I got back to my office,” Godfrey said, laughing.

“I had to think fast to save Santa.”

In fact, Godfrey had offered to help Eaton find new sponsors, nothing more, but he accepted the challenge with the help of Biggart, George Cohon, Ron Barbaro and Irv Ungerman, among others.

In one week, the men got 25 major sponsors. They actually saved the parade, which continues to this day.

Biggart’s role in the Santa Claus Parade became a long-term commitment. He served as the Director of the parade for 31 years, and in 2013 he retired from the board to become Honorary Director.


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“Ray Biggart loved the Santa Claus parade and was a huge contributor to its success,” said Peter Beresford, current SCP president and director.

Biggart worked tirelessly as a volunteer behind the scenes to make sure the SCP organization was a success, Beresford added.

“Every year, Parade Day was the highlight for Ray. He would arrive at 6 in the morning to make sure everything was ready. He served as the Official Starter to ring the bell and start the Parade on its way. “

Ray Biggart is survived by his wife Lorrie, a son and a daughter, and four grandchildren.

The funeral is at Smith’s Funeral Home in Burlington on November 15, 2021 at 1 pm; visitation is one hour before service. Double vaccination is required to attend.



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