Canadian pharmaceutical giant Apotex has confirmed its founder Barry Sherman and his wife, Honey Sherman, are dead, amid reports that two bodies were found in their Toronto home.
“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 company said in a statement late Friday afternoon, adding that the deaths were “unexpected.”
Emergency crews were called to the home at 50 Old Colony Rd. in the Bayview Avenue and Highway 401 area around 11:45 a.m. ET for a medical emergency.
That’s where Toronto police say a male and a female were pronounced dead on scene.
Deaths deemed ‘suspicious’
Police have not yet confirmed the victims’ identities, nor where in the home they were found. They would also not say if there were any signs of forced entry to the home or of trauma to the bodies.
Speaking to reporters Friday evening, Det. Brandon Price said the deaths are “suspicious” but are not yet being treated as homicides.
That’s because, Price said, investigators are still trying to “determine if there is foul play involved or not. And at this point we cannot say 100 per cent with certainty if there is or there is not.”
“We’re going to know a lot more tomorrow,” he said, adding that results from post-mortem examinations have yet to be received.
Hopkinson would not say who found the bodies, but CBC Toronto has confirmed with a police source that they were found by a non-family member.
But word of the deaths prompted an outpouring of grief for the pair, who were also active philanthropists.
In a statement, Mount Sinai Hospital board chair Brent Belzberg said the hospital community was shocked at the loss.
“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 on our hospital and foundation board of directors was infused with warmth, passion and a fierce intelligence,” the statement said.
“The impact of their generosity is felt in every area of the hospital.”
Mayor John Tory echoed that statement, saying that on behalf of Toronto residents, he expressed his deepest condolences to the Sherman family.
“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.”
“I am beyond words right now,” Ontario Health Minister Dr. Eric Hoskins wrote on Twitter, calling the Shermans “wonderful human beings” and “great leaders in health care.”
I am beyond words right now. My dear friends Barry and Honey Sherman have been found dead. Wonderful human beings, incredible philanthropists, great leaders in health care. A very, very sad day. Barry, Honey, rest in peace.
Similar sentiments followed from former premier Bob Rae, Minister of Economic Development and Growth Brad Duguid and Sen. Linda Frum.
Deeply shocked to learn of the deaths of Honey and Barry Sherman, such remarkable people. Grappling with this terrible news.
Deeply shocked & saddened to hear of the deaths of Barry & Honey Sherman. Philanthropists and entrepreneurs who made our province a better place to live.
Two weeks ago it gave me immense joy to present a Senate medal to one of the kindest and most beloved members of Canada’s Jewish community. Today I am gutted by the loss of Honey and Barry Sherman. Our community is steeped in grief. I am heartbroken. pic.twitter.com/B8VANUiNbW
The North York home, registered to both Shermans, was recently put on the market for approximately $7 million.
Sherman founded Apotex in 1974. The company produces and exports generic drugs to more than 115 countries worldwide, according to its website.