Remembering Bob Creighton, “Mr. Leaside”

Bob Creighton. Photo Creighton family.
Bob Creighton. Photo Creighton family.

Bob Creighton, known to many as “Mr. Leaside,” passed away peacefully at his home in Leaside on May 7th, surrounded by his family. Bob was in his 99th year.

Bob was born in Toronto on November 2, 1920 and was a lifetime Torontonian, aside from his time with the Air Force when he was stationed in Newfoundland.

I met Bob when our family moved in across the street from him in 2002. Bob was the first person to welcome us to the neighbourhood. He gave me the scoop about Leaside and all those who lived on our block of Hanna Rd.

With his warm, caring manner and quick wit Bob quickly became like a member of our family, and we his.

In the nicer months Bob held court every afternoon and evening on his front porch. Many neighbours or passersby would stop by and fill the second lawn chair that was always waiting. Bob always had a story or idea he wanted to share, and he always wanted to know what was going on with you and your family.

Mr. Leaside seemed to know and be known by everyone. He was a walker – understatement – he loved to walk! He went for morning and afternoon walks daily when his mobility allowed. These were not short walks either but all over Leaside. He knew all the merchants on Bayview and frequently stopped to chat with them.

A daily stop on his walk was his son’s home on Parkhurst, also known as “The Corporate Office.” Bob’s son John owned and ran Leader Petroleum at the time, a family business in the Leaside Business Park. Bob would drop in daily to pick up the company mail and visit with John and daughter Marilyn, who ran the office. In his retirement Bob was the company treasurer. As he liked to say, he did “the books.” I can still picture him sitting at his desk in his upstairs office, glasses on, numbers neatly written in pencil in a journal.

My sons and I spent countless hours in that office chatting about life, sports, school. Actually, we talked about pretty much everything. Kids just seemed naturally drawn to him. Over the years many neighbourhood kids became friends with Bob, and he embraced those friendships to the point that young people wanted to come back and visit years after growing up and moving away.

Bob joined the Air Force during World War 2 and was very proud to have stood up for his country.

After the war he married Helen, whom he had met when they were teenagers involved at St. David’s United Church, and they were married for 38 years. In 1954, they bought their home on Hanna Rd. and together raised their four children, David, Liz, Marilyn and John.

Bob had a long and successful career at Sun Oil, a career he enjoyed very much as it involved travel and meeting people. He also loved to stay busy and was forever fixing or building something. You could always find him working on something around his house or in his garage, but when 5:07 p.m. hit, all tools were downed to make way for sherry time.

Bob was a long-time member of the congregation at Leaside United Church and took strength from his faith especially with the passing of his first wife, Helen, second wife, Margaret, in 2002 and sons John in 2011 and Dave in 2015.

His own passing has left a hole in many hearts. Rest in peace, Bob: you are missed, but remembered.

About Sue Barrett 5 Articles
Sue Barrett is a former accounting manager who grew up in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Sue moved to Toronto in 1991 and lived in the downtown area before moving to Leaside in 2001 to raise her two sons. She and her family lived in Leaside for 10 years before moving to Bennington Heights in 2011. She is a retired hockey mom who loves to travel, bake, watch sports, knit and volunteer. Together with her husband she is also a partner in The Leaside Pub where she manages the office side of the business.