THE DEMOCRATIC REPORTER
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Their Web-Page http://webhome.idirect.com/~mitoff
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
THE RESIDENTS OF MISSISSAUGA ASK THE CITY OF MISSISSAUGA FOR THE REDEDICATION OF GARNETWOOD PARK AS A PERMANENT MEMORIAL TO LORRIE MITOFF
The Lorrie Mitoff Trail Naming Ceremony
In this section new paper articles and letters will be posted so that the whole world can see how one person can make a big difference. The foundation of a community is its residents' and especially those who give so willing of their time and resources. The hardest job of all is to fight government for your community, those who willing do so are few and far between. They are the unsung Canadian patriots who make our land what it is today by standing up while the rest of us sit down, by seeing what isn't right and protesting it and by teaching us we have a voice in government and how to use it. For better or for worse the only thing stopping the excess, insensitive indulgences of politicians and governments, all to often falls on the shoulders of the very few, who can lest afford it.
In Lorries memory and the hundreds like him (or her), support the members of your community who fight for a better deal, for your community or country, be active - PARTICIPATE !!
[Scanned copies, if there are errors, please e-mail me with corrections:]
The Mississauga News - Friday, May 28, 1999 - page 8
By JOHN STEWART Staff
The residents of Mississauga East, who opposed the new runway at Pearson International Airport that dramatically changed their lives, have lost their spiritual leader.
Lorrie Mitoff died early yesterday morning in a Toronto hospital following complications as a result of stomach surgery. He was 58.
Mitoff was co-chair of the Council of Concerned Residents (CCR), a committee of residents from three communities which launched a law suit to try to stop the runways.
He was also president of the Rockwood Homeowners' Association, a group he revived almost single-handedly after many years of inactivity.
In recent years, Mitoff was a familiar site at City council meetings, all-candidate sessions and public meetings proselytizing on his favorite subject: what he saw as the failure of politicians at all three levels of government to protect Mississauga East residents from airport noise.
After his death yesterday, his friends recalled Mitoff as a charming man whose disarming personality often meant foes liked him, despite themselves.
"He was very much the happy Warrior," remarked fellow Rockwood ratepayers' executive MacLean, who was astounded that Mitoff would think nothing of calling up Greater Toronto Airports Authority President Louis Turpen to shoot the breeze about airport developments.
Unknown to many, Mitoff had a long and distinguished career teaching young offenders at the York Detention Centre, including those who had been involved in the most heinous crimes. As he started his 23rd year on the job, Mitoff told a Toronto newspaper that his success in turning around innumerable lives of kids in trouble came because he gave them the three As: "attention, acceptance and affection." He described himself as "a classic bleeding heart - the world's biggest optimist."
Mitoff is survived by his wife Yvonne, a Mississauga separate school teacher, and by his children Larissa and Peter, both university students.
Visitation will be held Saturday 7- p.m. and Sunday 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. at the Neweduk Funeral Home at Dundas St. W, and Erin Mills Pkwy. The funeral will be held Monday at 11 a.m. at Sts. Martha and Mary Catholic Church, at Burnhamthorpe Rd. E. and Ponytrail Dr.
PHOTO; Shown above with caption
The Booster - June 11, 1999 - Page 11
"Community hero" Lorrie Mitoff remembered
By Tom Urbaniak - The Mississauga Booster
Lorrie Mitoff was a man who cared -- and it showed.
The individual whom many have described as the conscience of the community and a local hero was mourned recently at an emotional funeral mass at a filled-to-capacity Sts. Martha and Mary Roman Catholic Church. Mr. Mitoff died on May 27 from complications arising from stomach surgery. He had required the surgery because of the effects of anti-inflammatory medication which he was taking while waiting for over a year for a hip replacement.
Mr. Mitoff was an undisputed leader and source of inspiration for thousands of residents in east Mississauga. A co-chair of the Council of Concerned Residents (CCR), a coalition of three residents' associations, he devoted countless hours over several years to leading the opposition to the new runway at Pearson International Airport, which has had a serious impact on the community. When the homes in. the area were built, residents had been assured that no new north-south runway would be constructed.
