Share a special moment from James's life.

Shared by Brad Gray on May 12, 2010

I didn't know Jim as long as most of you but we made an instant impression on each other. I had just moved back from Winnipeg to London in September past, to open the London office for All Canadian Courier and it was my 2nd day of training in Toronto. Everyone had been very nice and welcoming and then in walked Sunny Jim. He knew who I was and why I was there but he looked at me with that look he has that says "what the hell you doing here and you better be good".

He invited me for lunch and from that time on we became close. We shared the same Family values and the love of Family, laughter, fine wine, cognac, cigars and yes, Golf. Through Steely's help, Jim helped me purchase a brand new set of irons that I was so looking forward to breaking in with Jim as well as the cigars and cognac.

Jim loved life and we both looked at life through the same eyes. I miss my new Buddy.


Shared by Gabby Stiff on May 5, 2010

my sister steeley would take me to her dads house every once in awhile, and he was always very nice to me. every time i passed him he would say hi.he never was mean. I will always remember him as a great man


Taylor's Sweet Sixteen

Shared by Ravina Banwait on May 4, 2010


 I can remember the first time I met Mr.Barrett at Taylor's sixteenth Birthday party. I saw a tall man with bright blue eyes and I thought to myself, "Wow Taylor looks nothing like the guy" and I told her that too. But that was just superficial speculation; I learned that there were a great deal of similarities between the two-humour being the main attribute. You see, Taylor's party wasn't exactly your standard bowling birthday bash, no The Barrett's wanted something different-They wanted to group together six teenagers and send them on a epic adventure. This adventure consisted of numerous tasks, some of which I wondered about. For instance the very first task, inspired by the whole Niagara Falls trinket search, involved us purchasing the most useless item at the local Dollarama . So Mr.Barrett gave us all two bucks each to make such a mundane purchase, and he became very insistent on this one item, in particular, shaped as a lemon to encase a lemon in order to keep it fresh. I remember him mocking the product as if he were speaking to the actual inventor of it-repeatedly asking "Who needs that?!". Anyways, we were told that at the end of the party the winner of that task would be chosen through a voting system. And so with the first task aside, we ventured on to the other tasks such as an intense Dance Dance Revolution competition, an Icing "fill your own loot-bags" session and finally five pin bowling (which I dominated) Finally we headed off to Kelseys to settle the whole useless item dilemma. I was pretty sure I was going to win with my old school snap lids, but Taylor ended up taking the cake with her picture of Jesus Christ (don't worry the people surveyed, to pick out the most useless item of the bunch, were found at the bar) Upon hearing the results Mr.Barrett was surprised, only because he was disappointed that no one agreed with him in believing the lemon case was utterly pointless. At that point I realized how much Taylor and Mr.Barrett were alike-their humour was identical. Therefore, in a way I knew Mr.Barrett quite well through Taylor's resemblance of him.

  Mr.Barrett is one of the coolest Dads I have ever met. He was very open, generous and down-to-Earth, just like Taylor is now. I am grateful to have met Taylor and her family and may the spirit of James Barrett live on because he truly is forever missed.

Ravina Banwait


Shared by Colin McDougall on May 3, 2010

 In the 20 years I have known Jim we shared a lot of humour and a lot of conversation about our common interest in cars.  Back in 1995 I happened to have just bought a new sport-sedan and was meeting Jim for lunch.  Jim came out to the parking lot, took a walk around the car, looked at the tires and said "Nice buns Ned."  Buns?  In all my years as a motor-head I had never heard tires referred to as buns.  Typical of Jim to come up with something different and put a comical slant on things.

When MS forced me into early retirement in January 2000 my wife, Kathy, went to my office to pick up my personal items and was met at the door by Jim.  Jim wasn't smiling that day.  He asked Kathy "Will Ned be back?" as he helped her to the car with my things.  Always very concerned, Jim never forgot me.  Always a smile in his voice when he phoned and always a smile on his face when he came by.

Who's going to call me "Ned" now? I will remember JB fondly and often.


