A native of Toronto, Zimmerman attended Ridley College from 1940-44 where he played on the first hockey and football teams. Following Ridley, he attended the Royal Canadian Naval College from 1944-46 where he rose in rank to Lieutenant and served for six years in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve. Zimmerman attended the University of Toronto from 1946-50, receiving a B.A with a major in Philosophy. He played football for the Varsity Blues and upon graduation turned down an invitation to try out for the Toronto Argos. He began his involvement with the business community first with Procter and Gamble Ltd. then Clarkson Gordon & Co. where he qualified as a C.A. In 1958, he began a 30-year career with Noranda Inc. beginning as Assistant Comptroller in 1961 to becoming President and CEO of Noranda Forest in 1982. He retired from Noranda Inc. in 1994. Zimmerman is the author of the book Who’s in Charge Here, Anyway?, reflections from a life in business. He has served on over 40 private and public sector boards throughout his career including Roy Thomson Hall, the University of Toronto, The Hospital for Sick Children and the World Wildlife Fund Canada. He was awarded the Distinguished Business Alumni Award from the University of Toronto and an LL.D. (Hon) from Royal Roads Military College. Zimmerman has a long history of connection and support of Ridley starting with his uncle, Adam Ballantyne ‘28 and his grandchildren, Lewis ’04, Julia ’06 and Tom ’12 Reis and Janet Zimmerman-Kim ’16.
Zimmerman died on October 19, 2016 in Toronto.