CHAPMAN, Matthew James
March 18, 2024

On March 18, 2024, Matthew James Chapman passed away suddenly from heart failure at his home in Montreal, at the age of 40.

To honor Matthew’s life and legacy, two memorial events will be held. The first will be a visitation and celebration of life in Montreal on Friday, April 12th, followed by a memorial service in Toronto on Friday, April 19th.

In Montreal, the visitation will commence at 11:30am, followed by a celebration of life service at 12:30pm, both at Evangel Pentecostal Church, located at 1235 Rue Lambert-Closse, Montreal, Quebec H3H 1Z4. The link for the Livestream will be available on Friday April 12th: Here. Following the service, a reception will be held from 3:00pm to 5:00pm at La Nouvel Hotel, conveniently located a 10-minute walk away at 1740 René-Lévesque Blvd W, Montreal, Quebec H3H 1R3.

We kindly request that attendees consider using public transit, as parking in the area is limited.

In Toronto on Friday April 19th, the service will start at 5:30pm followed by a reception, both at OneChurch.to, 2885 Kennedy Rd, Toronto, ON M1V 1S8, which has ample parking. The link for the Livestream will be available on Friday April 19th: Here  

The Montreal church cannot accept flowers. In lieu please consider donating to one of the following:
The Chapman-Lemay family: https://www.gofundme.com/f/ehmyfz-matthew
Heart & Stroke Foundation: https://www.heartandstroke.ca/how-you-can-help/ways-to-give.

Matthew’s memory will be forever cherished, and his legacy will continue to inspire all who knew him.

Matthew was the beloved husband of Veronique Lemay and the loving father of his young daughters, Adeline and Flora Chapman-Lemay. Matthew also leaves behind his devoted parents, Rose and Lorne Chapman, his sister Jennifer Dickens Chapman, and her two children, Ava and Evan. He is also survived by numerous extended family members, colleagues, neighbors, and friends.

Matthew’s life was defined by kindness, curiosity, and purpose. Over four decades, he pursued a wide array of passions with dedication. From being a free spirit to excelling as a trampolinist, an entrepreneur, a versatile musician, and a dedicated educator, he embodied the essence of a dreamer. His dreams extended beyond himself as he tirelessly worked to protect the environment, envisioning a world free from greed and inequality.

His primary focus was on nurturing the planet, not only for its own sake but also for a future where marginalized communities would be uplifted.

Matthew was fortunate to grow up in a family that instilled values of personal responsibility, charitable giving, and respect for all individuals. His perspective was greatly enriched during his experiences living and working in diverse locations such as Zanzibar, Hong Kong, Egypt, and Colombia.

Matt was a dedicated advocate for climate action and sustainability. To honour him, please take a moment to read about his 3 largest projects:

Through his work at Climate Reality Canada, Matt equipped volunteers across the country to impact municipal policies in order to ensure a sustainable future for generations to come. He created the Community Climate Hubs program and the National Climate League, to engage communities in gathering sustainability data and presented it in an annual benchmarking publication that pushed communities to do better for the planet. His leadership drove meaningful progress in climate change advocacy and empowered individuals to make a difference.

You can find out more about this project here: https://www.climatereality.ca/ncl

Matt and Vero bought an island in the St. Lawrence, just East of Montreal. It was Matt’s passion project to make it a home for activists to gather, to host eco-retreats, and foster a model of participative democracy. The island would become a symbol of the transition towards carboneutrality in the spirit of an organized adventure. Long term, the idea was to give the land back to the indigenous peoples it belonged to, as a gift from citizens during the 400th anniversary of the city of Montreal (2042).


