Long-time donor honours late mother with memorial plaque

Eighty-year-old Evan Ernest Bernacchia-Canton is one of UHN Foundation’s longest giving donors. He made his first donation more than 30 years ago in 1986 – the year the Foundation opened – and has continued giving every year since. He says Toronto General Hospital (TGH) provides excellent care and deserves his donations.

Evan retired from Imperial Oil in 1991, and, a baritone, spends his free time singing in church choirs. He is a generous man who feels that any hospital that has provided care to himself or his family members deserves his contributions, routinely donating to other Toronto hospitals as well.

“Any hospital that shows us care, well, they are worth it,” says Evan.

Over the years he has been a patient of TGH twice, for two separate surgical procedures. He was very appreciative of the care he received in both instances, but ultimately, he keeps giving in honour of his mother, Ottavia Canton, who was treated at TGH for colon cancer before passing away in 1987.

“My mother was an angel. The staff treated her so well; they were just amazing,” says Evan.

Recently, Evan learned of the opportunity to create a lasting tribute on the Commemorative Wall at TGH, through a contribution towards the highest priority needs at Toronto General, Toronto Rehab, and Toronto Western hospitals. He knew it would be the perfect way to pay tribute to his mother. The plaque’s personalized inscription reads:

In memory of

Ottavia (Bernacchia) Canton, 1907-1987

Your loving son forever, Evan


Evan wanted to honour his mother’s memory while also helping the hospital that showed her such compassion and kindness during her last year.

When asked why he feels so compelled to contribute to the hospitals that have cared for him and his family, Evan answered “it’s something I felt inside. When we’re doing good for each other, regardless of whether it’s as a profession or something you desire, it helps you emotionally.”

Evan’s ongoing generosity is greatly appreciated, and his efforts over the last 33 years have made a difference in the lives of many.

Our commemorative walls are a timeless way to remember and honour loved ones or celebrate important milestones and events, all while transforming health care for generations to come. By purchasing a plaque and creating an inscription on our Commemorative Wall, you will have the opportunity to honour your loved one’s journey for a lifetime, whether that journey is within or beyond our walls.

Find out more about placing a plaque on our Commemorative Wall here, or contact:

UHN Foundation
Leadership Giving Team

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