More than 1,000 mourners paid their last respects during a memorial yesterday for Steve Stavro at the local legend's multi-million Toronto mansion.
Stavro, former chairman of the Maple Leafs and founder of the discount food giant Knob Hill Farms, died of a heart attack Sunday at his home. He was 78.
A private funeral was held on Wednesday.
"He was a good friend. My husband was the comptroller for 29 years at Knob Hill Farms so this is a great loss," said Jerene Wilsdon, while waiting to get into the memorial. "He was a very private person and generous to a fault. I'm just glad he didn't suffer."
Hundreds of mourners, dressed in black, lined up the street of Stavro's gated Yonge St. and Lawrence Ave. E. area mansion and passed through security to enter the home.
"Steve was just like a dynamo. I've never worked for anyone else like him ... he was charismatic, but a man of the people.
"He never lost touch with that," said Bryan Stewart, Stavro's director of communications at Knob Hill Farms.
Some of the mourners included Lord Ken Thompson, former Ontario Lt.-Gov. Lincoln Alexander, Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion and former head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs Pat Quinn.
"We have lost a very good friend," Quinn said.
George Gross, Toronto Sun corporate sports editor, was one of the speakers at the memorial.
"We were friends for 55 years. I lost a friend, but more importantly the family lost a patriarch," Gross said.
"He was a man who was charitable and he was a humanitarian. He supported every possible charity."