Apotex founder Barry Sherman and his wife Honey found dead
Kayla Goodfield, CTV News Toronto
Published Friday, December 15, 2017 3:49PM EST
Last Updated Friday, December 15, 2017 10:47PM EST
Pharmaceutical giant Barry Sherman and his wife Honey Sherman were found dead in a home in Toronto’s York Mills neighbourhood on Friday afternoon, sources confirm.
Emergency crews responded to a 9-1-1 medical call at a house located at 50 Old Colony Road, which is in the area of Bayview Avenue and Highway 401.
Firefighters, officers and paramedics arrived on scene just before 12 p.m. and located two bodies inside.
Police have not identified the two deceased people but CP24 has confirmed with two sources the deceased are Bernard (Barry) and Honey Sherman.
Barry Sherman was the chairman of generic drug company Apotex Inc. He and his wife were well known Toronto philanthropists.
Canadian Business magazine recently listed Barry Sherman as the 15th richest person in Canada, with a net worth of $4.77 billion.
Ontario health minister Eric Hoskins tweeted on Friday that the couple had been found dead.
“Wonderful human beings, incredible philanthropists, great leaders in health care,” he said in the tweet. “A very, very, sad day. Barry, Honey, rest in peace.”
Hoskins later said the couple was “kind and compassionate” in a statement.
“I cannot begin to find the words to express my deep sorrow and profound sadness at the tragic loss of my dear friends, Barry and Honey Sherman,” he said. “Their leadership and investments in health care leave a legacy we are all better for.”
“They will be deeply missed, including by their Apotex family of more than 6,000 Canadian employees and their many friends and colleagues. Our thoughts and prayers are with their family, friends, colleagues, and their Apotex family. Barry and Honey, may you rest in peace.”
Officers said the two victims were pronounced dead at the scene.
Speaking to reporters in front of the home, Const. David Hopkinson said the victims’ deaths are being treated as suspicious at this time.
“The circumstances of their deaths appear suspicious and we are treating it that way,” he said. “Our investigators are inside (the home) investigating and taking apart the scene.”
“Until we know exactly how they died we treat it as suspicious and once a determination has been made with the pathologist and the coroner then we move forward from there.”
Officers added that the homicide unit is assisting in the investigation but are not leading it.
Neighbours told CP24 the Sherman’s were “the pride of the neighbourhood.”
“I feel awful,” neighbour Sarah Alva said. “They were both the most wonderful people we knew and our hearts goes out to their families.”
“They are the last people you would think something like this would happen to.”
Apotex issued a statement regarding the incident on Friday evening.
“All of us at Apotex are deeply shocked and saddened by this news and our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this time,” the statement said.
The couple was active members at Mount Sinai Hospital where they were donors.
In a statement, the hospital said they were “deeply saddened and shocked” to hear about their deaths.
“Barry and Honey Sherman’s commitment to community, unwavering philanthropic leadership and heartfelt commitment to making a difference in people’s lives was palpable in every interaction with them.”
“Their visible leadership in our hospital and foundation board of directors was infused with warmth, passion and a fierce intelligence. The impact of their generosity is felt in every area of the hospital.”
Mayor John Tory said on behalf of all Toronto residents, he is heartbroken to learn of this tragedy.
“I have had the privilege of knowing them both well for many years,” Tory said. “Barry and Honey were kind, good people who will be greatly missed. The philanthropic and economic contributions they have made to Toronto put them in a class of their own.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also expressed his condolences on Twitter.
“Sophie and I are saddened by news of the sudden passing of Barry and Honey Sherman,” he said in the tweet. “Our condolences to their family and friends and to everyone touch by their vision and spirit.”
There is no concern for public safety, Hopkinson said but he urged anyone with further information to call investigators.