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'This is where he was happiest': A final toast to the founder of Morty’s Pub

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It was a full house at Morty’s Pub Monday night, as family and friends raised a glass to celebrate the life of the late Morty Taylor.

“He would be so proud seeing everyone here today,” said Bill Dunn, his long-time friend.

Morty died last week at the age of 86. His family said he passed peacefully at a long-term care home in Waterloo.

Morty was born in Hamilton but came to Waterloo Region about 60 years ago.                

“He was a real entrepreneur, a self-made man,” his son Jay Taylor said.

After starting several businesses, he opened Morty’s Pub at the corner of University and King in 1981. It later moved down the street to where it is now. The restaurant remains a popular fixture in the community.

“I would say Morty’s Pub was like Morty’s second home,” said Lia Taylor, Jay’s wife. “This is where he was happiest.”

Morty also served as a Waterloo city councillor in the 1990s and early 2000s, where he met a lot of dignitaries along the way. His family said he was proud to serve his community.

When he retired you could still find him at the pub, often sitting at his favourite booth in the back.

“He would be reading the newspaper and would look up and be like: ‘Okay, someone's coming over. Let's have a chat,’” Lia said.

Jay and Lia Taylor at Morty's Pub on Nov. 27, 2023. (Heather Senoran/CTV Kitchener)

Morty was known to treat everyone like a friend whether it was a regular customer or a stranger.

The connections he made with people were evident by the big turnout at Monday’s celebration of life.

“Morty, you're a great guy. This one is on you,” said Dunn, raising a glass.

His son Jay has taken over the business and plans to keep it going for as long as he can.

“It’s in good hands,” Jay added.

Though Morty was a man of many hats, perhaps his most important role was as a loving father and grandfather.

“I’m going to miss his friendship. I'm going to miss his advice,” continued Jay.

Morty’s family said they’re grateful for all the support and kind wishes they’ve received through this difficult time.

While it is sad to say goodbye, the businessman, family man and friend to many won’t be forgotten anytime soon.

“I will always carry him with me inside my heart,” said Jay.

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