Cover photo for Sylvia Simpson's Obituary

Sylvia Simpson

d. December 3, 2023

SIMPSON, SYLVIA (nee Skidmore)– Sylvia passed away peacefully at the age of 83 years, surrounded by love, on Sunday December 3, 2023, at Humber River Hospital, after a brave battle with complications from a diagnosis of ALS. She is deeply missed every day by her son Jamie and his family – Laurel and grandsons Jamie Jr. and Aaron - and by her daughter Jennifer, her sister Karen, and her best friend Liz.

Sylvia was born in Toronto, to the late Dorrie, and Canadian Armed Forces Veteran of WWI, Bert Skidmore.

Sylvia continued to enjoy good times throughout her life with old friends from Fairbank Memorial, York Memorial Collegiate, Lakeshore Teachers’ College, the Toronto District School Board, Toronto Public Libraries - Bendale Branch, and most recently the Brock Libraries.

We are deeply grateful for the tremendous medical care that Sylvia received during the past 14 months. She prolonged her life and exhibited hope, grace, and patience throughout, achieving victory after victory by choosing surgeries and treatments. Thank you to Southlake Regional Healthcare Centre in Newmarket, especially the Rapid Assessment Unit (RAU) and ICU, and to the Critical Care Recovery Unit Ventilator Weaning Program at Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital. In addition, we appreciate the many activities and therapies provided for Sylvia by her friends at the West Park Healthcare Centre where she spent more than six months in the Long-Term Ventilator Centre of Excellence Program (LTVCOE). And finally, thank you to the tireless staff at Humber River Hospital 6E ICU.

As was her wish, a cremation was arranged.

Sylvia practised Nichiren Buddhism for the latter half of her life, becoming an Ontario East Area women’s leader. A “Celebration of Life” Buddhist ceremony will be hosted by Sylvia’s faith group at the SGI Canada Markham Centre on Sunday January 7th 2024 at 2pmE sharp. Everyone is more than welcome, and the bookstore will be open. The location is 151 Bentley Street Unit 4, Markham, ON, L3R 3X9 · Tel: (905) 944-0197. We are sorry but no refreshments are permitted in the venue. A Zoom link is available.

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Meeting ID: 868 2532 6973
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In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the following:

SGI Canada


Southlake Regional Healthcare Centre in Newmarket

Southlake Regional Health Centre Foundation


West Park Healthcare Centre in Toronto

Donate - Donate | West Park Healthcare Centre Foundation (


Brock Township Public Library in Brock Township

Brock Township Public Library | Charity Profile | Donate Online | Canadahelps


Below is a wonderful tribute by Lori Mitchell of Brock Libraries.


“Sylvia joined our staff team as a Casual Relief in February 2013, shortly after moving to Beaverton.

“We were delighted to find that she was coming to us with a wealth of knowledge and experience from her career with Toronto Public Library and it took her no time at all to ‘get up to speed’ here at Brock Libraries. Sylvia quickly became very well-known amongst our library patrons both young and not-so-young. Children enjoyed her story time programs complete with silly songs and rhymes and our adult readers greatly appreciated her extensive reader’s advisory knowledge and book recommendations.

“Sylvia took a genuine interest in her community, her work and her co-workers. She loved chatting with folks about books of course, but also world events, pop-culture, television, recipes and whatever was going on in their lives. Sylvia connected with our high school student assistants as easily as she did our most senior staff members and everyone adored working with her. Staff and library patrons came to love her infectious laugh and heart-felt interest in their well-being. Many visitors would approach the desk and ask if “Sylvia was in today?”, hoping for a quick hello and chat.

“She was so very young at heart. Her seemingly limitless energy, inquisitiveness, and love of all things ’high-jinx’ belied her chronological years and made one forget that she was retired and enjoying a third career at our Brock Library.  She thoroughly enjoyed any occasion to celebrate with her coworkers and especially loved gatherings outside of work for meals or movies.

 “Sylvia made the difficult decision to retire from Brock Libraries in April of 2021, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Her absence was felt immediately and acutely.  Always arriving on shift with a big grin, a funny story or anecdote and a ready ear for any kind of famous (or infamous) person gossip, she made each day a bit brighter, a bit better, a bit more Sylvia. 

“Rest well friend. It was an honour. xo”


Friends are invited to share their memories of Sylvia at a reception with the family in the early spring, at a time and location to be announced.

To send flowers to the family in memory of Sylvia Simpson, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Sunday, January 7, 2024

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Eastern time)

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