Former CBC radio host Bruce Smith dies

CBC Toronto radio legend Bruce Smith, whose deep voice was heard on the city's airwaves for more than 30 years, has died.

CBC Toronto radio legend Bruce Smith, whose deep voicewas heardon thecity's airwaves for more than 30 years, has died.

Smith, who became host of the local morning show Toast and Jamboree in 1947, died on Boxing Day. Hehad been diagnosed with cancer. He was 87.

CBC Radio's veteran traffic reporter Jim Curran worked with Smith and remembers him fondly as a gentleman who helped guide many who came to work atthe CBC, including Curran himself.

"He was so professional, such a classy guy," said Curran, who met Smith on his first day at the station in the 1970s. "He was a mentor for so many people that worked at the CBC."

Jeopardy! quiz game show host Alex Trebek was among those who benefited from Smith's guidance. When Trebek came to the CBC in the early 1960s to work as an announcer, it was Smith who "showed him the ropes," Curran said.

Smith was also a "great friend" of Canadian country music performer TommyHunter and served as his announcer during the early years of his CBC radio show, Curran said.

Curran recalled how, as a recent university grad in the early 1970s, he was invited by Smith to visit the CBC building. The two had spoken on the phone, but never met in person until the day of his visit.

"I walked into the building. There was a very distinguished man standing there," Curran said. "He looked down and said, 'Jimmy, welcome!' And that warmth was there, as it always had been."

Smith hosted the radio program in the morning timeslot until the creation of the current program Metro Morning in 1972. He then went on to hostThe Bruce Smith Show in the afternoons until he retired in 1978.

A memorial service will be held in Burlington next week.