March 17, 1945 – February 9, 2023


Whether you knew him as Ted, Teddy or Theodore, Ted Czarnota was the heart of Williams Shoe Store and a Queen West fixture who will be missed by many.

He was father to Kasia and Matthew (Heather) and grandfather to Ben, Adam and Claire.  Ted was a middle child, younger brother to Henry and big brother to Christine.  Above all, he was most certainly the devoted son of Maria and Bolesław who, rather than pursuing his own interests in pharmacy, nutrition and health, carried on the legacy of his parents and kept Williams Shoe Store open for an impressive 72 years.  He made it through the covid pandemic, without an online presence, his business surviving on word of mouth, knowledgeable service and repeat customers with very happy feet.  Maria and Bolesław opened the store in 1950, lived above the store and raised their children in the store, instilling in each of them a strong work ethic, a sense of pride and the importance of community.

Upon entering the store, you were guaranteed to be greeted with a cheerful, ‘Hello!’.  If you had wide feet or trouble finding shoes, you knew Williams Shoe Store at 750 Queen Street West.  His repeat, multi-generational customers came from all over Toronto, some from the States and Europe and even one from Australia.  His loyal customers were happy to see that the store remained open, year after year, unchanged and familiar in its iconic nostalgia.  He didn’t want to disappoint and had no plans to retire.

At 77 years old, he was still coming to the store nearly every day, working alongside Jerry, his dearest friend and employee of 20 years.  Jerry bought her first pair of winter boots from Williams Shoe Store when she arrived in Canada from China 30 years ago.  Ted wanted Jerry to keep Williams Shoe Store open and we’re thrilled that Jerry will continue the legacy.

The store was Ted’s passion and Queen West was his community.  Quick-witted yet patient, sarcastic but kind. A true gentleman, Ted was sharp, humble and wise.

Ted passed away after a private battle with cancer.  He was truly honoured to be part of this community.


The prayer service for Theodore will be held at 6:00pm on Sunday, February 12, 2023 at Cardinal Funeral Home-Bathurst Location



February 12, 2023
Cardinal Funeral Homes - Bathurst Chapel
03:00 PM - 08:00 PM

Prayers to take place at 6:00 p.m.


February 13, 2023
St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish
11:00 AM


Evergreen Crematorium


March 08, 2024
anne shlarp-mcarthur
Dear Christine and family, We were so incredibly saddened to hear of Ted's passing. I loved growing up on Bellwoods and shopping for shoes at your store. Ted was such a lovely person and I would always stop in and say hi, if I was in the neighbourhood. May Ted rest in peace and his beautiful memory live on in all of you. With deepest condolences...Hania(anne) Shlarp and Stephen McArthur
March 02, 2023
Richard Orlita
Our deepest sympathies to your family. My grandparents knew your family when the store opened on Queen St. W.
February 19, 2023
Sara Angelucci
I live in this neighbourhood and I pass William's Shoes almost everyday. I have bought shoes there, and sometimes just dropped into the store to say hello. Ted was the loveliest man. Just so warm and genuine. I will miss his smiling face as I pass - and the sense of community and steadfastness he offered in a quickly changing neighbourhood. William's is more than just shoes to us that live nearby - it represents community, and he was certainly the heart of it. I offer my sincerest condolences to his friends and family.
February 16, 2023
Becky Collins
So very sorry to hear of Ted's passing. He was always such a joy and light! I loved our chats and he will be deeply missed in the shoe business!
February 15, 2023
scott vera
Christine, I am so sorry for you loss. Ted was a wonderful person. We would talk about life and the shoe business. old time and new what happening on the street and town. he walked everywhere keeping eye on things to his family he was a great man i will miss him and so sorry for your loss. Jerry, hang in I know you he loved you like you were a sister
February 15, 2023
Janet Keene
Our hearts go out to Ted's family & one very special lady, Jerry! It was always such a fun pleasure working along with Ted for many years & he will be truly missed. Thank you for all the cherished memories Ted ! Love Janet, Alison & Family XO
February 15, 2023
Liz Rowe
I am so sorry to hear about the passing of Ted. Sending condolences to his family, Christine who came to visit some of the shoe shows and to Jerry. They were always welcoming when you when you went to visit at the store. Jerry he will continue to be with you at the store in spirit.
February 15, 2023
Suzie Daum
Sending my sincere condolences to the Czarnota family and Jerry. I always enjoyed our meetings at the store or at the shoe shows. May he rest in peace.
February 14, 2023
Bohdan Bodnaruk
Please accept my heartfelt condolences on Ted's passing. May his memory be a blessing
February 14, 2023
Mike Dingman
We just learned the news today about Ted from Jerry, and please accept our heartfelt condolences for this wonderful, kind man and great retailer. We enjoyed working with him over the years and Ted will be sorely missed. From Mike, Dave, Ruth and Kathy at Propét Footwear Canada Inc. - our thoughts and prayers are with the Czarnota family.
February 13, 2023
Jerry Chen
You are always my dearest friend and my best boss!! I will missed working with you! Rest in peace 🙏
February 12, 2023
Russell Herman
My sincerest condolences. Ted will be sorely missed. He was such a wonderful man and dear friend.
February 12, 2023
Elia Vieira
Our deepest sympathy to you and your family. From the Vieira family.
February 12, 2023
Lucy Michielli
My condolences to you and your family
February 12, 2023
Marilyn Gurevsky
It is with a heavy heart that I realize that is indeed a tragic loss for Ted's family, Jerry, myself and the neighborhood. As a walker when I pass William's I will pause and pay my respects each and every time. Ted will be sadly missed.