Skip navigation

Saturday November 3, 2012

OLMSTED, Bruce
At Princess Margaret Hospital in the early hours of October 31, 2012, Bruce passed away peacefully after a fight against cancer that only a warrior could wage. Bruce was loved and adored by his family, friends and legal colleagues and his powerful positive energy will be missed by all. He was the brother and best friend to Eleanor Olmsted (Toronto) and her three children, Tally Osborne (fiancée Julien Lardy), Lindsay Osborne and husband Mike Ranger, and Geoffrey Osborne; brother of Valerie Warner (Calgary) and her two children Jana El Guebaly and husband Pat Clendon and Lani El Guebaly; dear friend of Jamie Pine of Niagara Falls; life-long friend of many including Kurt Sjolund, Mark Spergel, Jeffrey English (Taiwan), Marilyn Ayerst (Bahamas), Dr. Jeff Dover (Boston), Dr. Jason Rivers (Vancouver), Craig Stephens, Walter Shanly, and Katie Ray. He was predeceased by his older brother John Eric Olmsted (2006), mother Marjorie Kingsland Salter Olmsted (2007), and father Col. Earl Alexander Olmsted (2008), all of Ottawa.Bruce was born in Ottawa on Dec. 02, 1955. Shortly thereafter his family moved to Fort Churchill, Manitoba where he lived until he was two. They then moved back to Ottawa, and when Bruce was five, the family moved to Madison, Wisconsin for two years. On their return to Ottawa, Bruce attended elementary school at Broadview Avenue Public school and thereafter attended Nepean High School where he won many academic and athletic awards. It was in high school that his love of sports really flourished. Although Bruce studied commerce at Carleton University and maintained an A+ average for the first two years, he devoted the majority of his time to playing football with the Carleton Ravens as a defensive lineman. One of his greatest moments in second year was scoring the winning touchdown in the annual Panda game between Carleton and Ottawa University. Granted early admission to Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto at York University, he participated in the intensive criminal law program which prepared him well for his chosen career as a criminal lawyer. At York, Bruce played on the Yeoman football team but then discovered his passion for rugby and started playing on the York Yeoman Rugby team. He later played on the TRU (Toronto Rugby Union) and represented Ontario on the Ontario team. He also was involved in setting up Fletchers Fields in Ottawa. After graduating from law school in 1979, he articled with Edward McGill and continued to practice with him until he became a standing agent for the Department of Justice. Thereafter he became defence counsel and later a member of the Criminal Lawyers Association. In 1994 he moved his practice to Daley Byers to work with Bruce Daley. Eventually, Bruce set up his own chambers in 2002 working with esteemed counsel Glenn Orr, Ravin Pillay, Noel Gerry, Louis Alexiou, John Sheard and Peter Lam. Bruce had tremendous empathy for people's struggles and was known for his kindness, compassion and extending a hand to help. He really cared about his clients and was tireless in their defence. There is a universe of lawyers in Toronto whose lives were touched by Bruce including his dear friend John Marko who predeceased him. Bruce was a proud member of the 48th Highlanders of Canada Officers' Association, the Royal Canadian Military Institute, the Orange Lodge, and the Grafton Legion. For the last 15 years Bruce shared a farm with his sister Eleanor in the Northumberland Hills where he loved to ATV and relax on weekends. It was the venue for his many annual legal parties. For 56 years, Bruce enjoyed camping at Red Pine Camp on Golden Lake (even if the bunks were too short). In 2009, Bruce purchased a house in Florida near Cocoa Beach where he escaped cold winter weather. There he unwound with Johnny K. and Laura Prentice and became great friends with Joe and Elaine Bessette. Bruce will also be missed by his aunt Rita Salter (Belleville); his cousins Ted & Muriel Langdon, (Toronto, Arizona) and daughters Cathy and Caroline, and Judy and Marilyn Salter (Belleville) and Billy Salter (Calgary); great niece and nephew Nadia and Jalen Clendon (Calgary); and Dr. Nady El Guebaly and wife Joan, Dr. Raymond Osborne, Dr. Barney and Linda Taggart, dear friends from Red Pine Camp, especially Betty and Gordon Campbell; Terrace Good, Barrett Layzelle, Evelyn Alban, Bill Mondrow, Hassan Farra, and Maria Martins. The family would like to thank all the doctors, nurses and support staff at the hospitals where he was treated for outstanding care, especially Dr. Meharchand and Dr. Zeldin at Toronto East General Hospital, Dr. Judith Balogh at The Odette Cancer Centre , and Dr. Lillian Siu and Dr. Laura Dawson at Princess Margaret Hospital. A private family ceremony will be held in Ottawa in the springtime. A celebration of his achievements in the Toronto legal community will be held at The Courthouse bar on November 08, 2012 between 5 and 8 PM, located at 57 Adelaide Street East, at the corner of Church and Adelaide (416-214-9379). All who knew Bruce are welcome. In many ways and on many levels, Bruce was larger than life: physically, intellectually, and in his capacity to face the worst of his illness with the best of his courage, irrepressible sense of humour and signature rapier wit. Over the course of the past two years Bruce liked to say that ''every day above ground is a good day...so have a nice day!

Back to top