Toller Shalitoe Montague Cranston
(April 20, 1949 – January 24, 2015)
Internationally acclaimed figure skater
Painter, Illustrator and Lithographer
Stage and Television Skating Choreographer
Member of the Order of Canada
Member of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame
Canadian and International Award Winner
Born in Hamilton, Ontario on April 20, 1949, Toller began figure skating at the age of seven. As an amateur and, later, a professional skater, Toller’s striking and innovative style captured the imagination of skating enthusiasts around the world. Often described as “the skater of the century”, Toller’s presence and impact have been compared to that of Nijinsky and Nureyev.
Concurrently, his temperament found another expression in painting, shaped by attendance at L’Ecole des Beaux Arts in Montreal from 1965 through 1967.
Toller retired from skating in 1997 and moved to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico to pursue painting full time.
His development as a painter led to numerous one-man exhibitions in Europe and North America, and inclusion of his work in many prestigious collections.
Toller’s extraordinary duality as athlete and artist prompted Harvard University, in 1986, and the University of Maine, in 1985, to include Toller as a Performer in Residence in various seminars exploring performance and art.
Figure Skating Milestones:
1976 – Bronze Medal, Olympic Games, Insbruck, Austria
1970-1976 – Six times Canadian Men’s Singles Champion
1972-1975 – Three times World Freeskating Champion
1973/1975 – Gold Medal, Skate Canada
1967 – Gold Medal, Canada Winter Games, Quebec City
1964 – Canadian Figure Skating Junior Champion