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Evelyn Hannon (BBHS ‘57)

Born: 1940, Montreal, Canada

Evelyn Hannon is the daughter of Bea and Hyman Hannon. As a child she lived on Park Avenue in Montreal around the corner from the St. Viateur Bagel Bakery and attended Fairmont and Edward Vll Public Schools. By the time she was in high school her family moved out of the BBHS school district, however she continued to attend BBHS and graduated in 1957. During her time at BBHS she was elected the Queen of Baron Byng, served as Vice President on the Students Council and represented BBHS on Eaton’s Junior Council.

After graduation Hannon attended MacDonald College in Ste-Anne de Bellevue where she received a Teaching Certificate. She taught primary grades for the Protestant School Board and went on to own and operate Camp Kennebec, a children’s summer camp. She was also the Director of an Older Adults Recreational Centre in Montreal and later established Sorties, a tour company for older adults.

Hannon is the mother of Erica Ehm and Leslie Ehm, and the grandmother of four. In 1982, Hannon returned to McGill to earn her BA. Additionally, she travelled to earn credits at the Sorbonne and at Oxford. She graduated at age 50, magna cum laude, with a major in Film and Communication. This led to work with the National Film Board and the film, ‘Half the Kingdom.’

In 1994, Hannon moved to Toronto and began a mini magazine called, Journeywoman. Her mandate was to inspire women to travel safely and well. In 1997, as an early internet adopter, she went online with and became the first North American woman to begin advocating on behalf of solo women travelers and women travelers, in general. Today her website is the longest running and largest female-centered online site for female travelers. She is known in the industry worldwide as ‘the Grandmother of Women’s Travel’ and though well into her seventies continues to mentor younger bloggers starting out in the business. In 2001, TIME magazine named Hannon ‘one of 100 innovative thinkers of this new century for the work she has done on behalf of women travelers.’  In 2009, she was given the Griffin Award, ‘for her contribution to Canadian society through the craft of writing.’ 

Known for her zest for life, Hannon celebrated her 75th year as a yellow-wigged clown leading Toronto’s Santa Claus Parade. In addition to her work as a travel writer, she is a public speaker, and at the website she pens an online column appropriately called, ‘Aging Disgracefully.’