Toronto fans mourn loss of comedian Robin Williams

Fans of Robin Williams were in shock Monday upon hearing of the actor's apparent suicide. His death was felt throughout the city and sent waves through social media.

Comedian's career brought him to Toronto on multiple occasions

Robin Williams remembered

9 years ago
Duration 2:51
Toronto comedy fans are mourning the loss of Robin Williams.

Many Torontonians are mourning the death of a man who often made them smile.

Legendary comedian Robin Williams was pronounced dead at his California home on Monday.

As news of his death spread, his fans and admirers in Canada's largest city found themselves shocked, saddened, but ultimately grateful for the laughter he brought to the world.

The message on the sign at the Royal Cinema on College Street said it all on Monday evening. (Norm Sousa/Twitter)

"Terribly saddened by the tragic loss of Robin Williams — a rare and inspired genius," Second City Toronto tweeted Monday night.

"I know he struggled with depression. He was just hilarious. Hands down one of the funniest actors," a fan told CBC News on her way into a Second City show in Toronto, upon hearing the news. 

His Toronto fans recalled many memorable encounters with Williams, whether seeing him on stage or on the street. And then there were those lucky ones who had the chance to interact with him.

Kim Lariviere had the chance to see Williams perform at the University of Toronto just a couple of years ago. The actor and comedian took questions and talked about overcoming fear.

"He was amazing," she told CBC News on Monday night.

Blogger Will Wong had a chance to pose for a photo with Robin Williams when the comedian was in the city in November of 2012. (

Robin Siegerman posted a message on Facebook about the time she had a chance to talk to the legendary comedian after he performed a live show in Toronto.

When it was revealed they shared the same name, Siegerman got to experience "five zany minutes" of Williams riffing on the fact they were both named after a bird and a superhero’s sidekick.

"I'm so sad," Siegerman wrote online. "Good night Robin. I hope your pain is finally silent."

The late Robin Williams cracked up the local media when he was in Toronto to promote a film back in 1999. (CBC)

A group of Second City students outside the Mercer Street theatre on Monday night all said they were shocked to hear about Williams's death, agreeing that he was an inspiration to them because of his intense energy.

The majority of fans entering the theatre, when asked how they will remember Williams the most, said with enthusiasm, "Mork and Mindy!"

Local fans were also sharing their admiration for Williams, their stories about him and their expressions of sadness online.

On mobile? See fan tweets here.

At least two of Williams's films had some production work in Toronto — Death to Smoochy and Man of the Year, the latter of which had at least one scene that was shot at the CBC building on Front Street. 
Williams shot a scene for his 2006 film Man of the Year at CBC in Toronto. (CBC)

Parts of Good Will Hunting, the movie for which Williams would win his only Oscar, were also shot in Toronto. Mary Kilmer tweeted a brief message about a friend who she said had worked for Williams when he was shooting the Academy Award-winning film in the city.

"He was completely lovely to her every day," she said.

Ontario Health Minister Eric Hoskins tweeted his memory of meeting Williams when his wife, Samantha Nutt, was pregnant and Canadian tennis star Eugenie Bouchard tweeted, "Mrs. Doubtfire was my childhood."

Some of Canada's most high-profile comedians also paid tribute to Williams on Monday.

"Very sad to hear the news about Robin Williams. Big loss for not just the entertainment world but for the whole world," tweeted comedian Russell Peters.

Dave Foley tweeted that Williams's death, from an apparent suicide, left him very sad.

"Met him several times over many years. He was always gracious and kind. So damn sad," Foley said.

Williams, 63, was pronounced dead at his San Francisco Bay Area home, according to the sheriff's office in Marin County, north of San Francisco. The sheriff's office said the preliminary investigation shows the cause of death to be a suicide due to asphyxia.

The Marin County coroner's office said Williams was last been seen alive at home at about 10 p.m. Sunday. An emergency call from his house in Tiburon was placed to the Sheriff's Department shortly before noon Monday.

With files from The Associated Press, The Canadian Press and the CBC's Charlsie Agro