Iris Evelina Giggs (1929-2017) excelled as a ballet teacher in Toronto and Mississauga

I met Jonathan Giggs, son of Iris Evelina Giggs, at a recent Ward 6 Local History event, outlined at a previous post:

Highly valuable local history project has been initiated by Ward 6 Councillor Mark Grimes

Jonathan mentioned that his mother, who had a ballet school during the time the family lived at Humber Bay Shores in Etobicoke, had passed away in October 2017.

Iris Evelina Giggs (1929-2017)

From reading Jonathan Gigg’s Twitter messages, I’ve come across the following Toronto Star obituary for Iris Evelina Giggs:

GIGGS, Iris Evelina, A.R.A.D. April 25, 1929 – October 16, 2017 Iris Giggs died peacefully and without pain after a short illness at Etobicoke General William Osler Health System, surrounded by her four children Julian, Jonathan, Simon and Hilary. Predeceased by her husband Leslie Thomas (February 26, 1925 – July 29, 1994), she was born in Brixton, England and immigrated to Canada in 1957, settling in Humber Bay Etobicoke and eventually Lakeview/Port Credit, Mississauga.

A ballet teacher, mentor and friend to countless children, she taught for decades in Toronto at Mooredale House, Ursuline School, Havergal College, Branksome Hall and her own studios Academy of Ballet (Mount Pleasant/Eglinton) and at Rosedale Presbyterian Church. Best known in Mississauga for her studio in Port Credit (1959 to 2010).

A proud lifetime member of the Royal Academy of Dance. First recipient of the Mississauga Arts Council Award for Dance in 1994.

Thanks to the staff that cared for her in the last years of life at Woodbridge Vista. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Alzheimer Society of Toronto. Visitation on Friday, November 3, 2017 between 4 and 7 p.m. at Skinner and Middlebrook Funeral Home, 128 Lakeshore Road East, Mississauga. A Celebration of Life to be held at later date, time and location to be confirmed. More information:


Past Jane’s Walks in Lakeview and Port Credit

Jonathan is also active with local history events in Port Credit. I first met him, as I recall, when he took part in a Jane’s Walk led by Jim Tovey in Lakeview a few years ago. That would have been at a walk in 2015 or 2016:

Thanks from Jim Tovey for volunteers who made May 28, 2016 Small Arms Jane’s Walk a terrific event

Ward 1 Councillor Jim Tovey leads Jane’s Walk in Lakeview (Mississauga) at 12:00 noon on Sunday, May 3, 2015

I also met Jonathan at a great Jane’s Walk that I attended in Port Credit some time back:

Jane’s Walk, Sunday, May 28, 2017, 10:00 am – Port Credit and Jane Jacobs: past, present and future development

The current post will serve as a reminder, for me, to get around to posting material from the latter walk, in Port Credit, which I found of much interest!


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