James Burton (Jim) McCuaig
With great sorrow, we announce the passing of James Burton (Jim) McCuaig. Born in Toronto. The beloved only child of Francis Allen McCuaig and Gwendoline Rogerson McCuaig (nee Smith). Jim was a Renaissance man of discriminating taste, talent, and a vast array of passions. Hunter and fisherman. Self-taught guitar virtuoso who found joy fingerpicking East Coast Acoustic Blues, Connoisseur of classic films, espresso, forest-to-table cuisine, Belgian ale, single-malt scotch, German white wines, and English shotguns. He was an old-fashioned trade unionist who held right of centre views. A misanthrope with a heart of gold. A marvellous raconteur. He described himself as an “ex-biker, ex-roadie, ex-theatre tech, ex-TTC driver.” He stood six foot three with robin’s-egg blue eyes. He let his “freak flag fly,” forever wearing his hair long. After he retired from the TTC, he met his life partner, Karen Shenfeld. In March of 2016, they moved together from Toronto to the village of Magnetawan, where Jim had ventured each year for four decades to go deer hunting. They bought a renovated 1870 farmhouse in the “downtown” and filled it with music, art, books, and their love for one another. Stage fright prevented Jim from performing live as often as might he have. He did, however, play for audiences at Toronto’s Fat Albert’s, Gate 403, and salons run by Linda Stitt and Brenda Clews, as well as at the Third Friday Coffee House in Burk’s Falls and on Hunters Bay Radio.
Jim will be missed by many people, including his family: the Cowans: Cathy and Bill (Cristina, Emilie, Greg, Aurora); the Daniells: Phil, Gregg (Vicki, Tyler) and Mark (Heidi, Ethan, Connor); and Cheryl McCuaig; Karen’s friends and family: Oren Watson, Avery and Joanne Shenfeld (Carly, Julian, Audrey, Erica, Tom, Maggie); and old friends: David Hayes (Steffi), Rick Martin, Jim Hurst (Anca), John McClay, Malcolm O’Brien, Marc Raiche (Terese), Kit Cross; theatre friend: David Frisch; and musical/music-loving friends: Chris Perkins, Russell Forfar (Val), Steve Paul Simms (Linda), Mike Miller (Amy), Melwood Cutlery, Paula Stitt, Bruce and Ali Domoney, Jamie Oppenheimer, Shauna Leigh Taylor, Claude St. Denis. Sara Belmont; and Jerry Coombs and neighbours in Magnetawan, and on Wye Valley in Scarborough; and all the folks at The Tranzac; Grossman’s, and The Imperial.
Jim put up a valorous fight against a treatment-resistant form of multiple myeloma. Karen thanks Doctors James MacDonald, Erica DiMaria, and Suzanne Trudel, and the many nurses who tried their best to help him. In lieu of sending flowers, please donate to The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters or a charity of your choice.
Karen is planning to hold a celebration of Jim’s life in both Toronto and Magnetawan when the COVID wave subsides.