Joseph John Barnicke was the founder of J.J. Barnicke Limited, which became Canada’s largest independently owned, full-service commercial real estate services company. He died on May 19, 2015 in his 93rd year.

Born in Cudworth, Sask. and raised in Oakville, Ont., Mr. Barnicke was an RCAF flying instructor stationed at Centralia, Camp Borden, Trenton and Kingston during the Second World War. He worked as a regional sales manager for O’Keefe Brewing Company before launching his real estate career in 1957 when he joined Gibson Brothers.

In 1959 he founded J.J. Barnicke Limited. By the time the company was sold to DTZ Holdings in 2007, J.J. Barnicke had 17 owned and affiliate offices across Canada with 450 employees, including more than 300 real estate professionals. It provided a range of commercial real estate brokerage services and value-added business advice in commercial real estate to international corporations, institutions and portfolio owners across Canada.

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Mr. Barnicke was well-known for philanthropic activities, having served successively as Toronto, Ontario and Canadian campaign chairs for the Canadian Cancer Society. He later donated a wing at St. Joseph’s Health Centre in Toronto in his wife’s name. He was also the prime donor for the Justine M. Barnicke Gallery at Hart House at the University of Toronto. He was a director of the Canadian Council of Christians and Jews and Chairman of St. Joseph’s Health Centre Foundation. In recognition of his contributions of time and lead funding, the University of St. Michael’s College dedicated the Joseph and Justina Barnicke Catholic Chaplaincy at St. Michael’s. He was also one of the lead organizers of Pope John Paul II’s 1984 visit to Toronto. In the Archdiocese of Toronto, he was the founder and, until last year, the main organizer of the annual Cardinal’s Dinner for Catholic Charities and served on the Archdiocesan Finance Council for many years.

In 1989, Mr. Barnicke was invested as a Member of the Order of Canada. He was also awarded Member of the Order of Ontario; Knight Grand Cross with Star of the Order of St. Gregory the Great; Degrees of Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) from the University of Toronto and Assumption University, Doctor of Sacred Letters (honoris causa) from the University of St. Michael’s College; the Award of Merit from the City of Toronto; and the Human Relations Award from the Canadian Council of Christians and Jews.

He was predeceased by his wife Justina (nee Carroll), his daughter Justina Anne Barnicke, his brothers Nick, John, Bill, Steve and Peter, and sisters Kay and Mary. He is survived by four children, Peter (Vicki), Paul (Jeanine), Carroll (Richard Armstrong) and Andrew; grandchildren Michael (Kristen), Libby (Patrick), Tori, JJ, Derek, Edward, Madelaine, Annabel, Jack, Justina, Carter and Stuart; and great-grandchildren; Georgia, Alexandra, Adelaide and Taylor.

In memory of Mr. Barnicke, the family says donations may be made to the Jesuits in English Canada at 43 Queen’s Park Crescent East, Toronto M5S 2C3, or online via their website.

Condolences and memories may be forwarded through Humphrey Funeral Home in Toronto.


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