Atlantic Canada bids farewell to dealer legend


One of the biggest voices in the Canadian dealer body has been silenced.

Paul O’Regan, 67, of the O’Regan’s Automotive Group died on Mar. 10 in Florida following a brief illness. Co-founder of the O’Regan’s Automotive group, O’Regan got his start in the auto world working for his father Steve selling cars at a small shop in Parrsboro, Nova Scotia.

He studied St Saint Francis Xavier and Dalhousie Universities, eventually becoming a teacher in the mid-1960s’. In 1973, he left his classroom career to return to the automotive business, starting with a used-car lot in Dartmouth with his brother Stephen.

It was from that meek beginning the pair built O'Regan's Automotive Group into one of the largest automotive organizations in Canada, including 15 new car franchises in Halifax, Dartmouth and Bridgewater.

O’Regan served on national committees for General Motors of Canada, Mercedes-Benz Canada, Nissan Canada and Toyota Canada. In 2006, he received the inaugural Canadian Automotive Dealers Association Ambassador Laureate Award for his achievements in the industry and his community.

His community involvement has been extensive and included board and committee service for the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Public Affairs, Alderney Landing Cultural Community Centre, Junior Achievement Heart and Stroke Foundation of Nova Scotia and Saint Francis Xavier University.

O’Regan was a founding director of Phoenix House and was instrumental in establishing their first youth facility in Halifax, was a dedicated supporter of the Arthritis Society, Coady International Institute, Eastern Front Theatre, The Mental Health Foundation, Ship's Company Theatre in Parrsboro, The United Way and more.

The family has asked that in lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Nova Scotia, IWK Health Centre Foundation, L'Arche Halifax,Churchill Academy or a charity of your choice. On-line condolences may be sent