Shared by Anne Turnbull on May 3, 2010

Jim was a familiar face at Maritz....Many was the day I?would be going through the cafeteria for my morning coffee and see Jim there getting his coffee, no Beth in sight, and chatting to whoever happened to be around. And of course at every function Jim was definitely there and not shy about sharing his opinions!?Jim was so easy going and comfortable, that it was always a pleasure to see him and to spend time with him and so many at Maritz?knew and appreciated him.?There?have been times over the years?when I?have had to call Beth at home during the evening or on a weekend for a critical proposal or deliverable we were working on together, and Jim was always gracious when the occaisional Maritz commitment cut into their personal time. Over the past 10 years, the joy and closeness that Beth and Jim shared has been apparent to all who work with Beth - Jim, your Maritz friends will miss you!?

With love to Beth, Leandra, Lionel, Steeley, Taylor and Hunter,

Anne Turnbull


Shared by Lisa Beare on May 2, 2010

Jamie was pretty much stuck with me right from the get-go. Our Mothers are sisters...and very close. Both families grew up in Rexdale (used to be proud of that we call it 'Etobicoke'  :). We were 'thrown' together most weekends. For the 1st 10 years of my life, I thought  "Jamie&Johnnie&Larry&Lisa" was all one word. How many summers did we stuff a whole whack of kids in Morris's car to go to the CNE? How many Czech picnics? How many hockey arena's did I sit in cheering 'Jamie' on (while the rest of his friends cheered for 'Jim') I was proud of that disctinction. Jamie gave me my first job...Kingsway Courier...I was 14. Steeley was 'my' very 1st baby. When the time came, there was no other choice for me as to who would do my wedding toast. He was my friend, and I loved him. Period.

Beth, Steeley, Taylor, Hunter, Leandra and have my deepest condolenses. Stay strong, keep smiling. 

Shared by Mike Matheson on May 1, 2010

I think Jim and I proved once and for all that you don't need to have a lot in common with someone to become friends.

I hate golf.  Jim LOVED golf.  I don't drink.  Jim was connoisseur of fine adult beverages.  I can hardly boil water, while Jim was quite handy in the kitchen.  I collect watches and guitars.  Jim didn't have too much interest in either one.  I use rather low tech devices like pen and paper.  Jim had a Blackberry AND an iPhone.

We met in the stands watching our sons play on the same hockey team and became friends the same way we would have if we met in grade six ... we made each other laugh. 

I liked and admired Jim for many of his achievements, but ultimately, we got along because we "got" each other.  Example:  We stayed a few nights in Niagara Falls when my boy John and Jim's son Hunter were both playing in a tournament for the Stoney Creek Flyers.  Jim decided that it would be fun to go around to all the souvenir shops and have a contest to see who could find the tackiest Niagara Falls trinket for under two bucks.  At dinner we revealed our treasures.  I can't even remember if the food was any good because Beth, Sue (my wife) Taylor, Hunter, John and I were too busy laughing.  Sue won the contest with a NF logo ash tray/mini frying pan. I don't think I will ever go to the Falls again without thinking of that night!

Jim always created an impression on people -- that's something Beth and all the kids can always be proud of.  A good friend and a great guy ... he will be missed.

Mike Matheson and family


Shared by Karin Barker on April 30, 2010

It was not unusual for my doorbell to ring and for me to see Jim standing on the other side of the door......with one or both of my dogs in tow.  The dogs try very hard to escape and from time to time they succeed but, only for a few minutes until they run into Jim! 

So, it was strange one evening about three weeks ago when my doorbell rang at about 9pm.  I looked out to see Jim but both the dogs were in the house.  I went to the door, opened it and saw Jim standing there with four cucumbers.  I said Hi??...and he said "....well, I was at a cucumber farm today and they gave me a whole box of's just too much.....I have too many so here...." and with out stretched arms he handed me the cucumbers.  My response was not to thank Jim, not yet anyway, my response to Jim was " know, I've had a lot of strange things happen to me in my life but, this just might take the cake!"  We both laughed and then, finally, I thanked him.

A few days later I saw Jim again, returning my escaped dogs and I said "....what would I do without you?  My dogs and are the best neighbour......"

I am heart broken by Jim's passing and so sad for Beth, Steely, Taylor, Hunter, Leandra and Lionel.  May Jim's sense of humour and life loving spirit bring you peace and joy in the weeks, months and years to come.

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