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Pharmaceutical, Real Estate Brokerage and Asset Management professional

Date and Place of Birth: 1946 in Vancouver, British Columbia

Date of Interview: June 5, 2017

Place of Interview: Toronto, Ontario

Interviewer: Sophia Isajiw

Length of Interview: 01:01:31 (raw)


Interviewer (I): Did you ever feel discriminated against, due to your ethnic background?

Daniel Huzyk (DH): Oh yes. I grew up in BRITISH Columbia [laughs].

I:  So, can you tell us about that?

DH: I can recall in Grade 1 or 2, and it wasn’t overt, but I could sense that some of us who had at least Eastern European or other backgrounds were not paid as much attention to, or perhaps not responded to by the teacher quite as – I don’t know if politely is the wrong word – but I just felt there wasn’t quite as much deference given to us as there were to those who may have been Smith, Jones or Bennet, or whatever.

And then later on, it wasn’t too bad later on, but I can recall episodes where, I’ll give you one instance, my sister was...We were all, by the way, very good students, I don’t want to say straight A students, but all of us excelled in school. That alone engendered some resentment amongst some of our playground peers, if you will. So there was an element of these kids of a different background being somehow perhaps smarter than the average bear and there were some people that didn’t like it, particularly other kids. I don’t know what their parents may have thought in the neighborhoods that we lived in. But another example is, I remember my sister in high school was given part of a privileged student duty to attend to the staff room, and one day she was in there doing whatever they were doing as students, and there was a meeting of teachers who were deliberating upon scholarship recipients to be given at the end of the year, and, my sister was I guess around the corner in the kitchen of the staff room, and she overheard the head of the English department saying, “Well it just wouldn’t do for somebody with that last name to get the English scholarship.” Which she, by the way, was in line for, she knew that. But whether it referred to her or not, we don’t know, but that aspect of consideration for reward was definitely in the system. Some teachers were antipathetic to some extent. It wasn’t really bad, it wasn’t anything you really couldn’t deal with it, but very often if they asked you something and you said “Ukrainian,” it was very common [they would say] ‘you know, that’s Russian isn’t it,’ or whatever, so you would have to be prepared for that discourse. 


• Daniel Huzyk’s wife Lydia Huzyk was interviewed by Sophia Isajiw on 5 June 2017 for the Oral History of Ukrainian Canada Project. File #442 (video)   

Daniel Huzyk, Maude MacKay & Co. real estate work profile

excerpt from the Interview with DANIEL MARSHALL HUZYK

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