When he was one, he survived the Halifax Explosion, caused by the nearby collision of two ships carrying ammunition and TNT.
It killed almost 2000 people and his own mother was badly injured. When he was four, he fell off a pier and was rescued by a fisherman. He almost drowned again at 13, after his leaky rowing boat sank.
Doug also survived a train crash that killed 36 others. A year later, a navy job he wanted on the HMCS Athabaskan went to someone else. The ship then sunk and was lost.
Over the next 30 years, Doug, a drug researcher, survived car wrecks, a skiing accident, and skin cancer. Many at the Ontario retirement home where Doug now lives were shocked to learn about his many brushes with death, as until now, he’s mainly kept them to himself.
Does he think himself lucky?
‘I don’t know. These are just things that happened, as far as I’m concerned,’ said Doug – although he agreed he’d had more lives than a cat. ‘Nine and a half lives, I’d say.’
And his secrets for a long life?
Eat right, exercise, and always have a good book to read.