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Obituary: Dr. Howard Tile

On Friday, November 1, 2019, Dr. Howard Tile passed away following a valiant and stoic fight against myelofibrosis.

Dr. Tile was born in Toronto, in 1940.  He attended North Toronto Collegiate followed by the University of Toronto for pre-dentistry and dentistry, ultimately graduating in 1963.  Following graduation, Dr. Tile associated in general practice and taught first year gross anatomy.   Dr. Tile entered the orthodontic program at U of T, graduating as a proud member of the Class of 1967.

Ever the consummate teacher, Dr. Tile got his start in the undergraduate clinic at the University of Toronto from day one.  In 1969, he began his tenure teaching in the graduate clinic, a position that would last for the next 50 years.  Friday mornings in clinic with Dr. Tile was an institution.  No one who has had the privilege of being one of his students will ever forget sitting across the chair from Dr. Tile.     “You could to this…”, “Having said that…”and “All other things being equal….”  Even when a case was not progressing as predicted, Dr. Tile had a way of flattening the steepest of learning curves.   Having him as a teacher was special.  In addition to part-time teaching at the Faculty of Dentistry, University of Toronto, Dr. Tile owned and operated his private practice in Don Mills throughout his career. 

Not surprisingly, Dr. Tile was a family man to the core.  He and Cathy married in 1962 and they remained doting parents to Lianne and Michael and grandparents to Emma and her sister Samantha.   Dr. Tile was an avid skier and cyclist both of which centred around his beloved home on the shores of Georgian Bay near Thornbury.   Perpetually social, The Annual Howard Tile Ski Day for his orthodontic residents was held every February, followed by the Annual  Dim Sum Sailing Day in the summer with buddies Gordie, Richard, Ronnie, Gerry where it was Howard’s job to keep the crew entertained, fed and fully up to date.  Howard loved the world around him.  Along with Cathy, Howard kept busy travelling, reading good books and attending documentary film festivals. 

I know I am not alone when I say, personally, I will forever miss Howard’s warmth, his perpetual good mood and his ability to cut through the static to get to the heart of the matter.   Based on our countless hours of conversation, he left this world, I believe, a fulfilled man.   I can think of no better measure of success. 

The CAO extends its heartfelt condolences to the Tile family during this difficult time.