In memory of

Thomas More Robinson

November 4, 1936 -  April 29, 2023

Thomas More Robinson passed away on April 29, 2023, in Paris, France, at the age of 86, following an accident. Predeceased last year by his beloved wife, Erna Paris, he is survived by his stepchildren Michelle Paris and Roland Paris (Katie); grandchildren Julia, Simon and Jacqueline; brother Gerard Robinson in Newcastle, England; brother-in-law Peter Newman (Renée Bouthot) and sister-in-law Jill Solnicki; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Born in 1936 to Alban and Emily Robinson in Houghton-le-Spring, a mining town in northeast England, Tom was the second-youngest of eleven siblings, nine of whom predeceased him: Sydney, John, Terry, Francis, Winifred, George, Lester, Joseph, and Bernard. The family’s encyclopedia was his childhood window onto the wider world. He went on to study classics and philosophy at the Universities of Durham and Oxford, spending summers as a tour guide in Europe. His adventures continued when he moved to Canada in 1964 to teach first at the University of Calgary and then, four years later, at the University of Toronto, where he spent the rest of his academic career, ultimately as Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and Classics. He also held honorary doctorates in Humane Letters from the University of Athens and in Sacred Letters from Trinity College, University of Toronto. He authored nine books, including Plato’s Psychology, and was past president of both the International Plato Society and the Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy. He also received the Aristotle Award, bestowed by the Greek government on non-Greek nationals for significant contributions to the understanding of Greek thought and culture.

Tom was blessed with a brilliant, roving, creative mind and a boundless enthusiasm for art, architecture, astronomy, linguistics (he spoke nine languages) and history. He was fascinated by the natural world and could often be seen with binoculars in the early hours of the morning in Algonquin Park searching for his favourite warblers. He was enthusiastic about music and literature and became a published playwright in his later years. His passion for life ran deep.

Most of all, Tom was kind, generous, and loving. He will be deeply missed by his family, friends, and colleagues in Canada, Britain, and around the world.

His funeral will be held at Mount Pleasant Funeral Centre in Toronto on Sunday, May 7 at 10:30 a.m. Donations may be made to Plan International Canada.


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Jane Shurtz (My daughter’s (Katie Paris) father-in-law)

Entered May 4, 2023 from Sacramento, California

We were so sad to hear of Tom’s death and give his family our condolences.

Lara Solnicki (Niece)

Entered May 4, 2023 from Toronto, Ontario

Dearest Tom,

I never could have imagined when I caught a cold and cancelled our lunch April 18 that I lost a chance to say goodbye in person. In my mind, we are still planning to visit Erna's grave together in early June, once you return from Europe. Now it will be just me, visiting you both.

I owe much of my shaping as an adult to both you and Erna, which you know. It is your voice that I hear when I encounter obstacles, your voice cheering me on through successes, risks, as well as loss. I cherish all the time we spent just the three of us... the weeks in Algonquin, at your home. The robust feeling of loving and being loved by you.


Lilly Barnes (Friend)

Entered May 4, 2023 from Toronto

Tom was a rare and wonderful friend and will be sorely missed by all who knew him.
I believe that death is not the end so I'm sending love for your journey.

Sue hammond (Friend)

Entered May 5, 2023 from San Francisco

Ah, those Algonquin days. Miss all of you!

Morton Ritts (Long-time friend)

Entered May 6, 2023 from Toronto

It will be hard to live in this world without the friendship of Tom and Erna. Every occasion my late wife, Val Ross, and I spent in their company was special, and we always looked forward to being with them soon again.


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