Harold Gilbert

Obituary of Harold Gilbert

On August 3, 2021 Harold Francis Gilbert P Eng passed away peacefully at Lee Manor, Owen Sound, ON. Born in Saskatchewan and moving to Ontario at a young age, Harold had a full life living in nearly every region of Ontario.  

Along with his loving wife and companion Susan Kathryn Gilbert (nee Smythe), Harold spent his career in public service, helping to shape the transportation systems of Ontario that we know and use today. He finished his career as the Deputy Minister of the Ontario Ministry of Transportation and Communications, a position he proudly held for 11 years. In the 1950s and 60s Harold was instrumental in the design and construction of our 400 series of highways and the completion of the Trans-Canada highway. He was an ardent advocate of mass transit spearheading the expansion of Go Transit in the 1970s and 80s, and advocated for the growth and funding of municipally operated transit systems.

Harold was one of the founders of the Urban Transportation Development Corporation which was a Crown-owned manufacturer of light rapid transit vehicles ultimately acquired by Lavalin, which still operates facilities in Ontario.  He was an advocate for opening access to remote Indigenous communities helping to construct some of the first air strips in many communities. After his retirement, Harold and Susan lived near Chatsworth, Ontario, where they operated Holland Lane Farms, breeding purebred Red Angus cattle.  

Harold was a dearly loved father to his 5 children: John (Desiree), Peter Fergus (deceased), Michael (Cyndy), Carolyn (Glen), and Tim (Jocelyn), as well as an adored grandfather to his 14 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren. Harold is also survived by his brother, John (Jack). Harold will be buried with beloved wife Susan at Sandhill Cemetery, North of Kingston, ON. By Harold’s request, there will be no funeral, only a private interment for family. A celebration of life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Chapman House in Owen Sound, the Canadian Arthritis Society, or the charity of your choice serving your local community. 

Arrangements entrusted to the Brian E. Wood Funeral Home, Owen Sound, (519) 376-7492, www.woodfuneralhome