Canadian media mogul and Ryerson donor Allan Slaight dies at 90

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By Elizabeth Sargeant

Allan Slaight, namesake of the Rogers Communications Centre’s (RCC) broadcast facility Allan Slaight Radio Institute and radio broadcast pioneer, passed away in his Toronto home on Sept. 19 at the age of 90. 

The news of Slaight’s passing broke on Sunday after the Slaight Family Foundation posted his obituary to its online site. 

Slaight had several ties not only to Ryerson University but also to the Canadian broadcasting industry as he had worked with several companies across the country.

His broadcasting journey began in the early 1950s in Moose Jaw, Sask. before he relocated to Toronto to become program director of CHUM radio station. 

From there, his career kicked off as he worked with the Global Television Network, created Slaight Communications and became the CEO of Standard Broadcasting Corporation Limited, Canada’s largest privately-owned multi-media company.

“We think it is very important to promote growth and success in Canada,” Slaight told The Eyeopener in 2001 after receiving his Honorary Doctorate of Commerce from Ryerson. “We’re very high on Ryerson. It’s a good institution.” 

In 2016, Slaight donated $3 million toward the RCC to create the Allan Slaight Radio Institute.

“It is from here that young people will continue the work of Allan Slaight, and take the industry in new and exciting directions,” Mohamed Lachemi stated in a 2016 press release when the centre was created.

Currently, the Allan Slaight Radio Institute (RCC 162) serves as a space for students interested in exploring the Canadian radio industry and is primarily used by the Radio and Television Arts School of Media. The space offers radio-and-sound curriculum, as well as mentorships and other resources for students. 

Lachemi also noted that Ryerson was grateful to the Slaight family for their philanthropy and “inspirational generosity,” as previously reported by The Eye.

In lieu of flowers, Slaight’s family is asking to direct time, energy and, if possible, resources to a charity near to you.

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