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Pat Keenan, former OJC President and CEO, passes

May 5, 2014

Pat Keenan was President & CEO of The Ontario Jockey Club from January 1994 to December 1995. The family announcement follows.

Patrick John Keenan C.M., O.Ont, FCPA, FCA, D.S. Litt

After a full and blessed life, the family of Patrick Keenan announce his peaceful passing on Thursday, May 1, 2014 at the age of 82. Beloved husband of Barbara and loving father of Sean (Christine Alvarez), Gwendolyn (Richard Harvey), Katharine (Duane Livingstone, deceased) and Christina (Rohit Sharma). Cherished ”Gramps” of Ethan, Marie, Ewan, Patrick, Jacqueline, Scott, Keenan, Liam and Kieran. Son of the late Thomas and Kathleen (Collins). He is survived by his sister Mona of Lewes, Delaware. Predeceased by brothers Thomas, Edward C., Frederick D., and sister Kathleen Dunne.

Pat was born in Montreal on January 7, 1932, studied business at McGill University, became a Chartered Accountant with Clarkson Gordon and had a dynamic and prosperous business career in the mining industry. Within the Patino group of companies (1964 to 1981) he worked his way through the ranks to become CEO of subsidiary Amalgamated Metal Corporation in London, England (1971-75) and later CEO of the parent Patino N. V. (1975-81). Becoming a major shareholder in the company, he sold his interests alongside the Patino family in 1981 and established his family investment company.

Other significant business associations included: Chairman of Canada Development Investment Corporation and Vice Chair of Canada Development Corporation, Director of Brascan Corporation, London Life Insurance Company, Westmin Resources and Camco Ltd. He was a Trustee and President of the Ontario Jockey Club.


Pat brought his business acumen into the public service in 1990 when he was asked by the Sisters of St. Joseph to Chair the board of St. Michael’s Hospital. At that time it had reported the largest hospital deficit in the history of the Canadian health system. He worked with the Sisters and the board, leading the response to directives given by the government commission. He steered the implementation of new governance, integrated financial controls, and initiated a complete change in senior management. Within 5 years St. Michaels was cited by the Ministry of Health as having the best financial recovery in the country and became the new standard for performance in healthcare in Canada.

In addition to his board leadership, Pat and his wife Barbara sought to strengthen the hospital through research and innovation. They funded the first Chair at St. Michael’s Hospital and funded two more over the years. They were lead donors on capital campaigns at St. Michael’s, including the Victoria wing and named it in honour of Cardinal Carter. They founded the Keenan Research Centre, bringing together researchers scattered throughout the city so they would work with true synergy and impact under one roof.

Through the Patrick and Barbara Keenan Foundation, over 60 organizations have received financial support including McGill University, L’Arche, St. Michael’s College at the University of Toronto, the Canadian Opera Company, the Royal Ontario Museum, David Suzuki Foundation, Yonge Street Mission, and the Archdiocese of Toronto.

Pat received many honours during his lifetime, including Member of the Order of Ontario (2002), Honorary Doctorate from the University of St. Michael’s College (2003), Member of the Order of Canada (2008), Patron of the Arts in the Vatican Museum (2009) and Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012).

Pat’s greatest joy was his family and he will be deeply missed. He was the driving force behind adventurous trips and gatherings that brought his family together. He entertained us with stories of his global business travel, life in England, experiences growing up and Clara the family dog. Reflecting his roots in Montreal and his time in England, he was a die-hard Montreal Canadiens and Liverpool FC fan. He was an avid golfer, former sheep farmer, race horse enthusiast, zip-liner and countryside walker. He was noted for his sharp business mind, keen problem solving skills, his focus on always doing the right thing and doing it well, and an enduring faith in God.

The family would like to thank Dr. Robert Hyland and the exceptional team at St. Michael’s Hospital for their care and support. 

The family will receive friends at the HUMPHREY FUNERAL HOME A.W. MILES CHAPEL LIMITED, 1403 Bayview Avenue (south of Davisville Avenue) from 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., Thursday, May 8. Mass of Christian Burial in OUR LADY OF PERPETUAL HELP CHURCH, 78 Clifton Road on Friday, May 9 at 10:30 a.m.

If desired, donations in memory of Pat can be made to St. Michael’s Hospital (Toronto) Research Institute, Suite 2150, 120 Adelaide Street West, Toronto, Ontario M5H 1T1 (416-479-5493), which funds the three Keenan Chairs.

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