It is with deep sadness that we mourn the death of Restaurants Canada Past Chair and Honorary Fellow, Walter Oster, a dedicated pioneer and leader in the foodservice industry, who passed away on Monday, March 25.
Since 1973, Oster helped lead the way by actions and words, opening a number of establishments throughout the Toronto area, including Whaler’s Wharf, and being a voice of influence on the boards of the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario and Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
Walter spent 22 years as a board member of Restaurants Canada (formerly CRFA), and in 1990 as the Chair of the Board, and was instrumental in the purchase of our CRFA Spadina & Bloor office building. He has since been recognized as an Honorary Fellow for his outstanding contribution to the industry as a past-Director.
Throughout his career in foodservice and hospitality, Walter was also recognized and honoured with many accolades, including the Queen Elizabeth II Golden and Diamond Jubilee Medals. Most recently, in 2017, he received the Canadian Tourism Lifetime Achievement Award, which recognizes industry pioneers who have made significant contributions to the growth of tourism in Canada while demonstrating impeccable leadership, vision, values and business strategy.
“Walter was always a true gentleman who never lost sight of how blessed he was to have had such wonderful successes in the Hospitality Industry. It was a badge of honour to him.”
— Doug Stephen, President, WOW! Hospitality Concepts Inc.
“Walter was indeed a pillar in our industry, a man well recognized for his leadership and dedication, he will be missed.”
— Don Richardson, Honorary Fellow, Restaurants Canada
Walter played an important role in the history of Restaurants Canada and continued to be actively involved in our association and our industry up until his passing. He will always be remembered for his passionate dedication to the foodservice community.