Showing 44 results

People and organizations
Region of Peel Archives

Forster, John Wycliffe Lowes, 1850-1938

  • CA : RPA
  • Person
  • 1850 - 1938

John Wycliffe Lowes (1850-1938) was an artist. Born in Norval, Ontario, he was a Methodist/United layman active in church affairs. As an artist, he was known principally as a portrait painter. He travelled and painted in Europe, did portraits of several Canadian Prime Ministers and Governors-General, leaders of the Methodist Church in Canada and England, the Emperor and Empress of Japan, and many other Canadian leaders.

Betts, Al

  • CA : RPA
  • Person
  • 1924-2017

Al was born in the City of Toronto on February 3rd, 1924 to Fred and Violet Betts. He was named Alfred like his dad; however, to avoid confusion he was called Al. He spent his formative years growing up in the north part of the city.

Al enlisted with the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1943. He trained in Medicine Hat, AB, Chatham, NB, and Charlottetown, PEI as a Navigation-Bombardier on the Lancaster bombers. During the Second World War he was stationed in Bournemouth in the south of England.

Al’s passion was photography. Family legend has it he became interested in photography when he scooped up an old Kodak “Brownie” camera that had been tossed away. Always the curious individual he took it apart, repaired it, and started experimenting with photography.

After the Second World War he began working at Toronto Western Hospital where he met the love of his life, Helen Colville. They wed in 1950 and lived in Toronto before leaving the city in 1956 for Streetsville, then in Toronto Township (now Mississauga). By the time they moved to Streetsville, their first two children, Doug and Marylyn, had been born.

In 1958 a second son, Brian, was born and Al was working at A.V. Roe in Malton. Here he had the privilege of working on the Avro Arrow project in the Photography Department. He took several of the iconic pictures of the Avro Arrow in production and in flight. This job was short-lived, however, with the cancellation of the Avro project in 1959.

Al started A. Betts Photography in Streetsville around 1965. During this time Al and Helen completed their family with the addition of Stephen and Cynthia. The entire family settled into the three bedroom bungalow on Vista Boulevard in Streetsville. He gave back to the town by initiating the Bread and Honey Festival, helping with the Boy Scouts, and being the official photographer for the local Streetsville newspaper. He was active as a professional photographer to ca. 1983.

As the children grew older, Al had more time to travel the world with Helen (and sometimes with their children in tow). Their travels took them throughout North America, Europe, as well as Central America and the Caribbean.

Al passed away peacefully, with family by his side, on Friday, January 20th, 2017, at the Credit Valley Hospital in Mississauga.

Hillson, James Albert (Bert), 1886 - 1963

  • CA: RPA
  • Person
  • 1886 - 1963

Bert Hillson was born James Albert Hillson in Glen Williams in 1886 and attended school in Huttonville before moving to Brampton. His varied jobs included volunteer firefighter, teamster and waggoner, painter and decorator, and governor of the Peel County Jail (1935 to 1943). He was also involved in sports, especially lacrosse. He married Emily Ada Kathleen Chambers in 1910 and had eight children, including two sons (Jim and John) and six daughters (Mildred, Anne, Edith, Eva, Georgina, and June). He died in 1963. He was a member of Grace Church, Brampton, at the time of his death but earlier was a Baptist.

Hillson O'Hearn, Mildred, 1911 - 1988

  • CA: RPA
  • Person
  • 1911 - 1988

Mildred Hillson O'Hearn was born in 1911 to James Albert Hill and Kathleen Hill. She was active in Grace Church and played softball. She worked for Gummed Papers as their head bookkeeper for a time. She married William (Bill) O'Hearn in 1942 and had three sons, Bill, Bob, and Bert. She died in 1988.

John McDermid

  • CA : RPA
  • Person
  • 17 Mar. 1940 -

John Horton McDermid was a member of Parliament for the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada from 1979 until his retirement in 1993. He represented the federal riding of Brampton-Georgetown from 1979 to 1988, and, when the riding was separated in two in 1988, he became the first elected member of Parliament for the federal riding of Brampton.

McDermid was born in Hamilton on March 17th, 1940. His parents were Reverend John Andrew McDermid and Nora Horton McDermid. In 1942, the family moved to Brampton, Ontario, after the Reverend McDermid was offered a ministry at St. Paul’s United Church, which he led until his death in 1970. Nora died eleven years later on March 6th, 1981.

