Ken Danby enrolled at the Ontario College of Art in 1958. His first exhibition in 1964 sold out.
When asked to identify his favourite work, his answer was consistently "my next one".
Danby was best known for creating unique visual images that study everyday life. In At the Crease (1972), the masked ice-hockey goalie has been referred to as "something of a national symbol".
In 1975, Danby was elected a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. He has also been a recipient of the Jessie Dow Prize, the 125th Anniversary Commemorative Medal of Canada, the City of Sault Ste. Marie's Award of Merit and both the Queen's Silver and Golden Jubilee Medals.
In the 1980s he prepared a series of watercolours about the Americas Cup and the Canadian athletes at the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo. Danby has served on the governing board of the Canada Council and as a member of the Board of Trustees of the National Gallery of Canada.
Danby is the second famous Canadian artist to die in Algonquin Park. Tom Thomson died on Canoe Lake at the park in July 1917. Canadian writer Blair Frazer also drowned in the park on the Petawawa River's Rollaway Rapids in May 1968.