It’s fitting that U of T Mississauga’s Roy Ivor Hall residence, a place that provides a sanctuary for students when their day is done, is named after a man who provided a sanctuary of a different sort.
Roy Ivor, known as the Birdman of Mississauga, was a naturalist and lifelong bird lover. In 1928, at the age of 49, he decided to study and care for birds full time. He eventually opened the Windinglane Bird Sanctuary, where he cared for thousands of the feathered creatures for almost half a century. People from all over brought him injured, sick or wild birds. Ivor, who was an Order of Canada recipient, also wrote a book called I Live With Birds, and was one of the first people to warn of the detrimental effects of DDT on wildlife.
Ivor also couldn’t resist helping out with birds on the U of T Mississauga campus; he even helped raise and care for two owls in the North Building’s biology prep room. He died in 1979, just shy of his 100th birthday.
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2 Responses to “ Roy Ivor Hall ”
As a child growing up in Lorne Park (now part of Mississauga) in the 1960's, I visited Roy several times with my mother at his bird sanctuary. I remember him as a soft-spoken, kind man (he seemed very tall to me!) who welcomed us into his home, which I found to be a fascinating, magical place.
He eagerly showed us around and explained how he cared for the injured and sick birds. I have vivid memories of the recuperating raptors in the aviaries and the baby birds kept cozy and warm.
My family moved to Toronto in 1969 and I didn't visit the Windinglane bird sanctuary again. Roy kindly gave me a copy of his book on my last visit. I'm so happy to learn that his dedication and love for birds is recognized by the U of T Mississauga naming a residence after him.
He enriched my life and provided me with some cherished experiences.
Claire Olanow (nee Williams)
The Bird Man of Mississauga was my great uncle. I visited his sanctuary since I was very young, and have seen many different birds there, including eagles and owls, which he cared for. National Geographic published articles about his, and he was known worldwide for his work.