Doris McCarthy, July 7, 1910 November 25, 2010


John McKay's Statement in the House of Commons, December 9th, 2010:

Source: Hansard
Speaker : Mr. McKay
Time : 09/12/2010 - 14:10:18
Context : MP's Statements

Hon. John McKay (Scarborough—Guildwood, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to the renowned artist, Doris McCarthy, a native of my home, Scarborough, Ontario. Sadly, she passed away on November 25 at the age of 100.

Great art can define a nation, and define its image of itself. A painter of the Canadian landscape, McCarthy possessed more than mere brilliance at her craft, but also a deep insight into the profound connection that attaches Canadians to our solemn land.

She continued the artistic traditions of Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven, building on their legacy and imprinting her vision of our natural world onto the Canadian psyche.

As Pierre Trudeau once wrote:

"I know a man whose school could never teach him patriotism, but who acquired that virtue when he felt in his bones the vastness of this land..."

This is the spirit that moved Doris McCarthy, and it is a spirit which moves us still. She will be missed.



Doris McCarthy, CM, O.Ont (July 7, 1910 – November 25, 2010) was a Canadian artist specializing in abstracted landscapes.

Born in Calgary, Alberta, McCarthy attended the Ontario College of Art from (1926–1930), where she was awarded various scholarships and prizes. She became a teacher shortly thereafter and taught most frequently at Central Technical School in downtown Toronto from 1932 until she retired in 1972. She spent most of her life living and working in Scarborough (now a Toronto district), Ontario, though she traveled abroad extensively and painted the landscapes of various countries, including: Costa Rica, Spain, Italy, Japan, India, England, and Ireland. McCarthy was nonetheless probably best known for her Canadian landscapes and her depictions of Arctic icebergs. In 1989, she graduated from the University of Toronto at Scarborough with a B.A in English.

McCarthy's work has been exhibited and collected extensively in Canada and abroad, in both public and private art galleries Including: National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, The Doris McCarthy Art Gallery at University of Toronto at Scarborough, and Wynick/Tuck Gallery.

McCarthy also penned three autobiographies, chronicling the various stages of her life: A Fool in Paradise (Toronto: MacFarlane, Walter & Ross, 1990), The Good Wine (Toronto: MacFarlane, Walter & Ross, 1991), and Ninety Years Wise (Toronto: Second Story Press, 2004). She was also the recipient of the Order of Ontario, the Order of Canada, honorary degrees from the University of Calgary, the University of Toronto, Trent University, the University of Alberta, and Nipissing University, an honorary fellowship from the Ontario College of Art and Design and also had a gallery named in her honour on the Scarborough campus at the University of Toronto.

She passed away on November 25, 2010.



Official Website:

Doris McCarthy Gallery at the University of Toronto Scarborough:

Toronto Star Obituary:

Globe & Mail Obituary: