Bruce Reeve, 1957-2019

Bruce Reeve, former editor of Cycle Canada magazine, died Tuesday, aged 62. In a note, his wife Kim Dolan said, “It is with a very heavy heart that I tell you that Bruce died on Tuesday morning, June 4. It has been a year filled with sadness, fear, but also love.

It was a peaceful death at home and Oonagh, James and myself were at his side.”

Former Cycle Canada Editor John Cooper added:

“Some will know that last year Bruce received a diagnosis of metastatic esophageal cancer. Several colleagues learned this news in November at an informal gathering of Cycle Canada magazine alumni at a Danforth Avenue pub. We knew this was not good but few of us expected to hear of Bruce’s passing so soon. Personally, it comes with shock and a great sense of loss.

Bruce, second from left and looking dubious, at the pub last November with Mark Richardson, Costa Mouzouris and Steve Thornton.

“Bruce’s name first appeared on the masthead of Cycle Canada in the April 1982 issue, with the title of Managing Editor. Earlier I had placed an ad for an editorial assistant in the Toronto Star and, since Bruce was out of town at a Banff publishing workshop, a friend sent Bruce’s resumé as a job application. A perusal of his CV and follow-up interview revealed Bruce as the top candidate. So he proved to be.

“It was the start of a long and spectacularly productive relationship between Bruce and the community of motorcyclists across Canada. Perceptive readers responded as improvements to the magazine became evident and circulation built through the decade. In a reorganization in 1989, Bruce took over the role of editor and during the next 15 years guided Cycle Canada to great heights. Supported by a talented team in sales, circulation, editorial design and production, the magazine entered a golden era in which the quality of its content rivalled any others published worldwide.

“Bruce’s insight, discipline, work ethic and wry sense of humour propelled Cycle Canada and inspired the respect and support of the publishing team that surrounded him. It also attracted a loyal and growing readership who appreciated distinctive Canadian content.

“Not long after the parent company Turbopress Inc. was sold to new owners in 2004, Bruce embarked on a new career as a news editor at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. He thrived at the CBC and was taking on a new role as a photo editor when his illness became apparent.

“It was a privilege to work with Bruce and I salute his memory. The loss to the world of publishing and news media is profound but the loss to Kim and their son James and daughter Oonagh is immeasurable. I offer them my deepest condolences.”

Bruce Reeve.

25 thoughts on “Bruce Reeve, 1957-2019”

  1. I just found out about this today. I’m very saddened by the news, as I respected Bruce and his work at least as much as others who have posted here. My sincerest condolences to Bruce’s family.

  2. Damn, I just learned this sad news! Bruce gave me an internship in 1994, which launched a 25-year career in motojournalism. I was proud to have learned from a terrific journalist, not just a good motojournalist, which was highly beneficial to my career. Unfortunately, this level of journalism is vanishing in our contemporary environment. Bruce was an exemplar of the proper way to be a journalist and an editor, and I’m so grateful to have known him. Godspeed, Mr. Reeve!

  3. It sounds silly, but I kind of feel like I grew up with Bruce Reeve. He was the editor of my favourite motorcycle magazine when I was 16 and just getting into street bikes. He responded in the Reader’s Write section to the odd letter that I would send in, which to a 17 year old was a thrill. I met him at the Toronto Bike Show when I was 18 – Seemed like a nice humble guy.
    It was an honour to have him tell me how horrible my photos were for a story I submitted in 2001 and that because of it I would have to edit my story to fit onto the First Person page. He was right of course – they were bad photos.
    Although I didn’t really know him, the many years of reading the magazine that he put together makes me feel like I did. I think deep down I secretly hoped he would one day return to the magazine.

    My condolences to his family.

  4. I never met Bruce but always felt I knew him through his professional and compelling writing at CC. For me, Bruce’s opinion counted most of all moto-journalist. My sincere condolences to his family and friends.

  5. The Bruce Reeve Cycle Canada era was the best.
    I remember under his leadership CC bought scales to actually measure the bike weights, as most companies used bullshit dry weights which never added up to any sort of true weight.
    Also fuel injection was rapidly gaining traction and many bikes had terrible roll on throttle response. He would include throttle response as part of bike tests, which I never read about anywhere else.
    I had several bikes that were road tested in CC and it was the only magazine that discussed the various aspects of these bikes from a rider’s perspective with any degree of accuracy. CC was the only magazine I read to get an honest appraisal of a new motorcycle.
    His photo essay of the tragic ride when Piero Zambotti crashed was a deeply moving tribute to a passionate life.
    I never met Bruce but he was obviously a man of extreme integrity.
    My condolences to his family and friends.

  6. Sad news indeed. I believe the years he spent at the helm of Cycle Canada were the pinnacle of that publication. I think still have all my issues from that era.

  7. A “thinking man’s” journalist. When Bruce asked a question, I had to answer him carefully and completely while he scribed. Such a dry sense of humour too. Wish you good travels Bruce.

  8. Mark
    Thank you for covering this very sad news and the beautiful photo of Bruce to remember him by. It was a shock how quickly Bruce’s condition worsened. My heart breaks for his family. He was so proud and loving of them all and I want to wish them my deepest condolences. I wish there had more time for Bruce and his family together. Bruce was an incredible human and his was a life well lived. I will miss his writing and photography and his quiet cleverness and humour. I know many people will feel the loss Bruce deeply.

    I am glad I got the ball rolling on our last old Cycle Canada get together (and what I believe are all previous gatherings too) or I don’t think I may have learned of Bruce’s illness. I got the chance to see him once more in April for coffee on the Danforth and he still seemed so healthy to me. HIs passing doesn’t seem real. Another sad event for the old Cycle Canada team and the motorcycling community.
    Brenda

  9. I remember the magazine under his stewardship. Those were good years. I recall having supplied a couple of illustrations during his tenure. Good memories.

    My sincerest condolences to his family and friends.

  10. Great guy, gifted writer, and best magazine god ever. He loved the magazine but loved his family the most. Tragic loss.

  11. In my dealings with Bruce he often seemed humorless, but I think that was because he was striving for facts and not opinions. There’s no denying his abilities as a writer and editor.
    My deepest condolences to his family and close friends.

  12. Thoroughly enjoyed his thoughts and writing. He was the same age as me and if I can take a bit from his life it is to be grateful for just about everything!

  13. I am truly saddened to hear this terrible news. He was not only the editor during the very best years [and there were many] of Cycle Canada but he was the best writer too. I still re-read many of those old issues and especially focus on the Fall Tour issues. I am currently planning a trip using many of them as inspiration. They say you shouldn’t meet your hero’s but I had the privilege of talking with him at the Sportbike Rally in Parry Sound and he was a gem of a guy. Absolutely gutted

  14. I remember meeting with Bruce Reeve at what he described as Cycle Canada’s “Dickensian” digs in an old building at the foot of Parliament Street. A true gentleman.

  15. An exceptionally talented man who will be missed by those that knew him personally and those that new him through Cycle Canada .

  16. The best editor I ever met or worked with, and a terrific person too. He raised Cycle Canada to heights it has seldom reached since he left the magazine, and the world is poorer for his loss. It was an honour to write for him, and to know him.

  17. So very sorry to hear that Bruce has passed … he did a wonderful job with Cycle Canada and is sorely missed …

  18. I had the pleasure to meet Bruce many years ago at the Toronto Motorcycle Show. He was extremely talented and was much the reason for why I subscribed to the magazine for so many years.

    My sincerest condolences.

    Neil B.

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