In Memoriam – Tom Heintzman

Thomas Giles Heintzman

1941 – 2019

Thomas G. Heintzman, a former president of the Canadian Bar Association, specialized in the field of alternative dispute resolution. One of Canada’s best-known and most experienced litigators, he has acted as counsel in actions, arbitrations and appeals in Ontario, Newfoundland, Manitoba, British Columbia and New Brunswick and has made numerous appearances before the Supreme Court of Canada.

Mr. Heintzman practised with McCarthy Tétrault LLP for over 40 years with an emphasis in commercial disputes relating to securities law and shareholders’ rights, government contracts, broadcasting and telecommunications and environmental law. In 1998, he was named mediator in the amalgamation of three major Toronto hospitals. In 1994-1995 he was counsel in the McCain family arbitration.

President of the Canadian Bar Association from 1994 to 1995, president of the Ontario Bar Association from 1989 to 1990, and a two-term bencher of the Law Society of Upper Canada, Mr. Heintzman was an adjudicator in Law Society disciplinary hearings for eight years. As panel chair, he wrote numerous decisions in Law Society conduct hearings.

In 1980, Mr. Heintzman was appointed Queen’s Counsel, and in 1998, he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada.  In 2008, Mr. Heintzman received the Ontario Bar Association Award for Excellence in Civil Litigation.

Mr. Heintzman was educated at Harvard University (*BA cum laude in economics), the University of London (LLB) and Osgoode Hall Law School (LLB).

Tom was also actively involved in community organizations including as a director of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, Trustee of the Canadian Outward Bound Wilderness School, Chairman of the Upper Canada College Association and Foundation, Governor of Upper Canada College, and President of the Harvard Club of Toronto. He was a founding counsellor of Camp Ooch, where he volunteered for ten summers.

Tom had many passions and interests. He was a voracious reader, who loved to discuss books of all topics with anyone who was interested. He was also a lover of music and played many instruments, regaling friends late at night at Bar Association meetings, under the stars by a campfire, or as a dinner party drew to a close. Tom loved the outdoors and was never happier than when walking his paths and tending his property in Hockley Valley amongst his friends, the trees. Tom was a proud and dedicated Canadian, and in particular identified deeply with the francophone history and music of Canada.

In the latter part of Tom’s life, he became an active member of the First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto, where he explored the big questions of spiritual life. Tom’s abiding love for his family was legendary, and he took a constant interest in his children’s and grandchildren’s lives. He was a perennial presence on the sidelines of sporting matches and in the front row for their musical concerts. Tom had a passion for life and for those around him that was unparalleled and left everyone in his presence changed for the better.

Tom was especially grateful for the wonderful medical care he received over the past four years at Sunnybrook, Princess Margaret, and Mount Sinai Hospitals and from the Temmy Latner palliative care team of superb nurses and doctors, far too many extraordinary professionals to name.

Tom was a great friend of Paul Hahn & Co. We were honoured to restore his Heintzman Grand, and his son’s Heintzman upright. He and his family were regular participants in our annual Carol Sing. We are all very saddened at his loss. He will be remembered fondly.


Click here to see a short video of Tom Heintzman playing a Heintzman in our workshop.