James William “Jim” Shortt

Section 10, Lot 178
York Cemetery

James William “Jim” Shortt was born in Toronto, but grew up in Nobleton. At the age of 14 he started taking the bus to Toronto so that he could take art lessons. He spent 18 years as a freelance graphic designer, but devoted the last 22 years of his life to full-time oil painting. In some ways he resented having to sell his paintings, claiming that what people were buying was a part of their heritage, a record for the future, not merely an investment. Shortt also spent some time as an art teacher at the Guild Inn, and a lecturer at the Scarborough Art Guild. His works covered a wide variety of subjects including Ontario rivers, old barns and farmhouses, farmers’ daughters and the hippies who hung out in Yorkville. In much the same style of Group of Seven artist Tom Thomson, Shortt travelled a great deal, once estimating that he had travelled more than 320,000 kilometres to paint whatever looked interesting. His paintings hang in the boardrooms of many major companies, and have been reproduced on bank cheques and calendars. Jim Shortt died on January 1, 1989, he was 62 years old.