The Toronto Armenian community sadly lost one of its long-standing members on Feb. 2, 2023.
Hagop “Jack” Ashdjian was born in 1929 in Beirut, Lebanon, to genocide survivors Asadour Ashdjian and Takouhy (née Torahanian). He became an accomplished auto mechanic and served the Beirut Armenian community through the civil unrest of the late 1950s. In April 1961, with his sisters Haigouhie and Lucy, he landed at the Pier 21 immigration terminal in Halifax and settled in Toronto. He applied his entrepreneurial spirit to start a Texaco gas station at Pape and O’Connor Drive, where many carwash fundraisers were held for Toronto’s burgeoning Armenian community. From the earliest days of their establishment, he played an active part in the Toronto Armenian comedic theatre and dance groups.
In 1965, he married Mary (née Kavoukian) and established a loving family with daughters Nora and Maral, eventually being blessed with two grandchildren, Avrene and Thomas.
He passed away peacefully at the age of 94. All those who knew Jack will remember how he would light up the room with his jokes, smile, and passion for life.