George Wilkes and Peter Aykroyd

Their activism lives on

Sandy Hill lost two former residents and community activists this summer. George Wilkes, Apr. 20, 1922—July 3, 2020 and Peter Aykroyd, Feb. 5, 1922—July 4, 2020 died a day apart both at the age of 98.

George Wilkes died July 3
The Ottawa Citizen

George and Peter were friends and neighbours on Daly Avenue in the Philomène Terrace heritage row built in 1874. In the 1960s, they were among the group reacting to development pressures in Sandy Hill by founding organizations which have had a lasting effect in the development of the community. In 1968 George was the founding President of Action Sandy Hill, which is still in action 52 years later. Peter was a key organizer of the Citizens’ Committee for Planning in Sandy Hill in 1973, which worked with City planners to develop the Sandy Hill Secondary Plan. This plan is still in force as part of Ottawa’s

Peter Aykroyd, left, with actor son Dan, announced donation to the University of Manitoba in Toronto at the launch of Aykroyd senior’s new book on ghosts.

Official Plan. Peter chaired the committee’s first few meetings. George went on to found the Sandy Hill Community Health Centre in the early ‘70s. The centre is still a huge actor in the Sandy Hill wellness field.

We owe a debt of gratitude to these two gentlemen whose activism has served us well through the years. Thank you, George and Peter.

—Jan Meldrum