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John Macdonald

John Macdonald ( December 27, 1824 - February 4, 1890) was a Canadian merchant, churchman, philanthropist, and politician in the late 1800s in Toronto. He was a major patron of the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) and the Toronto General Hospital. In 1860, he built a mansion called Oaklands, which is now part of a private co-educational school.


Early life

Macdonald was born in Perth, Scotland and came to Canada in 1837 when his father's regiment was transferred there.

Business career

After a few years working for others, Macdonald opened his own retail dry goods business in Toronto in September 1849. By 1853 he had moved to wholesaling and by the 1870s was taking in $1 million in sales each year.

Political career

Macdonald represented West Toronto in the 8th Parliament of the Province of Canada from 1863, when he defeated John Beverley Robinson, until he himself was defeated in 1867. After Confederation, which he opposed, he served as an Independent Liberal Member of the Canadian House of Commons for the riding of Toronto Centre from 1875 to 1878. He was appointed to the Canadian Senate on the recommendation of Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald on November 9, 1887. His term ended with his death in 1890.


Macdonald died in Toronto, on February 4, 1890. He is interred at his family's plot in the Toronto Necropolis Cemetery.

External links

Parliament of Canada
Preceded by
Robert Wilkes
Member of Parliament from Toronto Centre
Succeeded by
Robert Hay


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