John H. McDermid married his first wife, Elayne, a Peel schoolteacher, in the early 1960s, and they divorced near the end of his political career. Prior to his election in 1979, McDermid worked a variety of jobs: he was a radio and television announcer in Welland and Kitchener for six years; he was an assistant executive director of the Ontario Real Estate Association for seven years; he was an executive assistant to Ontario’s Ministry of Industry and Tourism, under Claude Bennett; he was a founder and shareholder of a private airline company, Pem-Air; and, in 1978, when he made his successful bid for the Progressive Conservative nomination for his riding, he was the Manager of Public Relations and Planning at the Ontario Place Corporation.

McDermid first announced his candidacy for the Progressive Conservative nomination for his federal riding in 1971. He lost the party’s nomination to Ellwood Madill, who went on to win the riding, defeating the Liberal candidate, Ross Milne. Madill lost to Milne in the 1974 federal election.

In 1978, McDermid sought the nomination again as the Progressive Conservative candidate to represent his federal riding, which had by then changed into Brampton-Georgetown. He won the nomination, and defeated Milne in the May 1979 federal election, becoming Brampton-Georgetown’s member of Parliament in Prime Minister Joe Clark’s minority government.

McDermid worked on multiple portfolios during his fourteen years in politics. In 1984 he began the first of two Parliamentary Secretary appointments under Minister Pat Carney, first as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources, and then followed her as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Trade. As Carney’s Parliamentary Secretary, McDermid worked on, and successfully campaigned for, the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement. This success began a series of Cabinet appointments as a Minister of State in Prime Minister Brian Mulroney’s government: he jointly held the portfolios for International Trade, and for Housing (1988 – 1989); he held the Privatization and Regulatory Affairs portfolio (1989 – 1991); and he held the Finance and Privatization portfolio (1991 – 1993), during which he also briefly was an acting Minister of State for Housing.

On March 28, 1993, McDermid announced his retirement from politics after Brian Mulroney decided to retire. Looking back over his career, he was quoted in the The Hill Times, “[i]f I had to say what the highlights of my career were I’d say working with Brian Mulroney and carrying the free trade legislation through the House. My first election, my appointment to cabinet and dismantling the National Energy Program was definitely a highlight.”

In 1992, McDermid married former pro-golfer Sandra Post, and after his retirement they settled in Caledon, Ontario. Since retiring, he has been involved with the Lorne Scots (Peel, Dufferin and Halton Regiment), with the Central West Local Health Integration Network, and has followed his passion for golf.

Cloverleaf Garden Club of Mississauga

  • CA : RPA
  • Corporate body
  • 1944-

The Cloverleaf Garden Club of Mississauga was founded in February 1944 as the “Clover Leaf Horticultural Society.” In 1964 the name was changed to “Cloverleaf Garden Club” with the current name adopted in 1999. The club was started with the goal of providing a meeting forum for people interested in gardening.

The club is the oldest gardening club in Mississauga, and has been very active since its founding: at the first meeting 100 members signed up; by the end of its first year membership had grown to around 200, with overall membership hovering at or around 200 from 1946 to 2013. Some ongoing activities include booking guest speakers at meetings, hosting monthly flower shows, and taking part in annual plant sales and tours. The club belongs to the Ontario Horticultural Association (District 15).

The specific objectives of the club include:

  • Spreading the knowledge of horticulture by means of regular meetings, illustrated lectures, and free workshops
  • Holding exhibitions of flowers, vegetables, and decorative arrangements at which members are encourage to participate
  • Encouraging the beatification of home and public grounds
  • Stimulating the interest of children in gardening and the environment through the Junior Programme.

Various committees reporting to the Club Executive Board administer activities and programs in support of club objectives. As of 2013 the following committees are active: Awards; Bus Tour; Communications; Community Projects/Civic Program; Draw [raffles]; Flower Show; Garden Tour; Junior Program; Membership; Member Greeter; Newsletter; Nominating; Plant Sale; Official Photographer; Premiums; Program; Publicity; Social Convenors; Social Secretary; Yearbooks; and Website. The club used to have a Library Committee, but this has been discontinued.

Sources: Club Yearbook, Club website, and FAQ provided by the Club

Sons of Temperance of North America. Summerville Division No. 298

  • CA
  • Corporate body
  • 10 Jan. 1890 - [after 20 Apr. 1894]

The Sons of Temperance was a men's brotherhood organization, promoting the temperance movement. New Brothers had to be nominated by the existing membership, and three other Brothers would investigate the nominee's life. The movement was founded in 1842, but the foundation and cessation of this chapter is unknown. Membership included William and Robert Pallett, of the fruit growing family.

