Jacobus Cornelis Van Klaveren




February 17, 1944 to December 29, 2022


It is with heavy hearts and much love that the family of Ko announce his passing, as a result of cardiac arrest.  He was playing with his much-loved dog, Bella, at the time.


Ko leaves behind his loving wife, best friend and soulmate, Christine Van Klaveren, his stepdaughter, Aidan Lyons (Alan), and was predeceased by his stepson, Sean Welland. Ko was the much-loved Opa of Rowan and Poppy Lyons and Cole Welland. Also mourning his loss are his sisters, Wilhelmina Ehricht, Tineke Van Klaveren, Marianne Van Klaveren. He was predeceased by his sister, Coby Van Klaveren. He was a much-loved uncle to Mark, Luke and Peter Ehricht, Julie, Tom and Ellen Richardson and David and Lisa Prime.


Ko's family emigrated from Sassenheim, the Netherlands, arriving in Creemore, Ontario, on Christmas Eve 1951. Ko moved to Toronto in 1963 to study Architectural Technology at Ryerson Institute.  He went on to study Architecture at North Carolina School of Art and Design where he obtained his degree.  During his time at Ryerson and in North Carolina, Ko made many close friendships which he maintained throughout his lifetime.


After he obtained his Bachelor of Architecture, Ko was offered an assignment in Jakarta, Indonesia, to work on the Jakarta International Airport. He was excited by the opportunity and eagerly accepted. He lived and worked there while completing the project. 


Ko also accepted assignments in Kathmandu, Nepal, and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. He made the best of every one of these opportunities by exploring the local culture.  


While working in Saudi Arabia, Ko traveled to every corner of the Kingdom. When he had a day off, he would trek to the Red Sea, spend the chilly night camping at the shore, and watch the sunrise over the desert. He would then put on scuba gear and take in the most incredible wonders beneath the surface on one the most pristine reefs in the world.


During his time in Kathmandu, Ko took time off to fly to Lukla and trek to base camp on Mt. Everest with friends and their Sherpa guides. He marveled at the beauty and the majesty of the mountains. After returning to Canada, Ko continued to travel, and amongst his most cherished memories were his visits to the Galapagos Islands, Machu Picchu, Venezuela, and in later years Christmases in the Caribbean with Christine.


In all, Ko spent time on five continents. He was a true adventurer.  


Ko was an enthusiastic and accomplished sportsman. Ko was a member of the Royal Canadian Yacht Club where, for many years, he sailed on Quest, one of the Club’s iconic 8 Metre yachts. The ‘70s were the heyday of the big Lake Ontario club regattas, and with his good-humored personality Ko was a popular figure in the sailing community. During the winter season, he switched to skiing at Blue Mountain and was a regular on the slopes and at many après-ski chalet parties.


In later years he took up dinghy sailing, which provided the excitement of racing but with less effort. This left time for tennis, which he also enjoyed immensely. Ko was a regular at the Saturday morning round-robins. He particularly enjoyed the annual Club Championships and took home several awards.  


Ko moved to the Annex in 1982 when he purchased a rambling property on Albany Avenue. Ko and Christine spent countless hours on the loving restoration of their beautiful home, always with a sensitive eye to historic detail. Ko and Christine shared their home with their beloved dogs, Jac, their rescue dog Spunky, and Bella. 


Ko was civic minded and was committed to maintaining the character of the Annex. He joined the ARA (Annex Residents Association) and eventually became a Board Member, serving for a decade as Co-chair of the ARA’s Planning and Development Committee. 


In his final years at Stantec, before retirement, Ko was a friend and mentor to many, sharing his expertise and wealth of experience with younger architects. 


Ko was a true gentleman in every sense of the word.  He was kind, thoughtful, caring and generous in spirit and most of all, humble and unassuming.  Ko was respected by friends, colleagues and everyone who knew him and he will be greatly missed.   


Please join us in celebration of Ko’s life on Thursday, March 30, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Gardiner Museum, Terrace Room, 111 Queens Park, Toronto. 


Condolences may be forwarded through www.humphreymiles.com.


A life well lived.


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