Development & Alumni Relations Office 


Dr Peter Ashby, MB BCh BAO (died 2 September 2021)

Obituary written by Peter’s wife, Moya


Peter Ashby was lost in a boating accident on 2 September 2021. Husband of Moya (née Adams) and father of Deb (Dave) and Mark (Ting), grandfather of Helen, Norah and May, brother of Michael.


Born in Bristol, England in 1937, Peter spent his early childhood in Sydney, Australia. When he was ten, the family returned to Britain, first to Manchester, then Belfast. He graduated from Queen's University Belfast School of Medicine in 1960. He and Moya married in 1967 and came to Canada shortly afterwards.


Peter practiced neurology at Toronto Western Hospital, where he was the Director of the EMG Laboratory for many years, and was Professor Emeritus at the University of Toronto (Department of Medicine). ln his 50-year career, he helped countless patients and trained generations of residents and medical students. He was also active in research, and advanced the understanding of the human motor system, with a particular interest in diseases of the nerves and muscles.


Peter maintained a lifelong passion for travel that delivered him and his family to many locations around the world: South and Central America, Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, and Europe, including Scandinavia and Soviet-era Russia to name a few.


These professional and personal journeys were meticulously documented in film and writing. In recent years, Peter developed an interest in digital painting and writing. His art reflected his love of the Toronto waterfront and the wildlife he encountered there. He often delighted his granddaughters with gifts of storybooks he had written and illustrated, that captured his keen awareness of their own interests and experiences. These stories were light-hearted and humorous, but also infused with important guiding messages that spoke to his own curiosity, humility and values.


Peter loved sailing and dedicated much of his life to this singular passion. He was a long-time member of Queen City Yacht Club and had over 50 years' experience sailing the waters around Toronto. His sailing resumé included many long-distance, single-handed races in the Great Lakes and extensive Atlantic and blue-water cruising. While his family comes to terms with his loss, we acknowledge that he died doing what he loved.


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