Peter Oliver Death – It is with immense sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved leader and co-founder, Peter Oliver. Peter was diagnosed with stage IV cancer in May 2021, a challenge he faced head-on with strength and grace. Throughout his treatment he maintained a positive spirit for which he will be forever remembered.
Peter’s remarkable career in hospitality spanned 45 years, during which time he set the bar for high standards of quality, service and professionalism. Born in Cape Town, South Africa, Peter moved to Canada in 1967 to attend McGill University. In 1978, he opened his first restaurant in Toronto: a small sandwich shop at Yonge and Eglinton named Oliver’s Old Fashioned Bakery. In 1993, Peter and @chefmichaelbonacini partnered to open @jumprestaurant, marking the inception of Oliver & Bonacini Hospitality.
Peter’s greatest strength was his ability to inspire and excite others, rallying us around his vision and goals. He valued people and positive company culture above all else; encouraging everyone to expand upon their potential. His boundless energy and larger than life spirit were unlike anyone else we’ve ever known.
An advocate for education and philanthropy, Peter was a key supporter of local hospitality educators, receiving honorary degrees from @torontomet and @gbcollege. In 1992, Peter founded @leacock_fdn to support children and youth in historically marginalized communities in Toronto and South Africa, by providing them with innovative, experiential education in a nurturing environment. Following the diagnosis of his daughter, Vanessa, with type 1 diabetes, Peter volunteered with @jdrf_canada. In 1986, he founded the Ride to Cure Diabetes, which raised over $70 million and engaged thousands of volunteers across Canada.
Peter is survived by his beloved wife of 48 years, Maureen, his 4 children (Vanessa, Jessica, Andrew, Marc), and 9 grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, Peter’s family gratefully requests that any donations be directed to @jdrf_canada or @leacock_fdn.