Interview with John Edward De Toro

John Edward De Toro was born in Toronto in 1929. His grandparents come from the Italian region of Abruzzi. His father, John Michael De Toro came to Canada at the age of eight, and his mother, Mary De Toro was born in Canada. John Edward recounts his experiences growing up in Toronto, and the discrimination he faced by classmates at Fairbank Memorial Elementary School in the city. He explains that his father spoke with the school’s Principal, Mr. Wheeler, who kindly took measures to make sure the bullying and name calling ended. He also explains that his father faced discrimination in the workplace at Ontario Hydro, St. Catharines from his coworkers with whom he had to physically fight off and as a result, felt he had to leave his job and start his own company. The De Toro family business that started as a result was called Advance Paving Company Limited. John Edward has written three books: an autobiography and two novels – one of which is loosely based on a real event he heard about as a child where an Italian man has an affair with a Canadian soldier’s wife. John Edward also explains that he has some family connections to the establishment of Villa Colombo.