SYME, Paul Denness


He is survived by Evelyne Syme (Nee Psenka), whom he married on September 12, 1959. Loving father David (Elizabeth Creith), Douglas (Debra), Daphne (Kevin Murphy) and Jennifer (Andrew Hallett). Proud grandpa of Bonnie Syme, James Syme, Nathan Hallet and Valerie Hallett.

Predeceased by his parents John and Charlotte Syme, and siblings Alberta Syme, Jack Syme (late Francoise), Mary Linholm (late Sven), Hugh (late Norma and the late Prim) and Barbara Langhorne (late Bill).

Paul will be missed and remembered by many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Paul Denness Syme was born and raised in Hamilton, the youngest of six children. He took his B.Sc. At the University of Toronto, and his M. Sc. at McMaster University. He then returned to Toronto to take his Ph.D. in the science of entomology. He described a new species of blackfly, which was named after him (Prosimulium mixtum syme).

He moved to Sault Ste Marie in 1961, immediately after completing his Ph. D., to work for the Forest Insect Laboratory. He spent ten summers at the field station in Elmira, Ontario, working on ways to control the European Pine Shoot Moth. Afterwards he was a senior identification officer with the Forest Insect Laboratory, identifying insects from all over the country.

In 1972 he attended a city trail meeting in Sault Ste Marie and had a vision of a hiking trail that would pick up from the top of the Bruce Trail and continue to Thunder Bay. This became the Voyageur Trail, which was built with teams of volunteers. Paul served as the president of the Voyageur Trail Association for ten years, and was involved for another ten years after stepping down. The work involved getting permission from sometimes reluctant landowners, arranging camping sites along the way, marking and clearing sections of trail. Sometimes finding a navigable path was difficult.

In 1984 he began to look into his family history and joined the genealogy club in Sault Ste Marie. He became the Cemetery Co-ordinator for the club, involved in mapping and recording local cemeteries. He wrote and self-published two books on his family history.

In 1990 Lieutenant Governor Lincoln Alexander awarded him the Corps d’Elite Ontario, an award created by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism and Recreation to recognize outstanding voluntary contributions in the development of tourism in the province.

A private family service will take place. Friends are invited to view the service online starting at 3 pm on Saturday, October 3, 2020 and can be viewed anytime up to 90 days. Go to and select Paul’s name to view the service.

Memorial contributions (payable by cheque or online) to Voyageur Trail Association, ARCH or Alzheimer Society would be greatly appreciated.

Arrangements entrusted to Arthur Funeral Home – Barton & Kiteley Chapel (492 Wellington St. E 705-759-2522). Please visit Arthur Funeral Home website obituaries to leave a message of condolence for the family.