Known for his tenacity, consistency, sportsmanship and professionalism, Canadian badminton player Donald Smythe was a nine-time national champion (four singles, five doubles) and competed internationally in the 1950s. He was the only North American (besides Dave Freeman) to reach the final round of men’s singles at the prestigious All England Championships (1954) and semi-finals (1953). Between 1951-58, Smythe played in three Thomas Cups for Canada and between 1950-56, he won 27 titles in international competition. As team captain in 1971, Smythe lead the team into the semi-final round of the World Championships in Jakarta. In 1985, he returned to competition and reached the finals of the Canadian Masters Badminton Games held in Etobicoke.

Smythe served as an Officer during World War II on the HMCS Chambly. He was married to Betty Smythe (nee Rennie) for 39 years with whom he had five daughters, and Mary Pallett Smythe (nee Leuty) of 28 years. Professionally, he was president of Glidden Paint Canada and owner of Donsco Adhesives. 

Smythe was inducted into the Canadian Amateur Athletic Hall of Fame in 1974 and Etobicoke Sports Hall of Fame in 1998.