In Memory of




Obituary for Donald Stephen Robinson

Donald "Don" Robinson (known as "Scrapper" in his youth, or so we are told, probably by him), he of the flowing mane, committed "cannabis advocate", pescatarian before it was cool (in fact, before it was even understood), painter extraordinaire and unintentional living legend, passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, January 7, at the age of 70.

Born and raised in Kincardine, Don spent most of the last 40 years in Collingwood and Meaford. His friends there had names that made them sound as if they just walked off a pirate ship, and he had an unparalleled talent for finding uniquely spectacular places to live: a loft right out of 1960s Soho; a former golf course clubhouse; sprawling compounds of near-mythical renown.

Don was a man who lived a life of near ascetic simplicity; a lifestyle borne maybe of self-abnegating frugality, or perhaps merely a preference for uncomplicated and specific pleasures. A man who once poisoned himself by eating too many peanut butter and banana sandwiches.*

If he wasn’t out visiting his network of chosen family around town—a family composed of neighbours, former neighbours, booksellers, cashiers, servers, and purveyors of fish 'n' chips—you could drop in to see him at home; if he didn’t already have visitors, you’d be sure to find him reading a book. He’d sit you down, set you up with a snack (peanut butter and banana, if you’re lucky) and then school you in darts or cribbage.

He could talk to anyone—and would. He might tell you, a stranger, that you needed to put on deodorant, or he might draw you into a conversation about the profundities of life, the universe, and everything. Either way, there was no small talk.

Don is survived by children Donovan (Jayna), Justin (Claire Cybulski), and Sophie (Bruce) Callan, their mother Kelly, two grandchildren, and sisters Linda Zondervan and Elizabeth Deer, plus extended family, which we can only assume includes anyone with the last name Robinson. He was predeceased by his parents, Harold and Marilyn.

He’ll be missed by his community around town, by John Ferraro and his colleagues at J. Ferraro & Co., and will be remembered by anyone lucky enough to find themselves spending half an hour listening to his tall tales (that just so happened to be true).

Stay tuned for the announcement of a gathering to celebrate Don’s life. If you wish to make a donation in memory of Don, donations can be made to the Collingwood Mobile Soup Kitchen, care of Elephant Thoughts. To leave a message of condolence or to share a memory of Donald, please visit