July 16th, 2024

Lori Paris, much-loved Canadian Press newscaster and supervisor, dead at 46

By Lyndsay Armstrong, The Canadian Press on June 30, 2024.

Lori Paris, as shown in this photo, who became both a mainstay of the airwaves during her time as a Canadian Press broadcaster and a beloved newsroom leader, died on Saturday at the age of 46. Paris developed necrotic fasciitis after she fell while walking her dog this past week, her sister said. She died Saturday at the Toronto Western Hospital. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO

Lori Paris, who became both a mainstay of the airwaves during her decade as a Canadian Press broadcaster and a beloved newsroom leader, died suddenly over the weekend at the age of 46.

Paris developed necrotizing fasciitis after she fell while walking her much-loved dog this past week and died on Saturday morning at the Toronto Western Hospital, her sister said.

Word of her death sent shock waves through her workplace, where Paris was universally liked and had earned respect from fellow journalists drawn to her cheerful presence, sarcastic humour and rigorous work ethic.

The Canadian Press’s former director of broadcast news, who worked with Paris for a decade, said she will remember the broadcaster for her talent, adventurous spirit and warmth.

“She was an excellent broadcaster. She loved radio. She knew what made good radio and she liked to be part of creating that, that was her skill and her passion,” Rose Kingdon said Sunday in a phone interview.

“Lori was always up for an adventure “¦ nothing daunted her or intimidated her.”

Kingdon described Paris as having a “magnetic personality,” which helped her make friends with ease.

“Wherever she was, she drew people in because she was just so warm. People always wanted to be around her.”

Kingdon said Paris was meticulous in her work and her high standards meant she was often responsible for training new staff.

“If Lori was going to teach you something, she was going to teach you how to do it right,” she said.

A Facebook post from Beth Paris, which outlined her sister’s cause of death, said family and friends are struggling to come to terms with the sudden and devastating loss.

“She was a force,” she wrote.

Lori Paris was an intrepid traveller, visiting Belize, Guatemala and Malta in the last couple of years alone.

“I was in constant awe of how fearlessly and vigorously she travelled the world. She’d spend hours planning, plotting, fixing her layovers to absorb as much as she possibly could,” Beth Paris wrote.

Paul Tragni, Paris’s friend of about 15 years, said her frequent trips dovetailed with another of her passions: cooking. Wherever her travels took her, Tragni said Paris would always be sure to find a cooking class and bring home new culinary skills.

Making delicious food and sharing it with others was Paris’s way of showing love, Tragni said, adding she always had multiple incredible dishes ready to eat when friends came over.

“Food was our conversation, food was our love. Food was our passion. Food was her love language,” Tragni said in an interview Sunday, recalling the croquettes, empanadas, paella and other elaborate dishes she made.

“Lori was one-of-a-kind. Lori was one of those people that is irreplaceable,” he said, adding she was a trusted confidante to many and always made her friends feel loved.

Paris loved animals and leaves behind her beloved pets, two cats and a dog. She was particularly fond of Samoyeds – the big, fluffy white dogs that she had for most of her life. This past fall she brought home a mischievous Samoyed puppy named Sully.

Tragni said her love of animals extended beyond her pets, and she would go to great lengths to help injured birds or squirrels she encountered on her walks.

“She’d find a baby squirrel and take it to a sanctuary,” he said, adding she once took an hour-long taxi ride out of Toronto to bring an animal she had found to a rescue organization she knew would provide proper care. “She was an animal lover through and through.”

Paris first joined The Canadian Press in 2013 after years of working in radio newsrooms across Ottawa and Toronto. She quickly distinguished herself with her smooth on-air delivery and was instantly embraced by her colleagues.

In 2021 she became an after hours editor and newscaster, guiding the company’s overnight news coverage.

“During the (COVID-19) pandemic, she put her hand up for one of the most challenging and important shifts we have: overnights,” said Canadian Press editor-in-chief Andrea Baillie.

“It’s a difficult job, working essentially alone monitoring the whole country for breaking news. But Lori was rock-solid, a strong editor with impressive decision-making skills.”

Paris was part of team that was nominated for a National Newspaper Award in breaking news for coverage of last summer’s wildfires in British Columbia.

She was promoted to assistant audio editor at The Canadian Press just six months before her death.

Beth Paris advised those looking to mourn her sister to pay tribute by focusing on what brought Lori pleasure in life.

“May I be so bold as to suggest you make yourself a good meal, open a bottle of wine, hold your pets close, and book a trip you’ve always wanted to take,” she wrote. “Lori will be there with you.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 30, 2024.

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