Dr. James Harvey Arnott

06-Jul-1936 - 16-May-2020

Obituary Overview

James (Jim) Harvey Arnott, MD FRCP(C) Dr. Arnott


Jim Arnott passed away peacefully at Southlake Hospital on Saturday May 16 in his 84th year. Jim will be greatly missed by his loving wife of almost 60 years Joan, daughters Brenda (Tom) and Wendy, and his 7 grandchildren: Brenda’s children - Amy, Andrew and David; and Wendy’s children - Sean, Luke, Kyle and Kate.
Jim initially met the love of his life Joan (nee Hunter) at Muskoka Sands Inn near Gravenhurst where Joan was a “bun girl” in the dining room and Jim’s family had a cottage on the nearby beach. They met up again at Meds-Nursing dances at the St. George Street Drill Hall (Joan graduated University of Toronto Nursing Class of 1960). Jim and Joan were married September 2,1960 at Rosedale United Church with the reception in Joan’s parents’ backyard, and they honeymooned at Sherwood Inn in Muskoka before heading to the Arnott family cottage in Gravenhurst.
Jim graduated from the University of Toronto School of Medicine in 1961, standing 5th in his class to earn a spot in the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society and went on to do residencies in Internal Medicine at the Toronto General, St. Mike’s and Toronto Western Hospitals.
Jim was an accomplished and devoted physician specialized in Internal Medicine, Endocrinology and Nuclear Medicine. He began his practice in 1967 with the opening of the Centenary Hospital in Scarborough and retired in 2014 at the age of 78 after 47 years of helping countless patients. Jim was Chief of Medicine at the Centenary for 12 years and was instrumental in the expansion of the hospital, founding of an isotope lab, and establishment of a Coronary Care Unit. He was recognized as a top Endocrinologist in Ontario, highly respected for his astute diagnostic skills and the phenomenal quality of care he provided for patients.
When he wasn’t practicing medicine, Jim spent time seeing the world via cruise ships with Joan and their long-time friends. Most of all, he liked to spend his time at the year-round family cottage gardening, fishing, boating and enjoying time with family and friends. Jim loved the cottage, and over the years together with Joan they enabled so many special memories for family and friends, including meals full of bountiful garden produce. Jim loved watching his children and eventually his grandchildren enjoy the cottage and took great joy in seeing them learn to fish and waterski (and plant and pick vegetables!).
Jim’s family would like to thank friends, colleagues and family for their support. Thank you to Dr. John Moffat who has been a wonderful friend and colleague and who provided tremendous support to Jim’s family these last few weeks. A special thanks to Dr. Jim Swan for his collegiality/ friendship and generous sharing of his office space and phenomenal office team, which made it possible for Jim to continue to practice medicine into his 70s, and for his superb and devoted medical care, which made it possible for Jim to keep doing what he loved to do personally and professionally for as long as he did.
A celebration of Jim’s life will be held as soon as circumstances permit, and Jim’s family looks forward to reminiscing with all of you about the fond memories we all share. In the meantime, online condolences and memories can be shared with his family and friends through the Taylor Funeral Home website.
In lieu of flowers, donations to Diabetes Canada or a charity of your choice would be appreciated.

Condolences from family and friends

Posted by Theresa Gottschalk | 29-Jun-2020


In my 36 year career as a Registered Nurse at Centenary Hospital, I have many memories of Dr. Arnott. As a new RN in 1984, working on the CCU step down unit 9 West, I was given the "low down" on the specifics of how the various specialist like things done. ( Dr. Tepperman, Dr. Swan, Dr. Sanders, Dr. Berry ♥️, but most of all...Dr. Arnott). Always check everyone of his patients charts even if he didn't visit them that day...just in case!! Blood work, radiography test, etc where to be on the chart and ready for him. Never say to Dr. Arnott, "I don't know", because he entrusted his patients care when he was not in the hospital to the staff. He had high standards for his patients care. I wouldn't have expected less. Although his burrly, serious presence was very intimidating earlier on in my career, understanding his work ethic, his brilliance, and high standards of care for his patients/families soon enabled me to understand him more and not be intimidated by his knowledge and presence. To his beloved wife, my deepest condolences. To the rest of the Arnott family, hold the memories, the lessons he taught you close to your heart. Sending you all deepest sympathies.

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Posted by Susan O'Connor | 04-Jun-2020


Along with my condolences to friends and family, I wanted to share with you these memories of Dr. Arnott's patient care that stick with me, and which I have shared with others with appreciation and admiration. My mother, Audrey O’Connor, was a patient of Dr. Arnott’s for at least 30 years, starting some time in the 1970s. She always spoke highly of him, and although I only met him twice, I will always remember his kindness, and generous practical advice to me personally. Dr. Arnott and I first met when Mum was suddenly hospitalized in 1974 for colitis, just after I graduated from university in Ottawa, and was at home preparing to leave on an extended trip to Europe. When I tearfully explained to Dr. Arnott that I felt as the only child, I should stay in Toronto and scrap the long-planned trip, he counselled, “No. Get on that plane, come back in six months or whenever you are ready; I will take care of your mother.” I did and he did. Years later, when I was becoming more of a caregiver to both parents, who by now were living apart, I desperately needed someone to talk to about Mum, who I hated to admit, was on the cusp of dementia. That someone was Dr. Arnott. We met at his office, a quarter-century later and once again, his wisdom, empathy and genuine love for his patients and his work shone through, and I felt all the stronger Susan O’Connor June 4, 2020

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