Cover photo for Lee Jenkins's Obituary
Lee Jenkins Profile Photo

Lee Jenkins

March 28, 1948 — February 3, 2024

David "Lee" Jenkins passed away on February 3, 2024 at the age of 75.  Lee was born in Toronto, on March 28, 1948, to Australians Helen Nye and Harvey Jenkins.  They came to Toronto for Harvey to start a two year fellowship at the University of Toronto and settled down here. When Lee was fifteen, the family returned to Australia for a year. Lee stayed on, finishing school and then working with cattle and horses as a jackaroo.  At 21, he joined his family back in Canada and pursued a diploma in Journalism at Ryerson Polytechnical Institute.

Lee met the love of his life, Ewa Burghardt, who shared his passion for horses.  Together they developed the Equerry, and committed their lives to creating a wonderful riding establishment for children.  At that time, People Not Planes was fighting to stop the development of an international airport near their property on the Rouge River Valley.  He joined the cause and discovered his other passion, activism.

Tragedy befell the couple in their fifth year of marriage when Ewa was killed by a lightning strike while at a horse show in London, Ontario. Although Lee had to give up the life he had with Ewa, he went on to be very active working and volunteering with Greenpeace, Pollution Probe, The Salvation Army, A-Way Express and a number of other local businesses and charities.  He became a devoted volunteer with CARD (Community Association for Riders with Disabilities) for over 10 years, helping bring joy and empowerment to their lives.  With the constant support of both families, and despite the challenges of living with schizophrenia, Lee was able to demonstrate remarkable strength and courage.  He never allowed his illness to define him.  He approached life with a positive attitude and a wholesome determination to overcome obstacles, inspiring those around him with his resilience and warm-hearted wit.

Lee is survived by his sisters, Sarie and Jackie, brothers-in-law Jon Bankson, John Sowerby and Janusz Burghardt (Donna) and his cousin John Jenkins (Laura Selleck).  He is also grieved by his nephews, Leigh (Breanna Chen) and Robert (Lindsey Torbit), and nieces, Cassidy and Savannah (Ryan McKay), and their eight delightful children.  He will be fondly remembered and deeply missed by his family, friends, and all who had the pleasure of knowing him. His kindness, gentleness, generosity, unwavering loyalty and deep love of nature will continue to inspire others to live life with compassion, courage, and love.

An interment and celebration of Lee's life will be held at Sanctuary Park Cemetery on February 24th 2024 where he will be reunited with Ewa. 

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to CARD ( in Lee's honour.


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