12/30/2012 05:59 EST | Updated 03/01/2013 05:12 EST

Andy Barrie to receive Order of Canada

CBC Toronto's former longtime Metro Morning host Andy Barrie has been named a recipient of the Order of Canada.

He was awarded the distinction, "For his achievements in Canadian broadcasting, as the voice of a diverse Toronto, and for his advocacy on behalf of those living with Parkinson’s disease."

It's a voice that helped to make Metro Morning Toronto's top morning radio show.

People are awarded the order for having made an exceptional contribution to Canadians at a local level.

The broadcaster, who revealed in 2007 that he had been diagnosed with the degenerative disorder Parkinson's disease, retired in March 2010.

Born in Baltimore, Barrie got his first taste of broadcasting at the age of nine, when he was asked to wake up campers every morning over a public-address system at a summer camp.

After he graduated from university, he got radio jobs in various cities, working as an announcer and reporters. He then got his own program with Metromedia Radio in Washington.

In 1969, he left the U.S. and moved to Canada during the Vietnam War.