Elsewhere in Toronto Township, nearby Burnhamthorpe had a hall on the southwest corner of what now is Dixie Rd and Burnhamthorpe Rd, from 1840 - 1874. The building was used for other purposes until 1927.

Atkinson Bros.

  • Frost postcard collection
  • Corporate body
  • [190]-[190]

Central Public School (Brampton)

  • CA
  • Corporate body
  • 1856 - 1983

Successor to a rough cast school on Chapel Street, the Alexander Street facility is known to have been open by 1856. Originally housing both elementary and secondary level students, Central Public and Grammar School became Central Public School in 1877, after the construction of Brampton High School. Even with the opening of additional schools, the facility repeatedly needs expansions to deal with overcrowding; the present structure dates to 1916. The school closed in the 1980s, was condemned, and then turned into a parks and recreation facility.

A variety of the mid-20th century public schools that replaced the site (Beatty-Fleming, Helen Wilson, and Agnes Taylor) were named for teachers from the facility. W. J. Fenton was also among the teaching staff.

Halton-Peel Holstein Club

  • CA
  • Corporate body
  • 18 Sep. 1884 -

Halton-Peel Holstein Club, formerly Peel Holstein Club, operates out of the West-Central Ontario district of the Ontario Holstein Branch, the provinical link of the Holstein Association of Canada. The national entity was formed in 1884, the provinicial entity in 1981.

The groups' activities include the Halton-Peel Holstein Show, held during the Brampton Fall Fair, and social events for members.

Peel farmers were prominent in the breeding of Holsteins. The Holstein Association of Canada (now Holstein Canada) has had four national presidents from Peel: D. E. Smith, 1888-1889, Jack Fraser, 1948, Doug Dunton, 1962, and Howard Laidlaw, 1975. Local branch past-presidents include Town of Caledon Mayor Allan Thompson.

As of 1989, the group had members whose postal delivery was for routes in Georgetown, Norval, Orangeville, and Terra Cotta.

Kennedy, Robert Douglas, 1916-2003

  • CA
  • Person
  • 1916 - 2003

Robert Douglas Kennedy was born in 1916 at Cooksville, Ontario and was raised on a farm in Dixie as part of a family of ten children. As a child he attended Burnhamthorpe Public School and then Port Credit High School. In 1935 Kennedy went to the Ontario Agricultural College in Guelph, he majored in animal husbandry and graduated in 1939 with a B.S.A.

After graduation Kennedy joined the Canadian Army and fought for four and a half years during World War II, eventually achieving the rank of Captain in the Canada and Northwest Pacific Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps.

Following the war Kennedy worked for twelve years with the Department of Veteran’s Affairs helping to settle veterans and their families. After this he worked for two years with the Farm Credit Corporation, the successor to the Canadian Farm Loan Board, from which he resigned in 1967 in order to seek provincial nomination. He also served on the South Peel Board of Education from 1955 to 1963, including two years as Chairman. He also served on the Toronto Township Hydro Commission from 1963 to 1967, one year as Chairman.

In 1967 Kennedy was first elected to the Ontario Legislature, and was later re-elected in 1971, 1975, 1977 and 1981. During these years he served on numerous Standing and Selection Committees. As a Member of Provincial Parliament, Kennedy introduced a number of important Private Bills, including bills:

  • for the mandatory use of seatbelts.
  • for the protection if personal privacy.
  • to provide residents of mobile home the right to vote for Boards and Commissions.
  • to compensate victims of crime.
  • to provide parking facilities for physically handicapped persons.
  • to establish an Arbour Day.
  • to amend the Expropriation Act.

As well, Kennedy introduced the following major resolutions within Parliament:

  • to ban the non-returnable bottle.
  • to control right of entry to private property.
  • to provide protection for travellers.

Kennedy was appointed Government Whip in 1971; Chief Government Whip in 1972; Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Education in 1976; and Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Inter- governmental Affairs in 1981.

Kennedy’s other afflictions include being a member of the Agricultural and Appraisal Institutes of Canada; past Executive and member of the Cooksville Royal Canadian Legion; former Executive and coach of the Toronto Township Hockey League; and former member of the Committee of Aging, Social Planning Council of Peel.

