William Ernest Goursky

August 4, 1939October 12, 2020

It is with profound sadness that we announce the peaceful yet unexpected passing of a special man, and deeply loving husband and father, at home in Brampton, Ontario, aged 81.

Bill is survived by Anne, his loving wife of 55 years, and sons Drew and Christopher. He is predeceased by parents Adam and Stella, and sister Olga. Bill will also be missed by niece Terri Gibner (Jim) and extended family, as well as Roy Garrad and a close group of longtime friends and colleagues. Born in Simcoe, and a southern Ontario resident throughout his life, Bill was a caring person with deep dedication to his family and community. Beginning in the 1960s in New Toronto, he worked with street youth, and transitioned into helping young people through the Etobicoke Board of Education. In the late 1970s, he and wife Anne established the Etobicoke After-Hours Referral Project, which uniquely diverted young offenders away from the criminal justice system, by providing counselling and supports. As the executive director of the Etobicoke Social Development Council in the early 1980s, through to the end of his career, Bill led community-based initiatives that improved conditions and lives for seniors, youth, and families. He was awarded the Canada 125 and Queen’s Golden Jubilee medals for his dedication, and service.

Even in retirement, he was a dogged champion for people’s rights and needs. A longtime resident of Brampton, Bill chaired the Region of Peel’s Accessibility Advisory Committee, volunteered for many years with Peel United Way, and most recently, co-chairing two committees in the William Osler Health System. He accomplished real change for those with disabilities and was looking forward to the day when Ontario would be completely barrier-free.

Bill’s affection for people also extended into his work as a wedding officiant and celebrant, where he was privileged to witness and guide couples through their vows with a sense of fun and joy.

As someone who helped others, Bill would have wanted to acknowledge those who helped him. Special thanks to Dr. Barbara Millar, Pushpal Dhanoa of Spectrum Health, and Mitchelle Gabon.

Bill’s empathy and passion, as well as his sense of humour and infectious laugh, made him an irreplaceable presence in the lives of those who knew or encountered him. He will be missed by all. Private funeral arrangements as per Bill’s wishes. A Celebration of Life will take place in the spring of 2021. In lieu of flowers, donations in Bill’s memory may be made to United Way Greater Toronto, or the William Osler Health System Foundation. Online condolences and information at


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


William Ernest Goursky

have a memory or condolence to add?

Sheikh Ahmad

October 20, 2020

With deeper sympathy of this loss and missing a Great Mentor for all of us.
Goursky, our Great Mentor! Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Keith Ward

October 20, 2020

I had the pleasure of working with (for?) Bill over a number of years while he chaired the Peel AAC. His compassion drove him to help with fierce energy. God help you if you could not align with his vision, but if you did, he'd find ways to compromise for progress. We got to know each other at a personal level, which persisted after I left Peel - a testament to his genuine warmth. Bill, you wanted - insisted - on making a difference, on making it easier for others, and you can rest easy knowing you have.

Arun & Sushma Sharma

October 19, 2020

Our memories of association as William Osler Hospital volunteers with Bill Goursky will never fade. He was a sincere friend who will be missed a lot. He was man of honour and dignity. May God rest his soul in peace.

Susan Sharma

October 19, 2020

My late husband Vijay and I worked with Bill on the Osler Patient and Family Experience Council. Bill was always there, contributing and sharing, always such a gentleman. I will miss his presence and wish his family love and strength as they go forward.
Susan Sharma and the late Vijay Sharma

Kirsten and Allan Skjodt

October 19, 2020

Heaven has received yet another Angel,
Uncle Bill we will miss you, miss your laughter and bantering, we will miss you a the great compassion person you were,
but most of all we will miss YOU!

You will always be in our hearts
Allan and Kirsten and family

Jyoti Purewal

October 19, 2020

I crossed paths with Bill at William Osler Health System as a member of the Accessibility Advisory Committee. As I joined, he took the time to help me gain a deeper understanding of not only the accessibility related concerns but also the profound power of our patients’ and families’ voice in how we can do better in the healthcare system.

Your passion for quality improvement and your sense of humor will be sincerely missed, Bill!

Sending my condolences to the family and friends.


Matthew Anderson

October 18, 2020

I am the former President and CEO at the William Osler Health System. Bill not only co-chaired working groups for us, he was a friend and mentor to me. Bill was so kind, patient, and thoughtful. Always there for me with advice, and often there with words of encouragement.

My life is richer having known Bill; and the community is stronger due to his caring and compassion.

My sincere condolences and wishes for strength and peace for Bill's family.

Matthew Anderson

Lisa Godfrey

October 16, 2020

I’m so sorry for your profound loss, but grateful for his deep presence in your lives. His humour and integrity, hard work, and tangible community improvements were to the benefit of all. Having recently learned of his appreciation for flashlights, I’ll hope that his memory will continue to be a beacon for you .

Gretchen O'Brien

October 16, 2020

The world was a better place when BILL was in it! As a former President of ESDC, I found Bill to be encouraging (never critical); gentle (never confrontational); nurturing (never put anyone down). He always gave me good solid advice and had a consistent, friendly nature.
Keep sending us positive thoughts, Bill, as we are left to fumble along our respective life paths.
Gretchen Greene O'Brien

All Seasons Weddings

October 16, 2020

Bill was a very kind a caring gentleman. He conducted weddings with All Seasons, and over the years married may happy couples. He will deeply missed.
Your All Seasons Family


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