All About Estates

Famous for Multiple Reasons

Some people are famous for more than one endeavour. For example, Clint Eastwood is famous for being an actor and the mayor of Carmel, California. Then there is Deion Sanders who played both professional baseball and professional football. On one occasion, Deion played a baseball game and then played a football game less than 24 hours later.

Now we can add a candidate to this list from the world of ‘Trusts & Philanthropy’: the Garron family.

1) In 2012, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in St.Michael Trust Corp. v. The Queen. The case was also known by a number of other names: Fundy Settlement v. Canada or the Garron case. Regardless of the name, the case was important because it clarified the principles to be applied to the residence of a Trust.

By way of background, Myron Garron and his business partner Andrew Dunnin, built a very successful auto parts business. They each undertook tax planning that included an Estate freeze with a trust structure. A couple of years after the structure was set-up, the business was sold and, a taxable transaction was triggered in the Trust. Ordinarily the tax implications and rates would be determined by rules of the jurisdiction in which the taxpayer, in this case the trust, was located. I won’t go into all the details as they have been covered earlier by previous blog colleagues. Suffice it to say the Trustees of the trust played a limited role and the residence of the trust was considered to take place where the “central management and control” occurred.

In the Trust industry the Garron case is somewhat famous for the residency principles that were established.

2) This past Wednesday, the Garrons were in the news again. The Toronto East General Hospital (“TEGH”) Foundation announced that they had received a truly spectacular gift from the Garron family in honour of their son Michael. The gift, $50 million, is the largest donation ever made to a Canadian community hospital.

Berna and Myron Garron have a history of philanthropic giving, donating millions of dollars to causes meaningful to their family; none more so than the current donation in memory of their son, Michael who was born at the TEGH in 1962. Michael was diagnosed with a rare soft tissue cancer at only 6 years of age. Before he died, Michael Garron’s mother promised the 13-year-old he would never be forgotten. Now the TEGH will be renamed after Michael.

By all accounts this makes the Garrons famous in our Trust & Philanthropy industry for multiple reasons.

Happy reading

About Paul Fensom
Scotiatrust offers a full range of estate, trust and philanthropic advisory services designed to meet a client’s personal objectives and designed to evolve across a variety of life stages and financial events. Email: