Dolores Thought of Herself as Half Canuck

Dolores Thought of Herself as Half Canuck

Dolores O’Riordan found solace in her second home in remote Ontario.

“I’m half Canuck”

Dolores spent a lot of time in Canada. When not performing classic Cranberries’ tunes, she was at peace, just north of Peterborough, Ontario. It’s where she would escape to from her global fame.

“I’m half Canuck” she said in 2009 to the Canadian Press. “I’ve spent half my life here now.”

O’Riordan died Monday at a hotel in London, where she was working on new music. The family is “devastated”, according to her publicist.

Her Canadian entourage included her former husband Don Burton, their two kids and a child from Burton’s previous relationship. They spent years splitting time between Ireland and their Ontario cottage.

When O’Riordan and Burton met, he was the tour manager for Duran Duran but he wound up taking on her career. Even though they separated, she wore her Canadian connection proudly. On December 26th, she tweeted that she was heading to Ontario to spend time with her family.

She got lost here

She frequently raved about her days in Ontario. “You can really get lost here, and I like that,” she said. “The seasons are so dramatic here — from the snow in the winter to the beauty of the autumn, the colours of the leaves falling — so I have a piano outside my window and sometimes I start off there with ideas, just using nature as a backdrop.”

In an article posted Monday on his site, our own Alan Cross remembered when O’Riordan came into the Edge 102 studios to use the washroom:

Those of us who work at 102.1 the Edge sometimes ran into Dolores in odd ways. When she had a house in Mississauga with her Canadian husband Don Burton (an ex-road manager for Duran Duran), we’d see her at the Eaton Centre in downtown Toronto. One day, a heavily pregnant Dolores walked into our studio asking if she could use our washroom. She was polite and somewhat embarrassed about the request, but we accorded her the hospitality we would have given to anyone.

Then there was that time she ran from a bear.

 The bears are always in the woods so you have to be careful when you go out. I had to run away from one. I was walking in the woods and I saw him, he saw me, he stood up and I ran away and got to the road and flagged down a car. But they don’t attack for no reason — it’s only if you surprise them or if the mothers have cubs.

Recorded nearby

O’Riordan released two solo projects on this side of the pond. 2007’s Are You Listening? was produced at MetalWorks Studios in Mississauga and EMAC Recording Studio in London. Robert Nation, owner of EMAC studio remembers the singer with an unabating sense of self whenever she was in the studio.

“She had to be totally inspired and in the moment. If she wasn’t she’d say, ‘I’m going to go out for a while, get outside and let you know what I’m doing later,'” Nation said.

“She knew when she was feeling right and when she was comfortable. It was the first time I came across (someone) like that.”


Liked it? Take a second to support Shane Alexander on Patreon!

Leave a Comment