He took on many other endeavours, such as reviving the Rockwood Homeowners' Association which had been dormant for several years. Just a few weeks ago, Mr. Mitoff, the Association's president, celebrated an important Victory: A site in the Eglinton Eastgate area -- just a few hundred feet below the flight path -- which was zoned for 8,000 residences, was switched back to light industrial.
"He was a very, very caring person," his wife, Yvonne, told The Booster. "Anyone with any trouble -- no matter how small -- could get help from Lorrie."
"I think when we lost Lorrie we lost a community hero,- remarks Raffaela Baratta, also a past co-chair of the CCR. "He had the courage to stand up and say, 'This isn't right.'"
Mr. Mitoff was born in Cabbagetown, the son of Bulgarian immigrants. Always a top student, he skipped two grades and graduated from university by the time he was 20.
"His passions were poetry and prose," his daughter, Larissa, noted in her eulogy. "He could recite Shakespeare and Robert Frost, Lord Alfred Tennyson and Woodsworth all from memory."
Mr. Mitoff began his career teaching speech and drama at Lord Dufferin School. Within a few years, however, the Toronto Board of Education gave him the demanding assignment of working with young offenders at York Detention Centre. He stayed there for 23 years.
Mr. Mitoff's work at York won him great admiration. In 1992, in recognition of his exemplary career, he received the Governor General's Commemorative Medal for the 125th Anniversary of Confederation. He was cited for his "caring and innovative approach [which] will leave a lasting impression on those who, at one time in their lives, needed a helping hand."
In a 1991 interview with The Toronto Star, Mr. Mitoff said of his students: "I can't feel sorry for them. I'm too busy admiring the fact that if I'd gone through what they did, I'd be a mass of jelly. But these kids are surviving."
"Despite the controversy over laws pertaining to young offenders, my dad treated his students with what he called the three A's: 'attention, acceptance, and affection,'" Larissa recalled.
In 1983, Mr. Mitoff had triple bypass surgery. Determined to overcome his ailments, he took up jogging.
He embarked on two Australian adventures; according to his daughter, he "took the video camera into no man's land and filmed what he called footage for National Geographic."
In 1993, Mr. Mitoff had to retire from his work because of serious heart problems. The diagnosis at the time was not promising. Not one to feel dejected, he often made himself, available for heart research and plunged into his voluntary community work more than ever. It kept him alive," Yvonne Mitoff believes.
"He realized that people needed someone to speak for them. He gave people a voice.
"He had a presence. What's more, anybody Lorrie met became a lifetime friend."
Even his political foes could not help but respect the gracious, down-to-earth, humourous, articulate community advocate. He was reputed to have a joke on every topic. (His resemblance to Sean Connery was also frequently noted.)
"I don't think he ever held a grudge against anyone," says former Mississauga mayor Ron Searle, who conversed frequently with Mr. Mitoff on local issues, often serving as a resource.
"He never had any political ambitions. He just wanted to achieve what he thought was right. He was always a people person.
"I admired him for his integrity. His greatest fight was against political expediency,'' continues Mr. Searle, who points out that Mr. Mitoff strenuously and tirelessly called on elected officials to remain true to their word and to govern according to sound principles.
"He was a very, very genuine human being," says Bahram Parsi, treasurer of the Rockwood Homeowners' Association and a past president of the Peel Multicultural Council. He praises Mr. Mitoff's honesty and sense of justice. "We always knew we could count on Lorrie.
"One thing I'll never forget about Lorrie was that his door was always open. You would go to his home and he would always cheerfully call out 'Come on inside."'
Mr. Mitoff could often be found in his basement office - - 'Mission Control" - - where he had posted a quote from Dylan Thomas admonishing, 'Do not go gentle into that good night..." There he worked not only on prominent community issues, but often quietly assisted individuals who were in need. He also had a profound respect for the community's cultural diversity and helped to build bridges in this regard.
Despite his many initiatives, Mr. Mitoff was always very devoted to his family, his wife says. "He would say, 'My dear family, we have everything. We have each other. What more could we want?'"
The Rockwood Homeowners' Association has requested that the City rededicate Garnetwood Park as "Lorrie Mitoff Park."
"[We] will always cherish his memory," Mr. Parsi says. "His spirit is with us."
