The brothers of Beta Theta Pi mourn the recent loss of member Hugo Chan, who fell to his death outside the fraternity house located at 131 Lowther Avenue around 3:00 am on Saturday December 14. Twenty-four-year-old Chan was returning to the house, where he had been living for over a year, when he realized he had misplaced his keys. He attempted to enter the house through a window located beside the fire escape; however, as a result of icy outdoor conditions, he slipped and fell from the third storey of the house. Toronto Police sergeant Rick Gibillini said that Chan was discovered with severe head injuries, and an ambulance arrived at the scene at 3:10 am. Chan was brought to a nearby hospital where he was later pronounced dead. Sergeant Gibillini added that “There is no reason to believe that foul play was a factor in this case as there is nothing suspicious that appears to have occurred.” Official police reports have categorized the event as “death by misadventure.” Chan was the former alumni relations chairman of the chapter for 2013 and had recently been voted in as vice president for 2014.
There was no event happening in the house on the night of December 13. Billy Baric, the chapter president for 2014, recalled that the house was quiet, and almost empty, due to exam season. Baric added that what happened was nothing more than an accident, and it did not violate any insurance or liability policies. Baric remembered Chan as a caring individual: “He made a difference only someone committed, dedicated, and driven by pure love towards his closest friends could provide.”
Along with being an active member of the Greek community, Chan was a manager at Boston Pizza, where he had worked since 2007. He graduated from George Brown College with a degree in culinary management in 2009, and was more recently studying hospitality and tourism management at Ryerson; he was expected to graduate in 2014. Although the fraternity is largely composed of members from U of T it allows 15 per cent of the undergraduate roster to come from Ryerson and also allows a small amount of college students. A Baric said that there will be another commemorative event held by the fraternity in January. A local fraternity members business recently established the Hugo Chan Memorial Scholarship which was recently set up by a local fraternity member’s business. Other ideas for commemorative events have been circulating, and members of the fraternity are working to agree on the most relevant and applicable way to honour Chan.