Sonja Bata died 20. 2. 2018.

Educated in Zurich, Switzerland.

Studied architecture at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich.

Married Thomas J. Bata, C.C., shoe manufacturer – 1 son (Thomas George), 3 daughters (Monica, Christine, Rosemarie).



Appointed Officer of the Order of Canada, June 1983.

Hon. Captain (N), 1989.

Hon. Doctor of Laws, Saint Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, NS, 2002.

Hon. Doctor of Laws, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, 1999.

Hon. Doctor of Laws, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, 1994

Hon. Doctor of Laws, York University, Toronto, Ontario, 1992.

Hon. Doctor of Humane Letters, Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax, NS, 1989.

Hon. Doctor of Laws, Wilson College, PA, USA.

Hon. Diploma for Applied Arts & Technology, Loyalist College, Belleville, Ontario, 1969



Member, Board of Directors, Bata Shoe Organization, Toronto, Ontario.

Vice-Chairman, Bata Shoe Foundation.

Chairman, Bata Shoe Museum Foundation, Toronto, Ontario.



Chairman, Advisory Board, Erivan K. Haub Program in Business and the Environment

Provincial Ontario Chair, Canadian Forces Liaison Council

Vice-Chairman, Canadian Naval Memorial Trust, Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Member, Board of Governors, Royal Military College of Canada, Kingston, Ontario.

Member, Board of Directors, The Atlantic Council of Canada, Toronto

Member, Board of Governors, Junior Achievement of Canada, Toronto, Ontario,

(Chairman 1985-1988).

Honorary Chairman, World Wildlife Fund (Canada), Toronto, Ontario,

(Chairman 1983-1985).

Member, Advisory Board, Community Foundation of Greater Toronto.

Member, Advisory Council, The Council for Business and the Arts in Canada, Toronto, Ontario.

(Director 1975-1995).

Member, Canadian Advisory Council, Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute, Calgary, Alberta.

Honorary Life Member, North York General Hospital Foundation, North York, Ontario.

Honorary Member, Board of Governors, Toronto French School, Toronto, Ontario.

(Member 1967-1975).                                                                                                                             



Member of the Board of Trustees, The Mentor Foundation, Geneva,


1979-1999    Member, Board of Directors, Alcan Aluminium Limited, Montreal, Quebec.

1983-1997    Member, Board of Directors, CT Financial, London, Ontario.

1981-1996    Member, Advisory Council, The Council for Canadian Unity, Montreal, Quebec.

1971-1991    Member, Board of Trustees, World Wildlife Fund International, Switzerland.            (Member of the Executive for several years and Chairman of the International           Fund Raising Committee).

1978-1991    Director, Canadian Commercial Corporation, Ottawa, Ontario.

1984-1990    Director, Canadian Club of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario.

(Vice-President 1986-1988)

1979-1997    Member, Board of Governors, North York General Hospital, North York, Ontario.

(Vice-Chairman, 1988-1993; Chairman, Governors’ Council, 1993-1997)

1976-1985    Member, Board of Governors, York University, Toronto, Ontario.

1984             Vice-Chairman, Ontario Bicentennial Advisory Commission, Toronto, Ontario.

1976-1980    Member, National Board, Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Montreal, Quebec.

(Executive Council 1976-1978).

1964-1976    Member, National Design Council of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario.

(Chairman 1973-1975).

1968-1974    Member, Board of Trustees, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Ontario.

1953-1964    Active in the Girl guide World Association.  (Member of Western Hemisphere

Committee and World Finance Committee).  Received highest award in India

(Silver Elephant).




The Ernst & Young Life Time Achievement Award, 2001

Honorary Associate Award, Conference Board of Canada, 1995

Prime Mentors of Canada Award, 1995

North York Chamber of Commerce Woman of the Year Award, 1992

McClure International Service Award, 1991

Canadian Business Hall of Fame Award, 1991

CESO Award for International Development, 1990

Shoe Person of the Year Award, 1985

B’Nai Brith Humanitarian Award, 1984

Paul Harris Fellow Recognition, Rotary International, 1983

Silver Medal of the United Nations Environmental Programme, 1982

with her husband Thomas Bata jr.