Thomas Rennie (Harbour Commissioner)

Last updated
Thomas Rennie
Born(1868-12-14)December 14, 1868
DiedAugust 4, 1952(1952-08-04) (aged 83)
Nationality Canadian
Occupationbusinessman, politician

Thomas Rennie was a Canadian businessman and politician. [1] [2]

Canadians citizens of Canada

Canadians are people identified with the country of Canada. This connection may be residential, legal, historical or cultural. For most Canadians, several of these connections exist and are collectively the source of their being Canadian.

Rennie and his two brothers took over the operation of his father's successful seed business when William Rennie retired in 1889. [2] [3] Rennie became chair of the firm in 1925, following the retirement of his older brother, Robert. [4] Rennie would later become a director of the Canadian Seed Trade Association. [5]

William Rennie (horticulturist) Canadian farmer

William Rennie was a Canadian farmer who became a successful seed merchant, educator, and writer on agriculture. Rennie's parents were farmers. Rennie started farming his own 120 acre section in 1860. But in 1867 he rented out his farm, moved to Toronto, and opened a seed company that sold both vegetable and floral seeds. Most of his customers purchased their seeds through a colorful mail order catalogue.

'Major General Robert Rennie was the son of William Rennie, the founder of Rennie Seeds, a successful wholesaler and retailer of both vegetable and floral seeds, and Sarah Glendinning. William retired in 1888, and Robert and two younger brothers John and Thomas took over management of the firm. Robert served as the firm's President until he retired in 1925, when Thomas became President.

He was appointed a member of the powerful Toronto Harbour Commission serving as its chair for many years. [2] [4] Popular historian Mike Filey wrote that he was appointed in 1930, was promoted to chair in 1936, and served a total of seventeen years. John McCutcheon, of Wilfrid Laurier University, wrote that he was appointed in 1921, was promoted to chair in 1938, and served a total of twenty-six years.

Toronto Harbour Commission

The Toronto Harbour Commission (THC) was a joint federal-municipal government agency based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The agency managed Toronto Harbour as well as being responsible for major works along the Toronto waterfront. It built the Toronto Island Airport in 1939. The agency was founded in 1911 and operated until 1999 when the port operations were transferred to the new Toronto Port Authority (TPA), now PortsToronto.

Mike Filey Canadian journalist and author

Mike Filey is a Canadian historian, journalist and author. He was awarded the Jean Hibbert Memorial Award in 2009 for promoting the city of Toronto and its history.

Wilfrid Laurier University

Wilfrid Laurier University is a public university in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. Laurier has a second campus in Brantford and offices in Kitchener, Toronto and Chongqing, China. It is named in honour of Sir Wilfrid Laurier, the seventh Prime Minister of Canada. The university offers undergraduate and graduate programs in a variety of fields, with nearly 15,000 full-time undergraduate students, over 900 full‑time grad students and nearly 3,000 part-time students as of Fall 2016. Laurier's varsity teams, known as the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks, compete in the West Conference of the Ontario University Athletics, affiliated to the U Sports.

In 1951 the Commission recognized Rennie's contribution by naming its most recent ferry after him. [1] [6] Rennie's daughter, his only child, christened the vessel.

<i>Thomas Rennie</i> (ferry, 1951)

Thomas Rennie is a 68-year-old Toronto Island ferry operated by the Parks, Forestry and Recreation Division of the City of Toronto government. She entered service in 1951, the most recent of the three ferries that bring visitors to the Toronto Islands during the summer months. She was named after a former member of the Toronto Harbour Commission.

In 1946 Rennie and his older brother Robert filed objections when Jaroslav Racek filed a request to change his name to Gilbert Rennie. [4] Racek was a naturalized Canadian of Czech descent, who had lived in Canada for twenty-one years. McCutcheon suggested their objections were motivated by bigotry.

Czech Republic Country in Central Europe

The Czech Republic, also known by its short-form name, Czechia, is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west and northwest, Austria to the south, Slovakia to the east, and Poland to the northeast. The Czech Republic is a landlocked country with a hilly landscape that covers an area of 78,866 square kilometers (30,450 sq mi) with a mostly temperate continental climate and oceanic climate. It is a unitary parliamentary republic, with 10.6 million inhabitants. Its capital and largest city is Prague, with 1.3 million residents; other major cities are Brno, Ostrava, Olomouc and Pilsen.

Thomas and Robert Rennie filed objections that were couched in legal principles but were actually based, according to the lawyer for the Rennie brothers, upon the notion that people of foreign descent should not be allowed to assume the proud Scottish name of Rennie.

Related Research Articles

U Sports womens ice hockey

U Sports women's ice hockey is the highest level of play at the university level under the auspices of U Sports, Canada's governing body for university sports. Women's ice hockey has been played in U Sports since the 1997-98 season, when the governing body was known as the Canadian Interuniversity Athletics Union, following a long stint of teams only competing in the OUA. There are 33 teams, all of which are based in Canada, that are divided into four conferences that are eligible to compete for the year-end championship. As these players compete at the university level, they are obligated to follow the rule of standard eligibility of five years. This competition is considered as the second level in the pyramid of Canadian women's hockey, below the Canadian Women's Hockey League (CWHL).

Great Fire of Toronto (1904) conflagration

The Great Fire of Toronto of 1904 was a great fire that destroyed a large section of Downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada on April 19, 1904. It was the second such fire for the city in its history.

