New Pathway – Ukrainian News.
James Cardinal retired at the end of September after managing Toronto-based Cardinal Funeral Homes for the last 35 years. This news NP-UN found out from Cardinal Funeral Homes current president, Jimmy Cardinal. Jimmy Cardinal and his younger brother Andrew (just a year younger) have been with the family firm since high school. Andrew is currently Director of Operations.
The two brothers differ not only in their functions at the Cardinal Funeral Homes. Jimmy Cardinal studied economics at the McGill University in Montreal, while Andrew took acting at Dalhousie University in Halifax. “The two personalities are very different, but they balance each other out well,” explained Jimmy Cardinal.
Despite character differences, the brothers have found similarity in their careers – at some point they both decided to follow their great-grandfather’s, grandfather’s and father’s footsteps. The 95-year-old business is now under a young and able management. “We still have all the records back to 1920s, we can see all the funerals that we’ve done, I can see my great-grandfather’s handwriting. It’s nice knowing that I am able to continue on with the family legacy,” said Jimmy Cardinal.
Cardinal’s bereavement program is what distinguishes them from others, he added. Cardinal is unique in offering its bereavement counsellor’s services free of charge, for one-on-one and group sessions, available for as long as needed, from short periods of time to several years.
Cardinal Funeral Homes have also long been known for their involvement in the Ukrainian and wider community. The Cardinals have been annual donors for the Ukrainian Canadian Care Centre on Richview Road in Toronto since 2008. For the last couple of years, Cardinal Funeral Homes have been supporting the Cardinal Matching Gift Challenge. For every dollar that others donate to the Ukrainian Canadian Care Centre as part of the Matching Gift Challenge, the Cardinal family match it dollar for dollar. In 2019, Cardinal was proud to be able to donate $45,000 to the Centre. The challenge has encouraged over $86,500 in donations to be made this year.
Among the many other organizations that the Homes have supported over the years are Ukrainian Canadian Congress, most Ukrainian churches in the city, Knights of Columbus Sheptytsky Council, various Ukrainian dance companies, Bloor St. Ukrainian Festival, USC Karpaty (youth soccer team), Vyshyvanka Day and Ukrainian Youth Association.
2020 is Cardinal Funeral Homes 95th anniversary. “We are still here, thriving and serving people and we look forward to our 100th anniversary, which will be here sooner than we know,” said Jimmy Cardinal.