Matthew also founded the Montréal Climate Coalition, which aims to influence political and organizational leaders, institutions, and citizens to act in a concrete and bold way to get the City of Montreal to reach carbon neutrality by 2042, the 400th anniversary of the City of Montreal. Matthew had great unifying style of leadership and immeasurable generosity, which rallied people from different backgrounds to actively engage them in a just and equitable ecological transition for the Montreal community.
Read more here: https://coalitionclimatmtl.org/fr/a-propos/mission/
Please take a moment to sign the declaration here:
https://coalitionclimatmtl.org/en/sign-the-declaration/

Please consider leaving your memories and photos, or reposting them to this website, where we can keep them all in one place: https://everloved.com/life-of/matthew-chapman/memories/?flow=202

Voluntas Commemoration in care of arrangements. (Voluntas.ca)

11:30 Visitation followed by celebration of life 12:30

Evangel Pentecostal Church

1235 Rue Lambert-Closse, Montreal

April 12th 2024

Reception

La Nouvel Hotel

1740 René-Lévesque Blvd W, Montreal, Quebec H3H 1R3.

3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. April 12 2024

8 responses

  1. Suzanne Thorpe

    April 3, 2024 at 11:04 am

    I first met Matt in the late 1990, when we were living in Unionville. He became friends with our two children, Sare and Leslie Thorpe. I remember him at our children’s annual New Year’s Eve party, where he was always a welcomed guest. He always made sure to thank my husband and I for the gathering space we provided for our children and their friends. Matt was a person you liked instantly!!! He was talented, kind, funny and devoted to his friends. After reading about everything he accomplished during is too short life, I was amazed, but not surprised!! He was passionate about his beliefs and he will always be remembered for his kind and generous nature. My husband and I send our deepest and heartfelt condolences to his wife Veronique, his children and extended family. And to his friends, I’m sure you all feel saddened by his passing, but remember how lucky you were to count him as your friend.
    Repose on paix, Matt!!!

    Reply
  2. Stephen Shand

    April 3, 2024 at 4:18 pm

    Matthew Chapman was a childhood friend that I met at about 5 years old. We attended the same church One Church (which was known as Agincourt Pentocostal Church in those days). So many memories of Matthew whether I was me coming over to his house to play with our action figures or him coming to my 9th birthday party, Matthew always was high energy as was I and I’m going to miss him. Condolences to him and his entire family. I pray for your comfort at this time.

    Reply
  3. Maggie

    April 4, 2024 at 10:40 pm

    My condolences to veronique Lorne Rose Jen and their extended family it was a privileged being part of Matthew’s life from the age of two he was always full of energy he loved running back and forth outside or in the house i have never forgotten the incident of running full force into a lawn chair and getting hurt that was a painful day for the entire family including me. O Matthew upon hearing of your death i felt a deep pain you were only 4yrs old when I stopped working with you but thank God we attended the same church Matthew was always excited to see I’ll miss your brood smiles and tight hugs i won’t forget you Matthew your wife has the same name as my mother your children and my grand children are exactly the same age how can i forget you RIP Matthew

    Reply
    • Lorne

      April 11, 2024 at 2:44 pm

      Thank you Maggie. You were such an important part of his early life and it’s nice that he kept in touch through the years.

      Reply
  4. Kate Luthi

    April 6, 2024 at 8:14 am

    George and I were deeply saddened to hear that the light that was Matthew is no longer with us and relieved to know that he didn’t suffer. He was truly a mensch in every sense of the word – kind, generous, brilliant, thoughtful, funny, dedicated, hardworking and brimming with talent in many areas. When we first met through the Climate Reality Project and organized a Montreal march with a small group of friends ten years ago I was amazed at how Matthew took that experience and in the following years developed it into meaningful and actionable projects at the municipal and national levels. Thereafter we met sporadically at events and each time he was such a pleasure to talk to. The last time I saw him Adeline was a baby and it was lovely to see Matthew as a new father. My heart goes out to Véronique and the girls, his parents and all of his family and friends. Matthew was a shining beacon of love and inspiration to all who knew him and I feel sad but fortunate to have spent some time together with him. Rest in Peace Matthew.

    Reply
  5. Sarah Clark

    April 9, 2024 at 7:47 am

    I met Matt at teachers college in Ottawa. He was such a kind person and had such a passion for teaching. We did our first practicum placement at the same school. I am so sorry for your families lost.

