Kingston advocate and philanthropist dies at 103


Philanthropist, lawyer and business leader, Arthur Britton Smith has died at the age of 103. The Kingston icon had success in the residential rental sector which allowed him to donate millions of dollars to local charities and educational institutions.

Smith died on Saturday, October 28th, 2023. He was an artillery officer with the Canadian Army in the Second World War, where he was awarded the Military Cross, then attended Osgoode Hall Law School, before dedicating his time and efforts towards the Kingston community. 

Smith leaves behind a legacy that has not only made a lasting impact on the Kingston community but also the United Way KFL&A. As a long-time supporter of United Way, he served as campaign chair in 1967 and then served as Board Chair and as a member on the Board of Directors for a number of years. The Board Chair of the United Way explains that he continued to give generously to United Way throughout the years and became the organization's Honourary Patron in 2001. In 2016, he made a gift of $1.2 million to support a home for homeless youth aged 16-19 years - the largest single gift to date to United Way KFL&A. 

Smith has received numerous accolades and awards for his philanthropic work over the years and always focused on supporting and giving to his community in any way he could. In 2020, as Mr. Smith celebrated his milestone 100th Birthday, a United Way volunteer asked him why he gives. To which he replied "Well, it's payback. The community has been good to me, so it's to even the tally. This is a great country and a great community. We're showing our appreciation and this is the easiest way to help the less fortunate members."

The United Way specifically, offers their deepest condolences to his family and loved ones. Board Chair, Antje McNeely says Kingston has lost a very special community member and you will be deeply missed. 

With files by CFRA's Connor Ray