In the mid 1970s, Kennedy kept in touch with his constituents through a weekly newspaper column. He also occasionally hosted a short radio talk-show on a local station.
In 1940 Kennedy married Kathleen Helen Krafft of Cayuga, Ont. and the two had four children: Sue, John, Pat and Janet. A notable relative of Kennedy’s was Col. Thomas Laird Kennedy, who represented Peel County at Queen’s Park for all but three years between 1919 and 1959, much of this time as Minister of Agriculture. In 1949 he served as Premier of Ontario for seven months.

Queen Elizabeth Home and School Association

  • CA : RPA
  • Corporate body
  • Nov. 1934 - [1968]

Queen Elizabeth Home and School Association was an organization to represent parent interests at the Queen Elizabeth Public School, and help teachers organize class events.

The first monthly meeting of the Middle Road Home and School Association was held in November 1934. (1) The school was renamed in honour of the then-Queen Consort, Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon, better known as "The Queen Mother", in 1943, and the Home and School Association followed suit. (2) During the Second World War, the organization provided preschool services, to allow area mothers the time to take on war work. (3) Very active throughout the decades, they were the largest such organization in Peel County as of 1958, with a membership of 445. (4) During the late 1940s and early 1950s, the group ran an association library at the school, distinct from the school's own facility. (5)

A library at the site of the Queen Elizabeth Public School was started during the Second World War by the Queen Elizabeth Home and School Association, no later than 1944. It was completely separate from its venue and namesake, the school, receiving funding from both adult membership and government grants. In May 1948, it was spun-off as a separate organization, the Queen Elizabeth Library Association. It was volunteer-run, under direction of a librarian, Mrs. Wallberg. (6) Queen Elizabeth had the tenth highest circulation among the 219 Association Libraries in Ontario as of the 1952 annual general meeting. (7) As of 1952, the library would serve students on Wednesdays and Fridays through the day, and adult members on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. At some point in 1952 or 1953, the school established its own library for students.

Their January 1953 annual general meeting, intended to discuss the future of the library association, attracted only the members of its board. By March, the Toronto Township Recreation Commission was contesting the existing system of granting individual libraries and the Peel County Library Co-operative; previous correspondence suggests that the QELA wasn't able to get council to fund more than $30 per year. With only 10 members regularly borrowing books, the QEL didn't reopen in that autumn. (Records don't explain the sudden drop in users, although the school library may be key.)

Deciding that the members would be "adequately served by the Port Credit Public Library and the Cooksville Library", coupled with the school itself establishing their own library, they requested information from the Ontario Department of Education in October, requesting information on dissolution. Juvenile books were to be distributed to schools in south Peel, adult books to the Port Credit and Cooksville libraries, and remaining funds meant to purchase additional kids' books for the schools.

The Toronto Township bookmobile program was not started until 1958, and did not stop at Mineola until 1959. As of 2017, the closest branch to this area remains Port Credit.

The last known reference to the Queen Elizabeth Home and School Association was in January 1968. (8)

The Ontario Federation of Home and School Associations is the umbrella organization for this sort of entity. It was Canada's first provincial body for H&S As, incorporating in 1919. The first such group in Ontario was founded in 1896. Home and School Associations were similar to Parent Teacher Associations.

The school was also known as Toronto Township School Section No. 23.

Adams, Maureen (1924 - 2011)

  • CA : RPA
  • Person
  • 1924 - 2011

Maureen Adams was a children's librarian and puppeteer who lived in Brampton. She is best known for the 1950s family troupe "The Adams Marionettes", which performed across southern Ontario.

Studying at the University of Toronto, she earned a Bachelor of the Arts and a Bachelor of Library Science, working at libraries in Niagara Falls, Welland, Saskatoon, and Leeds, England. Once in Brampton, she was a teacher-librarian at Ridgeview Public School, McHugh Public School, and Agnes Taylor Public School.

She introduced puppetry into schools as an extracurricular activity, and taught workshops in Brampton and Toronto. She was a Charter member of the Ontario Puppetry Association, member of the Puppeteers of America, and co-founded the Puppetry Guild of Halton/Peel, of which she was President. (The guild made many appearances at the Peel Heritage Complex during kid's events in the 1990s.) A member of the Brampton Arts Council, she received Arts Person of the Year from the organization in 2006.

She met her husband John Adams while in library school, and married in 1952. They had three children.

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