TORONTO — The restaurant and hospitality community lost one of its most passionate advocates with Monday’s passing of Walter Oster.
Beginning his career in the restaurant business in 1973, Oster was the man behind the successful Whaler’s Wharf and seven subsequent restaurants in the Toronto area, including Pier 4 Storehouse Restaurant. He later expanded into the hotel business with Toronto’s Hotel Admiral, which he sold in 1991 and now operates as the Radison Plaza Hotel Admiral.
Oster was the chairman of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre for nearly two decades. During his career, he also served as president of the Canadian Restaurant & Foodservices Association (now Restaurants Canada), chair of Tourism Toronto and as a board member for the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAC), Canadian Sportfishing Industry Association, Kids Healthlink Foundation and the Outdoor Caucus Association of Canada. Additionally, Oster was a member of Foodservice and Hospitality magazine’s Editorial Advisory Board.
Most recently, Oster was chairman & CEO of the Canadian National Sportsmen’s Shows.
Throughout his career, Oster was honoured with several accolades in recognition of his contribution to the industry, including the Canadian Tourism Awards’ Lifetime Achievement Award,Induction into the Canadian Association of Exhibition Managers Hall of Fame and Queen Elizabeth II, Golden- and Diamond-Jubilee Awards.