"The irony regarding the airport is that Lorrie's dream was to be a pilot," his daughter remarked in her eulogy. "He wanted to fly. I do believe that, my beautiful father now has his wings."
PHOTO; Picture of Lorrie, looks like a family shot - Caption, Lorrie Mitoff, 1941-99
This section is for letters from the public and letters sent into the newspapers.
Please feel free to e-mail me with your remembrances of Lorrie Mitoff.
Mississauga News - June 16/99
My good friend, Lorrie Mitoff, passed away recently.
Lorrie was a bon vivant, a crusader, a father, a husband and a true friend.
Lorrie was the President of the Council of Concerned Residents, and tirelessly fought for his fellow neighbors, in Mississauga. He was funny, friendly and a good listener.
I will miss him.
By Donald Barber, submitted to the Mississauga News, July 9, 1999
A salute to a community hero with style, Lorrie Mitoff. Mr. Mitoff passed away suddenly a few weeks ago, leaving behind a shining example for residents that being involved in your government does make a difference. As Lorrie was quite the talker, I am sure he gave the grim reaper an ear full, that now was not the best time to shake off the moral coil. Maybe he can put in a good word for us, to those on high, who look after the outcomes of our earthly endeavors', like the airport issue. I will truly miss his insight regarding local politicians and government.
The foundation of a community is its residents' and especially those who give so willing of their time and resources. They are the unsung Canadian patriots who are few and far between, who make our land what it is today by seeing what isn't right and protesting it and by teaching us we have a voice in government and how to use it.
In Lorries memory and those like him (or her), support the members of your community who fight for a better deal, participate!
The Rockwood Homeowners' Association has requested the City of Mississauga rededication Garnetwood Park as a permanent memorial to their much beloved President, Lorrie Mitoff. Once established, "Lorrie Mitoff Park" will become a tangible reminder of the public's expectations towards politicians and bureaucrats who seek to evade accountability for the proper performance of their official duties.
THE RESIDENTS OF MISSISSAUGA ASK THE CITY OF MISSISSAUGA FOR THE REDEDICATION OF GARNETWOOD PARK AS A PERMANENT MEMORIAL TO LORRIE MITOFF
JUNE 4, 1999
COUNCILLOR MAJA PRENTICE, WARD THREE, THE CITY OF MISSISSAUGA
On June 2nd I was instructed by unanimous vote of The Executive and Directors of The Rockwood Homeowners' Association to convey by letter the wishes of our association concerning a fitting and lasting memorial within our community to our founding President, Lorrie Mitoff, and, hopefully, enlist your personal support in implementing this memorial.
The exceeding worthiness of Lorrie and his memory for formal public commemoration should be so self-evident to all members of our City's Government that, rather than belabor as much, I will proceed directly to our Association's considered position as to what will constitute the most appropriate memorial and our reasons for having reached this conclusion.
THE PRESENT GARNETWOOD PARK SHOULD BE REDEDICATED BY RESOLUTION OF MISSISSAUGA CITY COUNCIL AS "LORRIE MITOFF PARK" WITH ALL APPROPRIATE IDENTIFICATION AS SUCH AND A SUITABLE MEMORIAL PLAQUE ON THESE ACCOUNTS:
Said park is the largest and most prominent public green space within the community of Rockwood and, as such, rededicating it would be the most fitting tribute to Lorrie's lasting prominence within and unflinching commitment to the overall good of our neighborhood.
Said park lies directly under the flight path of the most recently constructed north-south runway at Lester B. Pearson Airport. Its rededication would allow Lorrie Mitoff's name to stand in opposition in perpetuity to a runway built in gross violation of Mississauga's Official Plan, the overwhelming wishes of our community, a major environmental impact study, political commitments and, as Lorrie was absolutely convinced, basic Federal Civil Law.
Said park will soon contain a "noise monitoring" facility constructed by that airport's proprietors, The Greater Toronto Airports Authority, and no person stood more resolutely opposed to or monitored any more closely the filth and noise pollution which this wrongly and irresponsibly expanded airport continues to inflict upon our neighborhood than Lorrie Mitoff.
