Christopher Hyndman, the design personality and co-host of the CBC's popular Steven and Chris television talk show, has died.
The CBC reported that Mr. Hyndman's body was found without vital signs late Monday in an alleyway just east of Toronto's downtown core. He was 49.
A Toronto Police spokeswoman would not confirm the report, citing privacy concerns and the fact there was no ongoing criminal investigation.
Mr. Hyndman was a well-known design personality and part of "Canada's reigning lifestyle couple" with his spouse and co-host Steven Sabados.
News of Mr. Hyndman's sudden passing drew condolences from several famous colleagues, including fellow design couple Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan, who took to social media to express their sorrow.
"We are so saddened to hear of the passing of Chris Hyndman," the Scottish decorators posted on Facebook.
CBC colleagues, including Murdoch Mysteries star Yannick Bisson and comic Rick Mercer of Rick Mercer Report, also weighed in online.
"So very sad to hear of the passing of Chris Hyndman. He was always laughing, always smiling. A great Newfoundland character," Mr. Mercer tweeted.
Mr. Hyndman and Mr. Sabados founded a design and event-planning company in 1992 before going on to star in HGTV's Designer Guys and Design Rivals and Slice's So Chic.
In 2007, they launched their own line of furniture, textiles and decorative accessories. The Steven and Chris show followed in 2008, focusing on home decor, entertaining and fashion.
It aired 910 episodes on CBC-TV and was going in to its ninth season.
Chuck Thompson, head of public affairs at CBC English Services, confirmed on Tuesday that Steven and Chris has been pulled from airing this season.
Mr. Thompson did not provide further details as to what the news could mean for Steven and Chris' syndicated programming in the US.
"Out of respect, we have removed the show from the schedule," Mr. Thompson told The Globe and Mail via e-mail. "First and foremost, our thoughts are with Steven. Beyond the larger CBC family, Chris touched many lives which included a huge fan base who he took such joy in connecting with."
Staff at the CBC were informed of Mr. Hyndman's death in an internal memo on Tuesday.
Online, there was also an outpouring of sympathy following the news.
Designer Guys creator and executive producer Mary Darling described the duo as "two wings of a bird" and credited their charming banter with helping to usher in a wave of other similarly-cast design shows, in which an odd-couple pair of hosts hash out design ideas.
"From a design show aspect it just broke all the boundaries … it was a completely new thing on the scene," Ms. Darling said.
For Kristen Sweetland, a realtor and interior designer who worked with the pair at Decadance by Design – a now-defunct retail store the duo opened in St. John's in 2003 – news of Mr. Hyndman's death comes as a shock to his local community.
Her fondest memory of Mr. Hyndman was that "the person you saw on TV was the person he was off TV."
"He was genuine and humble," she said. "It was really striking to me, as a young designer who looked up to him. It's a rare quality in television. He was a great person and it's a great loss."
With reports from James Bradshaw and The Canadian Press