<i>Ned Hanlan</i> (tugboat)

Ned Hanlan is a steam-powered tugboat that operated in Toronto Harbour in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The tugboat entered service in 1932 and was retired in 1967. She was then put on display at Exhibition Place. She was moved in 2012 to Hanlan's Point on the Toronto Islands; she is named after champion rower Ned Hanlan.

Toronto Island ferries

The Toronto Island ferries connect the Toronto Islands in Lake Ontario to the mainland of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The main city-operated ferry service carries passengers and vehicles from the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal at the foot of Bay Street to several docks on the islands. A ferry operated by PortsToronto carries passengers and vehicles to Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport on the island from the foot of Eireann Quay. Additional private ferries carry passengers to various island boat clubs. Ferry services to the islands began in 1833, and the Toronto Island Ferry company began in 1883.

Gibraltar Point Lighthouse lighthouse in Ontario, Canada

The Gibraltar Point Lighthouse is a lighthouse located on the Toronto Islands in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Begun in 1808, it is the oldest existing lighthouse on the Great Lakes, and one of Toronto's oldest buildings. The lighthouse is perhaps best known for the demise of its first keeper, German-born John Paul Radelmüller, whose 1815 murder forms the basis of Toronto's most enduring ghost story. Recent research has verified many aspects of the traditional tale of his death and identified the soldiers charged with but ultimately acquitted of the crime.

Wilfrid Laurier McDougald Canadian politician

Wilfrid Laurier McDougald was a Canadian senator.

CCGS <i>Sir Wilfrid Laurier</i>

CCGS Sir Wilfrid Laurier is a Martha L. Black-class light icebreaker and major navaids tender of the Canadian Coast Guard. Built in 1986 by Canadian Shipbuilding at Collingwood, Ontario, Canada, she was the last ship constructed there. The ship has been based out of Victoria, British Columbia.

Thomas Ethan Wayman is a Canadian author.

Edna Staebler Canadian writer

Edna Staebler, was a Canadian author and award-winning literary journalist, best known for her series of cookbooks, particularly Food That Really Schmecks which is currently available in e-book form. While the book contains Mennonite recipes, the content also includes stories and anecdotes about life and home cooking in the rural areas of the Waterloo Region.

HSC <i>Virgen de Coromoto</i>

The HSC Virgen de Coromoto is an 86 m (282 ft) fast catamaran ferry operated by Consolidada de Ferrys C.A. in Venezuela. It was built in Australia for a fast ferry service on Lake Ontario between Toronto, Ontario, Canada and Rochester, New York, United States. After the ferry service failed, the boat was sold in 2007 and operated in the Gibraltar straight. From 2007–2012, the boat operated in Morocco on a Spain–Morocco service. In 2012–13, the ship operated on Kattegatruten's Aarhus–Kalundborg route in Denmark until October 2013 when the route was cancelled.

<i>William Rest</i>

The William Rest was a tugboat built for the Toronto Harbour Commission in 1961 for $150,000 CAD. She was built in Erieau, Ontario by the Erieau Shipbuilding and Drydock Limited. She displaced 61 gross tons. She was named after the commission's recently deceased director of planning. Rest had worked for the Commission for 46 years.

<i>William Inglis</i> (ferry) Toronto Island ferry

William Inglis is a Toronto Island ferry operated by the Parks, Forestry and Recreation Division of the City of Toronto government. The ferry serves the Toronto Islands from a dock at Jack Layton Ferry Terminal in downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

PS <i>Trillium</i> ship

Trillium is a side wheeler ferry operated by the City of Toronto government, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Now 109 years old, she is one of several Toronto Island ferries operating between the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal at Bay Street and Queens Quay and three landing points on the Toronto Islands. She is the last sidewheel-propelled vessel on the Great Lakes.

Charles A. Reed (fireboat)

The Charles A. Reed was the City of Toronto's first official fireboat. She was commissioned in 1923. Previously the privately owned T.J. Clark had provided firefighting capability.

Ongiara (ferry)

The Ongiara is a 55-year-old Toronto Island ferry operated by the Parks, Forestry and Recreation Division of the City of Toronto government. The ferry serves the Toronto Islands from a dock at Jack Layton Ferry Terminal in downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


  1. 1 2 Mike Filey (1998). "Discover & Explore Toronto's Waterfront: A Walker's, Jogger's, Cyclist's, Boater's Guide to Toronto's Lakeside Sites and History". Dundurn Press. p. 123. ISBN   9781550023046 . Retrieved 2015-04-01. In 1951, a sister ship to the Sam McBride (identical in all respects), was added to the fleet. This one was christened THOMAS RENNIE, after a prominent Toronto businessman and long-time Harbour Commissioner.
  2. 1 2 3 Mike Filey (1999). "Mount Pleasant Cemetery: An Illustrated Guide". Dundurn Press. p. 179. ISBN   9781459713109 . Retrieved 2015-04-01.
  3. "William Rennie". Dictionary of Canadian Biography . Retrieved 2015-04-01.
  4. 1 2 3 John McCutcheon (2007). "The William Rennie Seed Company: A Corporate History". Wilfrid Laurier University . Retrieved 2015-05-01.
  5. A. E. Slinkard, Douglas R. Knott (1995). "Harvest of gold: the history of field crop breeding in Canada". University Extension Press, University of Saskatchewan. ISBN   9780888803337 . Retrieved 2015-05-01.
  6. Chris Bateman (2012-10-07). "Explaining Enwave, Ford's Jarvis figures, Island ferry names, and classic council clashes". BlogTO . Retrieved 2015-04-30. A former Toronto Harbour Commissioner, Rennie lived long enough to see the vessel christened in his honour. He died the next year aged 84.