Real Estate Industry Leader, Philanthropist, and Visionary Developer

Founder and Chairman Emeritus, John H. Daniels
Photo Credit: Al Gilbert C.M

Toronto, ON, October 23, 2022 – It is with profound sadness that The Daniels Corporation announces the passing of its founder and Chairman Emeritus, John H. Daniels. Mr. Daniels passed away peacefully at his home in Toronto on Saturday, October 22nd.

In a career that spanned nearly seven decades, as the former CEO of Cadillac Fairview Development Corporation, Mr. Daniels dedicated his life to giving back to his community, leaving an indelible mark on the quality of the places in which people live, work, play, create, learn and shop.

“We wish to extend our deepest condolences to Myrna and the entire Daniels family for this tremendous loss,” said Mitchell Cohen, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Daniels Corporation. “John Daniels was a visionary developer who passionately embodied the ideals of social responsibility. He was an innovator and city-builder who will always be the north star and guiding light that drives our mission and values.  John Daniels built a legacy of positive impact on this city and country, and he will be deeply missed.”

A first-generation Canadian, Mr. Daniels arrived from Poland when he was 12 years old on the eve of the Second World War. Following graduation from high school, he enrolled in the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Toronto where his career in real estate development began. As an architecture student, Mr. Daniels and two classmates purchased lots in North Toronto and built his first homes, doing much of the work themselves. This laid the groundwork for his remarkable career in real estate. In 1953, he formed his own development company and quickly became an industry leader in Toronto.

Over the course of his career, Mr. Daniels played a key role in the development of Canadian landmarks such as the Toronto Eaton Centre and TD Centre, the 4,700-acre Erin Mills community in Mississauga, and the revitalization of 53 of the 69-acre Regent Park community in Toronto.

In 1983, Mr. Daniels established The Daniels Corporation, which rapidly became one of Canada’s most prominent builders and developers, gaining recognition as an industry leader in design innovation, construction values, environmental sustainability, and corporate responsibility.  Under his leadership The Daniels Corporation has been an inclusive city-builder, integrating opportunities for social, cultural, and economic well-being into its communities.

As a founder of the Toronto Sun newspaper and The Cineplex Corporation, Mr. Daniels’ reach spanned well beyond real estate. In 1976, John Daniels was instrumental in founding the “Festival of Festivals”, which evolved into the Toronto International Film Festival.

Mr. Daniels demonstrated a lifelong commitment to philanthropy and ‘giving back’ through the John and Myrna Daniels Foundation, with a mandate to providing long term support for health care, education, and the arts. The John and Myrna Daniels Foundation has made significant donations to many Canadian institutions including the University of Toronto, SickKids, Associated Hebrew Schools in Toronto and the University Health Network.

The University of Toronto’s John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design and the iconic Daniels Building at One Spadina Crescent, along with Daniels Spectrum and Artscape Daniels Launchpad are further testament to Mr. Daniels’ indelible contributions to the City of Toronto and to Canada as a whole. In 2017, John and Myrna Daniels were honoured with an Outstanding Philanthropist Award for their contributions to Canada.

The work of The Daniels Corporation will always be inspired by Mr. Daniels’ commitment to make a positive impact, his love for creating community and doing the right thing.

He will be deeply missed.

About The Daniels Corporation

The Daniels Corporation ( is one of Canada’s pre-eminent builders/developers, building more than 35,000 new homes across the Greater Toronto Area for over 38 years.  Daniels is the developer of TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto’s Entertainment District and the City of the Arts community on Toronto’s East Waterfront. Among its many initiatives, Daniels partnered with Toronto Community Housing to revitalize 53 of the 69-acre Regent Park community in Toronto. At the core of the revitalization is both a physical and social re-connection of this once stigmatized neighbourhood to the broader City of Toronto. Today, Regent Park is the global hub of Sustainable Development Goals and home to the World Urban Pavilion – Powered by Daniels, a collaborative initiative between the Urban Economy Forum, UN-Habitat, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and The Daniels Corporation. Understanding that quality of life is created by much more than physical buildings, Daniels goes above and beyond to integrate building excellence with opportunities for social, cultural, and economic well-being.

Media Contact:
Emma Conway
The Daniels Corporation