Every time J. Trevor Eyton would go to a restaurant, he would order the exact same thing for dessert: a single scoop of vanilla ice cream. According to his children, he expected all restaurants to have it. If he got more than a single scoop in his bowl he would send it back and ask the server to bring back one scoop.Eyton was a man of simple tastes: whether it was his fixation on a single scoop of vanilla or his ideal summer afternoon: blasting the Blue Jays game on the radio while he floated in the backyard pool of his Caledon, Ont. home. To his five children, Eyton was a soft-spoken prankster and family man who loved competitions. Wherever he was, a bowl of chips and Heluva Good Dip was never far behind. To his grandchildren, he was a storyteller who told tales of treasure.Eyton passed away on February 24, 2019 at the age of 84 at Toronto General Hospital after a brief illness.He was a distinguished lawyer and then a businessman. Before that, he almost had a career in the CFL. Eyton was drafted by the Saskatchewan Roughriders and then was traded to the Toronto Argonauts. After the first day of training, however, he realized that a career in law would be a better fit for him. He went on to graduate from the University of Toronto Law School in 1960.Former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney appointed Eyton to the Senate of Canada in 1990, where he served until his retirement in 2009.
Retired Senator J. Trevor Eyton in 2007.
Courtesy of the Senate of Canada
Sen. Anita Raynell Andreychuk served on the Standing Senate Committee for Foreign Affairs with Eyton in 2003. She remembered a man who brought a sense of humour to work with him, and spoke his mind.“As a caucus member, he grounded us in the art of the possible, adding humour and practicality at just the right moment,” Andreychuk said. “He wasn’t much interested in long debates. He wasn’t shy about saying ‘what’s the bottom line!’”In 2000, Eyton was awarded the Mexican Order of the Aztec Eagle. It’s the highest honour a foreigner can receive from the government of Mexico. Eyton was honoured for his dedication to promoting trade and investment between Canada and Mexico. He co-founded the Canada-Mexico retreat where business people and government officials from both countries could meet.Before becoming a senator, Eyton was the president and CEO of Brascan Ltd., now known as Brookfield Asset Management. He also served on the boards of major corporations like Coca Cola, General Motors and Nestle Canada.Eyton supported a number of philanthropic organizations, including serving as chairman of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame and the Canadian Olympic Foundation. He was a member of the Canadian Journalism Foundation and served on the advisory committee of the Toronto Zoo Foundation.Born in Quebec City, Eyton was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1986. He received two Honorary Doctors of Laws — from the University of Waterloo and the University of King’s College at Dalhousie. He served as Chancellor of King’s College from 1996 to 2001.Eyton was predeceased by his beloved wife Jane Eyton (née Montgomery) in November 2014. He is survived by his five children: Debbie, Susie, Adam, Christopher and Sarah, 11 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.