Peter Gzowski (known colloquially as Mr. Canada) was a Canadian broadcaster, writer and reporter, most famous for his work on the CBC radio show, Morningside. He wrote books, hosted television shows and worked at a number of newspapers and at Maclean's magazine. Peter was known for a friendly and warm interviewing style.
He attended the University of Toronto but never graduated; he was later awarded 11 honorary degrees. Midway through university, he took time off to work for the Timmins Daily Press. During his last year, 1956–57, at the U of T, he edited the student newspaper The Varsity. In the spring of 1957, he became city editor of the Moose Jaw Times-Herald. After a few months in Moose Jaw, he was hired by the Chatham Daily News. In September 1958, he joined the staff of Maclean's magazine. When he was 28 he became the youngest-ever managing editor of Maclean's. In the 1960s he moved to the Toronto Star and became the last editor of The Star Weekly magazine until it was sold in 1968.
His first regular radio show was Radio Free Friday, 1969-1970. In 1971 he became host of radio the CBC's This Country in the Morning. From 1976 to 1978 he hosted the television show 90 Minutes Live on CBC Television. In 1982 he returned to his former morning radio programme, which had by now been renamed Morningside, where he remained until 1997. He also narrated a few Heritage Minutes. He returned to Moose Jaw to host his last episode of Morningside from the Temple Gardens Mineral Spa Resort.
In 1986, Peter held the first fundraising golf tournament for literacy, a cause that was very important to him. That tournament has evolved and is now held in every province and territory of Canada and has raised more than $13-million for volunteer-based literacy programmes. He is the author of A Sense of Tradition: An Album of Ridley College Memories 1889-1989, written to celebrate the school’s centennial in 1989. He was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1986 and promoted to Companion of the Order of Canada in 1998. Peter died in Toronto on January 24, 2002.