George Armstrong

Obituary of George Warren Armstrong



November 25, 1925 – August 28, 2021


Warren died peacefully surrounded by his children, after a brief and hard fought battle with being 95 years old.  He was predeceased by his wife Lorraine in 1984 and sister Shirley Ollers in 2020.


Warren is survived by his five children: Tory {Andrew Wright}, Susie {Michael Thompson}, Andrew {Stephanie}, Hillary {Matthew McGuffin} and Alexandra “Bigsy” {Mark Monahan}. Affectionately known as “Gubby”, Warren will be missed by his seven grandchildren: Stephanie Wright, Connor Orsava, Jack and Matthew Owen, and James, Johnny and Craig Armstrong. 


Warren - father, grandfather, entrepreneur, gold bug, dog lover, gardener, planter of trees, Standardbred horse enthusiast, political aficionado, monarchist, history buff, practical joker, world traveler - was born in Toronto to Thomas and Helen Armstrong. He attended North Toronto Collegiate before putting himself through Osgoode Law School by bagging groceries at the local market. Warren never lost touch with the value of a dollar, or an honest day’s work. 


After a stint in corporate law Warren moved to Ottawa to become the first secretary of the National Energy Board.   From there he joined Northgate Mines, embarking on a remarkable career in mining that included the founding of Quebec Sturgeon River and St. Andrew’s Goldfields. Warren’s oft repeated motto, “Sound Money Depends on Gold”, will not be forgotten.


Along with his successful business career, Warren had a passion and an acumen for politics, being a staunch conservative throughout his years. He leaves a legacy of dozens of hard fought provincial and federal campaigns through the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. Warren’s efforts were recognized by his arch liberal opponent, Senator Keith Davey, who wrote in his memoir that Warren “was the most effective constituency manager the Tories have.” 


During his stint in Ottawa in the early ‘60’s, Warren developed a lifelong passion for Standardbred horse racing and, with fellow enthusiasts Bob Fasken and Jim Baskin, built Rideau Carleton Raceway. Warren was an ardent supporter of Eastern Ontario horse racing and leaves a legacy of commitment and support to an industry that, at times, has struggled for survival. Rideau Carleton’s continuous weekly racing since 1962 is a testimony to Warren’s determination and contribution to a sport and community he cherished.


The Armstrong family is grateful for the many messages of support they have received from Warren’s multifaceted world: “Warren was larger than life in so many respects, both personally and professionally, and as a personality and a character. For these traits he will be missed by many.” “His views on things political were loud and clear—but his understanding of what any given outcome would be was so amazingly accurate. He was clever and knowledgeable and very, very sophisticated about the world in general. He was the most interesting person I have ever met. He leaves quite a void.” He does indeed. 


A most important thank you goes out to Orchard Walk in Ottawa, as well as the Ottawa Civic Hospital, and especially Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, for the compassionate care Warren received. Should you wish to remember Warren please consider a donation in his name to the Huntington Society of Canada or the Toronto Humane Society. A private family service was held, followed by interment at Mount Pleasant Cemetery. 


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