    Reply
  6. Jeannette Papadakis (nee Czerniak)

    April 19, 2024 at 3:56 pm

    I am so saddened to hear of the passing of my old friend, Matt. I met Matt in high school and loved his charismatic, jovial spirit. He was a breath of fresh air. The World has lost a precious one. To Matt’s dear family whom I grew up just down the street from…I am so sorry. I can’t imagine how heavy your burden is right now. But I imagine Matt has provided you with the amount of pride of a thousand lifetimes of goodness. May God keep you close. God speed, Matt. Until we meet again.

    Reply
  7. Zahra Punja, Phd

    April 22, 2024 at 10:47 pm

    I met Matt at the Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat Building in Ottawa on January 30, 2009, when I had come to see the newly opened “architectural gem” in Ottawa. I was working at the Royal College of Physicians (RCPSC) at the time, and had come with my two friends Andrez & Danuta Fryc, longtime residents of Ottawa. And what a cool coincidence it was to meet Matt, the greeter there, and discover that he was from the same neighbourhood as I in Toronto.

    Matt was a Curriculum Development Consultant Intern for the Aga Khan Foundation Canada from October 2008-April 2009 at the Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat Building, greeting visitors to the new building on Sussex Drive.

    When I met him, I was both surprised and impressed by his openness and his interest in representing a cultural institution different than his own!

    Interestingly, despite us then leaving Ottawa on very different journeys in our lives, living in different countries and cities for most of those 15 years, we somehow were able to keep in touch.

    Matt’s life was interesting and richly colourful. He was a world trooper, working in some of the world’s most challenging and poverty-stricken environments.

    Matt chose to bravely and courageously undertake these challenges at the discouragement of many, by opening his mind, thinking out of the box, and being open and respectful to views and perspectives different than his own and in doing so, he very effectively and impactfully applied his knowledge for the benefit and advancement of humanity at large!

    From working as a Teacher/Educator in many different parts of the Muslim and Non-Muslim world, Matt proved time and time again, his commitment, respect and compassion for helping to uplift underprivileged children, families and communities in diverse emerging economies in the world!

    I was also very impressed by Matt’s advocacy of the misunderstood Muslim world and Islamic faith. For example, Matt was very resourceful at bringing his wife Vero “aboard his ship” to travel and teach in Egypt for two consecutive years! He had even convinced his parents to visit them in Cairo at the end of their work abroad! Principled-Matt had very effectively stood his ground on being an ambassador for Islam.

    He would call me during his visits to Toronto, and suggest we meet at the Aga Khan Museum. I recall on one of the many occasions there, he had invited all his Toronto friends to meet at the Aga Khan Museum, to again break down barriers and stereotypical misconceptions of Islam and Muslims. He shared his Aga Khan Museums Gift Shop gift (of a set of Persian rug coaster’s) I had given him with all his friends including me, so we all got a momentum of that special day together!

    Matt was deeply a feminist, who respected the diverse views of women, who embraced and encouraged women from all different faiths and cultural backgrounds to lead, and who made each feel important and empowered!

    Matt was very spiritual and inspired by his strong Christian upbringing and his worldly life experiences. Given how rare Matt’s traits, character and personal qualities were, I now strongly believe, he must have been a modern day Saint. He always extended his hand in friendship to all interfaith and pluralistic communities in Canada and abroad. In this sense, Matt embodied the ideal qualities of what it means to be a Canadian. He was very devoted to social justice and was a bridge-builder between the East and West. He was very active in his efforts to combat Islamophobia, by living by what he truly believed of a free and just society. He was a doer, not a talker. He lived by example.

    And outside my professional interactions with Matt, I considered Matt a cherished friend, and my spiritual brother. I feel his soul was pure and illuminated, and consider myself very lucky to have had him as a friend all these years.

    I don’t think Matt will ever be forgotten and believe his spirit will live on in every person who was touched by his kindness!

    Prayers always for the strength, courage and continued unity of Matt’s family, specifically his two daughters Adeline and Flora, his wife Vero, his sister Jen and his parents Rose and Lorne, who nurtured him throughout his life, and made him into the great person he was. Prayers always for Matt’s soul ~ May he rest in peace and eternity. Amen.

    Reply

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