A Vancouver artist widely known for his distinctive landscapes, Toni Onley was born in 1928 on the Isle of Man and was educated in England and Mexico. He made his first trip to the Arctic in 1974 and later published Onley's Arctic: Diaries and Paintings of the High Arctic. His 1983 painting of Cheakamus Glacier adorns the cover of The Great Canadian Anecdote Contest, which contains Onley's account of stranding his private plane on the glacier. His paintings also appear in Walls of India, co-authored with George Woodcock to raise funds for the Canada India Village Aid Society, an organization in which Onley was a founding member. His work is also the subject of a critical study by Roger Boulet entitled Toni Onley, A Silent Thunder. A recipient of the Order of Canada, Onley published Tony Onley's British Columbia: A Tribute (Raincoast, 1999) and an autobiography, Flying Colours: The Toni Onley Story (Harbour Publishing, 2003), as told to Gregory Strong, that recounts his victory as a 'Rolls-Royce rebel' who fought against Revenue Canada on a personal taxation issue, threatening to burn his paintings. Onley died on February 29, 2004 in a single-plane accident when he crashed his plane into the Fraser River while presumably practicing landings and take-offs.

[BCBW 2004] "Art"

Review of the author's work by BC studies:
Alpine Anatomy: The Mountain Art of Arnold Shives