Daniel Frankel — free spirit, gifted street artist, musician, stagehand — lived his life to the fullest on his own terms despite great challenges.
Deprived of both parents as a youth, Dan was raised and educated by his extended family in both Montreal and Toronto, where his magnetic personality and contagious zest for life attracted many friends and admirers who cherished him and who grieve his death following an accident in the Montreal Metro on August 7, 2021. He was 37 years old.
Dan was proud of his street art, tagged as Nes, with its bold royal blue, orange and other strong colours, tight design, and muscular style, instantly familiar to anyone who saw it. He was a daring figure, known for being “out there,” and admired for taking risks too steep for others. Close friend Dani held him dear for trying “to teach me that there’s excitement in life.” Dan’s friends held a memorial for him on Mount Royal in the days after his accident and created art works in his memory.
Dan was also a singer-songwriter at his one-man group Staying True, finding solace in music for his childhood losses and his inner loneliness, and an outlet for his boundless, restless energy. In one touching song referencing his losses, “Way Too Late,” he wrote: “Try and get close, I wouldn’t bother, I’m the only one I’ve got, All by myself with no one else.”
Most recently, Dan worked as a stage technician at Groupe Paradoxe in Montreal, after stints in management and sales at a variety of shops and services in Montreal and Toronto where his outgoing personality, and fluent bilingualism, served him well. His Facebook page also listed him as “formerly self-employed at Squeejee.”
Dan’s “likes” on Facebook included the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, and, despite his own health struggles and untimely death, he gave two other people the most precious gift of all: the gift of life as an organ donor through Transplant Quebec.
Predeceased by his father Brian Cahill and his beloved mother Adrienne Frankel, and by uncles Jim Cahill and Brendan Cahill, Dan is mourned by his aunt Linda and uncle Gordon, their daughters Althea and Alexandra, by his aunt Diane and by his cousin Bruce, the extended family, and other cousins. All took Dan into their homes as a child and youth and supported him in later years. He is deeply missed as well by uncles Colin and Ian, by Adrienne’s former partner Chuck and his brother Robert and niece Mary, by Dan’s former partner Danika (Dani), by his close friends Alex, Chris, Allan (Dakota), Isabelle, Miriam, Alex, and by many others.
The family is grateful to Montreal emergency services, to the doctors and nursing staff at the Montreal General Hospital, and to the Royal Victoria Hospital, for the care he received.
Family and friends will gather to honour Dan as conditions permit.