Retired CBC radio news producer Michael Finlay dies after attack on Danforth Avenue

Toronto police have released this image of a man sought in connection with an attack on Danforth Avenue on the afternoon of Jan. 24. Retired CBC news producer Michael Finlay suffered serious injuries in the attack and later died of medical complications.

A retired CBC radio news producer has died from medical complications after he was attacked and pushed to the ground during a random assault that took place on Danforth Avenue.

In a story on its website today (Feb. 1), CBC Toronto said Michael Finlay’s family had informed them that he had died. He had been in and out of hospital since the attack on the afternoon of Tuesday, Jan. 24.

According to CBC Toronto, Finlay died on Jan. 31.

The attack took place along Danforth Avenue near Jones Avenue on Jan. 24.

According to the CBC Toronto report, Cathy Perry, CBC’s executive director of newsgathering and operations, said Finlay will be remembered as an exceptional storyteller, documentary maker and editor. Finlay retired from CBC in 2010 after working at the public broadcaster for 31 years.

“Perry said Finlay ‘travelled the world’ to produce radio documentaries for a number of programs, including Sunday Morning. He was later an editor for World At Six, where he was famous for his knowledge of the news,” said the CBC report.

According to a Toronto Star story on Feb. 1, Finlay suffered a collapsed lung and broken ribs in the attack.

“Finlay was rushed to a trauma centre at Michael Garron Hospital, where he stayed for two days before being discharged on Thursday. Finlay was later readmitted to the hospital after calling 911 for cardiac distress,” said the Star story.

“His condition just went off a cliff,” Malcolm Morrison, Finlay’s long-time friend, told the Star.

Toronto police issued a news release on Saturday, Jan. 28, with information regarding the attack on Finlay.

According to police, the attack took place at approximately 3:35 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 24, in the Danforth and Jones avenues area.

Police said a suspect was walking along Danforth Avenue and encountered another man (Finlay) and assaulted him. Finlay fell to the ground with serious injuries and the suspect fled, police said.

A photo of the male suspect has been released by police.

He is described as six-feet tall, in his 20s, with a slim build. He was last seen wearing a red paper mask with flames on it, a black sweater, and black pants.

It is not known at this time if the death will be investigated as a homicide.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-5500, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-8477 or online at

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