Upon entry to our City via Burnhamthorpe Road, on a direct access route to City Hall and immediately after the initial indication of Mississauga's eastern boundary, "Lorrie Mitoff Park" will indicate exactly how highly our City values the sterling example set by this sunny natured, sometimes exasperating, devoted husband and father, caring member of the teaching profession, exceptional citizen and tireless advocate for the common good.
Please be assured that widespread support for this specific commemoration already exists; not only within the community of Rockwood, but throughout Ward Three. However, should tangible evidence of such be required to secure the endorsement of your fellow Councillors, a sizable public petition campaign calling for this most appropriate memorial could doubtless be raised in very little time.
Prominent individuals such as Carl DeFaria and Ron Searle as well as at least two neighboring ratepayers groups are already on board and with two of our own Directors, Charlie Boone and Boris Swedak, residing on Garnetwood Chase it seems unlikely that any real opposition will come from residents of the street currently sharing the park's present name. Additional support from our own Councillor and, through you, Her Worship Mayor McCallion would seemingly guarantee success.
We strongly urge Mississauga to act with all possible dispatch to recognize Lorrie's profound contribution to our City in this most fitting and appropriate manner and sincerely hope that Yvonne, Larissa and Peter Mitoff will receive an Official invitation to participate in the public dedication of "Lorrie Mitoff Park" long before the winter snows fly.
Most Truly, GORDON M. MACLEAN,
Lorrie Mitoff Trail Naming Ceremony
October 14, 2000
Mayor Hazel McCallion
Ward 3 Councillor Maja Prentice (emcee)
Rockwood Homeowners' Association President Boris Swedak
Rockwood Homeowners' Association Vice-President Gordon MacLean
Father R. Whelan
Mitoff Family - Peter Mitoff
11:00 a.m. Introduction of speakers - Councillor Prentice
11:05 - 11:25 a.m. Speakers remark in order:
11:25 a.m. Official unveiling of Lorrie Mitoff Trail Sigh (all speakers to participate)
11:30 a.m. Trail blessing by Father R. Whelan
11:35 a.m. Special presentation to Yvonne Mitoff
11:40 a.m. Remarks from Mitoff family - Peter Mitoff
11:50 a.m. Conclusion of ceremony - Councillor Prentice
12 noon Refreshments and Rockwood Homeowners' Association's Lucky Draw
"What we do for ourselves dies with us,
Born Lawrence (Lorrie) Radoslav Mitoff on July 7,1941 in Cabbagetown, Toronto to Bulgarian immigrants, Lorrie was a charismatic Man who earned respect through his kindness, integrity and sincerity.
A top student, Lorrie graduated from the University of Toronto with a degree in English. His passion for poetry and prose remained a constant thread throughout his life. The Dylan Thomas quote:
"Do not go gentle into that good night,
prominently hung in his basement off ice which was affectionately referred to as ‘mission control'.
A dedicated teacher with the Toronto Board of Education, Lorrie accepted a challenging position at the York Detention Centre, where he remained for 23 years teaching young offenders. His approach of treating them with attention, acceptance and affection earned him a great deal of admiration. He was awarded the Governor General's Commemorative Medal in 1992 for his significant contribution and outstanding work with Canadian youth.
An undisputed leader, Lorrie had an enormous impact on everyone around him. Through his positive attitude that could not be dampened and fiery determination to fight for what is right, Lorrie found himself as co-chair of the Council of Concerned Residents (CCR), and president of the Rockwood Homeowners' Association. During his involvement with these groups, Lorrie became one of the leading voices of opposition to the new runway at Lester B. Pearson International Airport. His tireless efforts and relentless will to do what was best for the community and all residents earned him many lifelong friends.
His vigorous opposition to airport expansion efforts held a simple irony as one of Lorrie's dreams was to become a pilot. A special man with an unwavering positive outlook on life, Lorrie will always be remembered for his community efforts and strong love of life. His humanitarian beliefs, laughter and zest will live on forever in those with whom he shared his life.
If you know of any media coverage that is missing, please forward a copy or details (by e-mail is best), about it so it can be included, thank you.
Letters to the editor and other public comments to the media
GTAA concerns or a study in media rewrites. Mississauga News - Mar. 19/99 - letter by Don B.
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