Sydney Charles Cooper

    • Sydney Charles Cooper
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    • Sydney Charles Cooper

    We regret to advise of the death of Sydney Charles Cooper on 21 April 2018 at home in Toronto, ON at age 98.

    An engineer, philanthropist, horseman and sports fan, Sydney was born in Toronto and attended Harbord Collegiate. There he first displayed his athletic prowess and played quarterback on the senior football team. He then attended the University of Toronto where he studied pharmacy for two years before switching to engineering. Sydney continued his athletic pursuits at the U of T, excelling in baseball and volleyball. He also boxed and played on the lacrosse team. He was a member of the Canadian Officer Training Corps and graduated from the School of Engineering in 1945 after which he completed his Officer Training at the Canadian Engineer Training Centre in Camp Petawawa.

    Sydney began his career as a Civil Engineer immediately after the war and worked throughout Canada for four decades. His first assignment with Pitts Construction was a three-year power generation project at St. Catharines, ON where he worked as the Chief Engineer. He was appointed president of Pitts Construction in 1958 and he bought the company in 1963 when it was awarded several large contracts on Expo ’67 in Montreal, QC.

    As the former president and owner of Pitts Construction, Sydney oversaw some of this country’s largest building projects, including highways, dams, bridges and tunnels. When the company built the interchange at Highway 27 and the Queen Elizabeth Way in Toronto, it was the largest junction of its kind in Canada. His company took on major hydroelectric developments across Canada. It built a major part of the Revelstoke Dam in British Columbia, the supertanker wharf in Nova Scotia, two tunnels under the Welland Canal in Ontario and was a partner on the Churchill Falls power development. Pitts also worked on the first stages of the James Bay, QC hydroelectric project and undertook much work in the sub-Arctic and Arctic.

    Sydney was a respected professional and a loyal friend to many. His professional skills and leadership qualities were valued by many. He embraced a strong set of values and Sydney and his wife Florence were philanthropic in their local community and in Israel. Sydney served as president of Technion Canada and raised money for a wing for the Herzog Hospital-Ezrath Nashim in Jerusalem and Beit Halochem, in support of disabled veterans in Israel. The family supported Sunnybrook, Mount Sinai, Toronto General, Baycrest and several other hospitals, as well as the University of Toronto and United Jewish Appeal Federation in Toronto. He shared his engineering expertise as chair and co-chair on the construction committees of Mount Sinai Hospital, the Baycrest/Apotex Centre, Baycrest Hospital and the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. Merging his love of sports with philanthropy, Sydney supported the establishment of the S.C. Cooper Sports Medicine Clinic at Mount Sinai Hospital.

    The funeral service will be held at Beth Sholom Synagogue on Monday, 23 April 2018 at 3:00 p.m. Interment in the Beth Sholom Synagogue section of Mount Sinai Cemetery. Shiva at 625 Avenue Road. Shiva visits daily following the interment from 1:00-4:00 p.m. and 7:00-9:00 p.m. Memorial donations may be made to the Baycrest Foundation [416-785-2875] or Temmy Latner Centre for Palliative Care [416-586-8203]. Condolences can be sent online. {khApr2018}