The Canadian Toy Association

KIRKWOOD (KIRK) J. CLARKE

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Canadian Toy Industry Hall of Fame Inductees


KIRKWOOD (KIRK) J. CLARKE


Kirk Johnston Clarke was one of the industry’s most respected buyers whose reputation for honestly and integrity was recognized internationally. When he immigrated to Canada from Ireland in 1927 he took the first available job – as a janitor dumping garbage in the fire hold in downtown Toronto for the T. Eaton Company of Canada Ltd. He did not hold that position for long, but he did remain with the company for the next 40 years. Mr. Clarke found his niche in the toy department where he quickly distinguished himself as a buyer.


His name became synonymous with Eaton’s and he became known for his uncanny ability to accurately predict trends and spot the toys that would become classics. He took the lead in being one of the first in his field to travel to Europe and Asia in search of new products. Later, he was to serve as Toy Department Manager with Eaton’s until his retirement in September, 1972. He then joined Irwin Toy Ltd. as a consultant and continued contributing his expertise to the industry until his death in 1980.

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