JACK DIAMOND AWARD RECIPIENT – 2020
Noah Cantor is one of the greatest examples of athletes who have succeeded on and off the field.
Over his 12 year professional career, Cantor won four Grey Cup Championships, including one in 2000 with the BC Lions, then parlayed what he had learned from sports into becoming a successful businessman, owning and operating a national restaurant chain, Vera's Burger Shack.
Born in Ottawa, Cantor learned the value of hard work, providing for his family and contributing to community at his family’s butcher shop, The Butchery, which continues to be run by his brother. Growing up he played multiple after-school sports at the local JCC before football became his chosen career path.
Playing at St Mary’s University from 1990-1994 he was an AUAA All-Star four times, twice-nominated as Canadian Defensive Lineman of the Year, named to the CIS All Canadian Team three times, and led Saint Mary’s as Team Captain for three seasons.
Cantor joined the Toronto Argonauts in 1995 and promptly won his first two Grey Cups in his first three seasons, playing alongside CFL legends Doug Flutie and Pinball Clemons.
In 1998, free agency brought him to Vancouver when he signed with the BC Lions. In 2000, he won his third Grey Cup, which also happened to be his best personal season statistically, then returned to Toronto for the last four years of his career, and fourth and final Grey Cup.
While with the Lions, he began laying the groundwork for his post-playing career, joining local businessman Gerald Tritt at Vera’s Burger Shack and growing it to 12 locations across BC, and one location in Ottawa under his brother’s watchful eye at the Butchery.
Among Cantor’s other accomplishments: being named to Vancouver Top Forty under 40; being inducted into the Ottawa JCC Hall of Fame, The Saint Mary’s University Hall of Fame, and The New York Suffolk JCC Hall of Fame; being named as a CFL All-Star; representing Canada to play Rugby twice at the Maccabi Games in Israel; as well as Vera’s being named Vancouver’s Best Burger many times from multiple publications under his leadership.
His proudest achievement, he says, is his coaching and community work with his family which includes being on the JCC Sports Dinner Committee, coaching Junior Girls Basketball at King David and Flag Football for the West Side Warriors. Noah currently resides in Vancouver with his wife Donna and their three beautiful children; Rachel, Maya and Wesley.
Please join us in congratulating him on being named recipient of the 2020 Jack Diamond Personality of the Year Award.