Thomas Urquhart (politician)

Last updated
Thomas Urquhart
Thomas Urquhart.png
32nd Mayor of Toronto
In office
1903–1905
Preceded by Oliver Howland
Succeeded by Emerson Coatsworth
Personal details
Born(1858-04-16)April 16, 1858
Wallacetown, Dunwich Township, Elgin County, Ontario
Died February 16, 1931(1931-02-16) (aged 72)
Toronto, Ontario
Occupation Tailor, lawyer

Thomas Urquhart (April 16, 1858 February 16, 1931) was a Canadian politician and mayor of Toronto.

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.

In many countries, a mayor is the highest-ranking official in a municipal government such as that of a city or a town.

Toronto Provincial capital city in Ontario, Canada

Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and the most populous city in Canada, with a population of 2,731,571 in 2016. Current to 2016, the Toronto census metropolitan area (CMA), of which the majority is within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), held a population of 5,928,040, making it Canada's most populous CMA. Toronto is the anchor of an urban agglomeration, known as the Golden Horseshoe in Southern Ontario, located on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. A global city, Toronto is a centre of business, finance, arts, and culture, and is recognized as one of the most multicultural and cosmopolitan cities in the world.

Born in Wallacetown, Dunwich Township, Elgin County, Ontario, a son to Alexander Cameron Urquhart and Sarah McCallum, he attended public school in Wallacetown until 13 years of age and then spent years working with his father, a pioneer tailor and storekeeper in Wallacetown, who, born in Dingwall, Ross and Cromarty, Scotland, came to Canada in 1847.

Dingwall town in Scotland

Dingwall is a town and a royal burgh in the Highland council area of Scotland. It has a population of 5,491. It was an east-coast harbour that now lies inland. Dingwall Castle was once the biggest castle north of Stirling. On the town's present-day outskirts lies Tulloch Castle, parts of which may date back to the 12th-century building. In 1411 the Battle of Dingwall is said to have taken place between the Clan Mackay and the Clan Donald.

Ross and Cromarty area in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland

Ross and Cromarty is a variously defined area in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. There is a registration county and a lieutenancy area in current use, the latter of which is 8,019 square kilometres in extent. Historically there has also been a constituency of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, a local government county, a district of the Highland local government region and a management area of the Highland Council. The local government county is now divided between two local government areas: the Highland area and Na h-Eileanan Siar.

Scotland country in Northwest Europe, part of the United Kingdom

Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Sharing a border with England to the southeast, Scotland is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, by the North Sea to the northeast and by the Irish Sea to the south. In addition to the mainland, situated on the northern third of the island of Great Britain, Scotland has over 790 islands, including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides.

At 21, he was appointed municipal clerk of the Township of Dunwich, and later became secretary of the Agricultural Society of West Elgin and secretary of the West Elgin Reform Association. He decided to enter law, and after passing the matriculation examination in 1881, he entered a law office in St. Thomas. In 1882 he entered a second law as a student. In 1886, he graduated from Osgoode Hall as barrister and solicitor, and entered into different partnerships over the next many years. One partnership was with his brother Daniel Urquhart.

Dutton/Dunwich Municipality in Ontario, Canada

Dutton/Dunwich is a municipality located in western Elgin County in Southwestern Ontario, Canada.

Osgoode Hall

Osgoode Hall is a landmark building in downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The original ​2 12-storey building was started in 1829 and finished in 1832 from a design by John Ewart and W. W. Baldwin. The structure was named after William Osgoode, the first Chief Justice of Upper Canada.

He took a strong role in civic affairs, and was elected alderman in Toronto’s Ward 4 in 1900 and re-elected in 1901-1902, prior to being elected to the mayor’s chair for three successive years. Thomas was elected mayor in 1903 over Oliver Howland and Daniel Lamb. In 1904 he was re-elected by acclamation, and in 1905 he defeated George Horace Gooderham.

An alderman is a member of a municipal assembly or council in many jurisdictions founded upon English law. The term may be titular, denoting a high-ranking member of a borough or county council, a council member chosen by the elected members themselves rather than by popular vote, or a council member elected by voters.

George Horace Gooderham Canadian politician

George Horace Gooderham was a Canadian businessman and politician. From 1908 to 1919, he was a Conservative member in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, representing Toronto South and then Toronto Southwest.

A strong Liberal, he was chosen by his party to contest the riding of West Toronto for the legislature against Hon. Thomas Crawford. In 1904, he contested the riding of North Toronto for Parliament against Sir George Foster. In 1906, he ran unsuccessfully against W. K. McNaught.

Liberal Party of Canada oldest federal political party in Canada

The Liberal Party of Canada is the oldest and longest-serving governing political party in Canada. The Liberals form the current government, elected in 2015. The party has dominated federal politics for much of Canada's history, holding power for almost 69 years in the 20th century—more than any other party in a developed country—and as a result, it is sometimes referred to as Canada's "natural governing party".

West Toronto

West Toronto was a federal electoral district represented in the House of Commons of Canada from 1867 to 1904. It was located in the city of Toronto, in the province of Ontario. The district was created by the British North America Act of 1867 and was renamed Toronto West in 1903.

Thomas Crawford (Canadian politician) Canadian politician (1847-1932)

Thomas Crawford was speaker of the Legislature of Ontario in 1907-1911 and served as Conservative MLA for Toronto Northwest and Toronto West from 1894 to 1924.

While he was mayor, he always guarded against encroachments of corporations to destroy the city’s sovereignty over its own streets. During that time, many applications were made by electric railway companies for franchises in adjoining municipalities, and it was feared the Toronto Street Railway Co. would acquire a perpetual franchise in Toronto. He watched every move made and succeeded in keeping Toronto free of entanglements.

Toronto Street Railway

After the Williams Omnibus Bus Line had become heavily loaded in 1861, the city of Toronto issued a transit franchise for a horse-drawn street railway. The winner was Alexander Easton's Toronto Street Railway which opened the first street railway line in Canada on September 11, 1861, operating from Yorkville Town Hall to the St. Lawrence Market. The second line was on Queen Street. On other routes, the TSR continued to operate omnibuses. By 1868 the railway passed into the hands of the bondholders, and in 1869 the company was sold. In 1873 a new act of incorporation was obtained under the old name.

He attended the first meeting in Berlin (now Kitchener) regarding the proposals to establish the hydroelectric system, and he also advocated public ownership of telephones. The Great Toronto fire of 1904 occurred during his time as mayor.

Thomas was also a leader in the Toronto Baptist community, active in both the Walmer Road Baptist Church and the Aurora Baptist Church.

He was also a member of the Orange Order in Canada.

He was first married to Margaret S. McDonald of Peterborough, Ontario and after her death (in 1925) he married Mary Ellen Hall in 1927.

After becoming ill at his office, Thomas Urquhart was taken to his home at 136 Hillsdale Avenue where he died on February 16, 1931 from influenza. He was buried in Mt. Pleasant Cemetery on February 18.

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