Our friend Dan McDermott

Remembering Dan McDermott, our friend.On Wednesday night, we lost our dear friend Dan McDermott. In the final weeks of Dan’s life, he was surrounded by people who loved and cared for him – a most special group who kept watch and stewarded Dan until his final moments.

It has been an emotional few days for all of us.

We will miss Dan terribly, and are grateful for his life and for the many friends and allies who share in this profound loss.

In the coming days and weeks, we will be paying special tribute to this great hero of the environment.

Thank you for your love and support, and for your respect and admiration of Dan McDermott.

Below is Dan’s obtituary.


Daniel McDermott

May 6, 1947 – January 4, 2017

Born in Rochester and predeceased by his life partner, Helen Rykens, and his parents, William (Bill) and Ruth McDermott.

Dan and Helen were the love of each other’s lives and enjoyed travelling in Europe, Canada and the USA. Members of the Bruce Trail Conservancy and the Art Gallery of Ontario, they hiked on numerous paths and followed the art world in Toronto and on their travels.

Dan is well known for his more than 35 years of work on numerous campaigns to curb environmental destruction. In 1979, he made a parachute jump over the building site for the Darlington reactors to protest nuclear power plants. Dan has climbed smokestacks, and later organized climbs, to support scrubber technology and to encourage the phase out of coal power generation. He worked on the anti-sealing campaigns with Greenpeace and later with IFAW. Dan worked with Newfoundland fisherman to reduce off shore over-fishing, in particular drag nets used on the ocean floor. Dan was instrumental in establishing the White Bear conservation reserve in the Temagami district of Ontario. He worked tirelessly to end dependence on fossil fuels, recognizing early the dangers of human induced climate change. Dan’s dedication to expanding Green Belt protection and cleaning up the Great Lakes (while protecting the watershed) are his most recent campaigns. Through his work at the Sierra Club of Canada, Earthroots and Greenpeace, and by working with broad coalitions of environmental activists, Dan strove to get industry, government and all of us to clean up the planet.

In lieu of flowers, donations to the Sierra Club Canada Foundation – Ontario Chapter and The 519 Community Centre (http://www.the519.org(link is external)) would be appreciated. There will be no funeral, and a memorial event will be announced at a future date.