David Smith

David Smith

Monday, January 23rd, 1933 - Friday, September 4th, 2020
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David Smith
January 23, 1933 - September 4, 2020

Beloved philanthropist and entrepreneur extraordinaire, David Smith, 87, passed away peacefully at his home in the presence of his beloved wife of 35 years, Darlene (nee McLaren).

Born in Ottawa to Russian immigrants, Louis and Annie Smith, Dave was predeceased by 11 siblings: Morris, Cecil, Fanny, Sol, Sam, Scotty, Nathan, Freda, Molly, Lily, and Jack. He is survived by his 99-year-old big brother, Hyman and sisters-in-law Isabel and Linda.

Predeceased by his first wife, Joan, he will be lovingly remembered by their daughter, Sharron Anne Burgess, and granddaughter, Kristy.

David took all that he learned from his parents - strong family values and a determined work ethic - and built a restaurant and catering business that stretched from Ottawa to California.

Equally important to Dave were his charitable pursuits. He helped to raise more than $150 million for dozens of organizations in Canada and around the world. The youth treatment centre that bears his name was the source of special pride and passion for more than a quarter century. To date, the Dave Smith Youth Treatment Centre has supported more than 17,000 youth and family members with life-saving addiction, mental health treatment and counselling services.

The family would like to express their sincere gratitude for the wonderful teams of medical professionals who cared for and comforted David through his final days.

There will be a private funeral. When larger gatherings are permitted, the family plans to host a proper public tribute to celebrate David's life and legacy.

As expressions of sympathy, donations to the David and Darlene Smith Foundation at the Ottawa Community Centre would be appreciated.

David Smith's Memorial Service - September 7th, 2020

David Smith honoured in the Ontario Legislature by MPP Fraser:

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Private Condolence

Ed Devenish

Posted at 08:02pm
Dear Dave,

I knew of you for many years. For some reason, you always kind of 'stuck in my head'. A few years ago, a family member 'graduated' from the Dave Smith Youth Treatment Centre. It was life changing, life saving. In this world, in out life, if we can 'make a difference' with one person, we've achieved our purpose. Dave, you made a difference for THOUSANDS. Thank you!

Norm MacDonald

Posted at 07:25pm
David Smith Condolences

Sherry and I are truly blessed to be included in David's charming and caring ways. David's caring and sharing personality loomed large over his many friends. He never hesitated to jump in when someone needed help or just assurance. David is one of a kind, and we will not forget his kindness and support.

Norm and Sherry MacDonald


Gregory Pilsworth

Posted at 07:36pm
My Dad worked with Dave on a charity event decades ago. He made a lasting impression. When I lived downtown I would meet Dave from time to time. He saw so many people that I always re-introduced myself. When I said my name he would light up. Dave had good things to say about my Dad. My Dad said much the same about Dave. Dave was a great man. My condolences.

Jim durrell

Posted at 05:09pm
On Friday ,September 4th , Ottawa lost one of city treasures . Daves desire to help others first was legendary , his passion for people in need exhausting and his love of Ottawa unlimited .
Darlene ,you were a great source of strength and comfort to Dave and we are all grateful for your love and caring .
Please accept our sincere sympathies .
Jim and ‘Sam’ Durrell

Marianne Wilkinson

Posted at 04:48pm
Dave Smith was a person who did so much for the community - for many organizations. When we needed to raise funds for the Kanata Food Cupboard he agreed to not only be roasted (that was fun) but he also provided the meal. The last time I saw him was at a fund raiser for his treatment facilities at a restaurant in Kanata Centrum. Despite failing health he was there, taking part and speaking with everyone. That was my last time speaking with him. I agreed to support his work so I will do so with a donation now in his memory to ensure that those treatment facilities continue to help the youth in our area. Dave we will all miss you but your legacy of your generosity and caring will live on in the ongoing work that you've started.

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